Meter-Based Assessment of the Time and Locational Benefits of a Large Utility’s DSM Portfolio

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Conference Paper

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As decarbonization goals drive increasing levels of renewable generation, there is a need to understand the time- and location-based savings benefits of demand-side management (DSM) programs. The challenges of the 'duck curve' are driving the utility industry to consider how programs can be optimized to match demand profiles with low carbon generation resources. From an infrastructure standpoint, time- and location-targeted DSM could serve as a ‘non-wires alternative’ (NWA) to defer equipment upgrades.

Additional DSM value streams are motivating innovation in savings evaluation, providing more resolved insights beyond the total annual program impact. Methods grounded in the principles of billing analysis, leveraging hourly metering at the distribution grid, can provide new visibility into the spatial and temporal savings achieved through DSM. A large body of work has investigated related topics including interval meter-based savings analysis, the time- varying nature of efficiency measures, and NWA. A less studied topic concerns the impact of DSM on the grid, based on metered consumption.

This paper presents an analysis of interval data across more than 25,000 customers and twelve substations, from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The results show for different locations on the grid: achieved savings and the impact on grid consumption; hourly savings shapes for DSM program participants and non-participants, and how those shapes vary with season; and the impact of the programs on peak demand. These findings show the current impact of DSM, with implications for future, more intentional targeting as the utility continues to pursue aggressive electrification, efficiency, load flexibility, and reliable NWA.


2020 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

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