Prime-time access for whom? Rhythms fairness and the dynamic pricing of infrastructure services

Mikko Jalas*, S. Numminen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we approach a fair and inclusive transition to a circular economy from a perspective of daily rhythms and illustrate these concepts using examples from the electricity and transport sectors. The circular economy discourse endorses sharing and efficiently using capital assets. To be effective, such strategies further need to manage the timing of demand. Dynamic pricing is frequently used to manage, for example, the demand for electricity services and to match demand with the capacity of production. Congestion charges for road usage similarly aim to shape peak demand. The economic and environmental benefits of these schemes have been demonstrated, but the social consequences remain underexplored. Dynamic prices forge new everyday rhythms and contribute to “shift consumption” by limited access during peak demand. We inquire whether, and to what extent, the existing schemes of dynamic pricing consider issues of equality, equity and fairness when offering time-dependent and dynamic tariffs, and highlight the policy implications of promoting a circular economy with effective and more socially just management of the timing of demand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1371
Number of pages17
JournalLocal Environment
Issue number10-11
Early online date15 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • congestion charges
  • demand management
  • dynamic pricing
  • electricity
  • infrastructure
  • shift consumption
  • Social rhythms


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