July 10, 2017 - 11:00pm
In the new study, Berkeley Lab calculated the time-varying value of efficiency measures for five electricity end-uses -residential lighting, water heating, and air conditioning, commercial lighting, and exit signs - in four locations in the United States using publicly available data on system load shapes, end-use load shapes and avoided costs: California, Massachusetts, Georgia, and the Pacific Northwest. To understand the full impact of an energy efficiency measure, Berkeley Lab assessed the value of electricity each hour (where available) or for on- and off-peak periods in combination with data on the end-use and system load shapes.
|Figure 1. Ratio of total time-varying value of energy savings to energy-related savings value by end-use load shape and location|
- The time-varying value of individual energy efficiency measures varies across the locations studied because of the physical and operational characteristics of the individual utility system (e.g., summer or winter peaking, load factor, reserve margin) as well as the time periods during which savings from measures occur.
- Across the four locations studied, some of the largest capacity benefits from energy efficiency are derived from the deferral of transmission and distribution system infrastructure upgrades. However, the deferred cost of such upgrades also exhibited the greatest range in value of all the components of avoided costs across the locations studied.
- Of the five energy efficiency measures studied, those targeting residential air conditioning in summer-peaking electric systems have the most significant added value when the total time-varying value is considered.
- The increased use of rooftop solar systems, storage, and demand response, and the addition of electric vehicles and other major new electricity-consuming end uses are anticipated to significantly alter the load shape of many utility systems in the future. Data used to estimate the impact of energy efficiency measures on electric system peak demands will need to be updated periodically to accurately reflect the value of savings as system load shapes change.
- Publicly available components of electric system costs avoided through energy efficiency are not uniform across states and utilities. Inclusion or exclusion of these components and differences in their value affect estimates of the time-varying value of energy efficiency.
- Publicly available data on end-use load and energy savings shapes are limited, are concentrated regionally, and should be expanded.