Berkeley Lab report identifies interactions between energy efficiency and demand response

July 22, 2020

We are pleased to announce the release of a new report from Berkeley Lab identifying energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) attributes, utility system conditions, and technological factors that are likely to drive interactions between EE and DR.

We developed a conceptual framework intended to address the following question: From the grid operator perspective, how do EE and DR compete with or complement each other with regard to system operations and economics?

The framework describes the interactive effects of a “change,” which is defined by the point at which an EE investment is made by a residential customer, commercial customer, or aggregator operating across multiple buildings. EE and DR may interact with each other and in different ways depending on the perspective - whether building or utility system - and metric - whether DR resource size, need, or availability. The framework defines two levels of interaction, each with two sub-levels, as shown in the figure below.

To qualitatively demonstrate the framework’s application, we assessed several EE measures among different customer end uses and with a variety of different control or communication technologies. Three key attributes driving EE and DR interactions emerged from the research: 1) The change in the load shape post-EE, 2) The addition of controls or operational strategies to shift load, and 3) The coincidence of changes in load and system peak or load-building conditions.

This framework applies to the electric industry in several ways. First, regulators and utilities can apply the framework to improve the integration of EE and DR in utility operational and planning activities. Second, the framework can inform the design of EE and DR programs that incorporate complementarity to bring down enablement and incentive costs.

The report is available for download here and is part of a multi-year project to assess EE and DR interactions. Future research will include quantitative analysis based on application of the framework.

This work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the U.S. Government.