Webinar: It's a matter of time: The value of five electric efficiency measures for meeting peak power needs

Event Date:

July 10, 2017 - 11:00pm

Berkeley Lab presents a free webinar on July 10, 2017, to discuss a new report, Time-varying value of electric energy efficiency.
Who: Natalie Mims, Tom Eckman and Chuck Goldman
Time:   11:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific
Register here.
The report can be downloaded here or from https://emp.lbl.gov/publications.
Electric energy efficiency resources save energy and may reduce peak demand. Historically, quantification of energy efficiency benefits has largely focused on the economic value of energy savings during the first year and lifetime of the installed measures. Less emphasis has been placed on the corresponding time-dependent impact that energy savings have on the larger grid system.

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
This study reviews existing literature on the time-varying value of energy efficiency savings, provides examples in four geographically diverse locations of how consideration of the time-varying value of efficiency savings impacts the calculation of power system benefits, and identifies future research needs to enhance the consideration of the time-varying value of energy efficiency in cost-effectiveness screening analysis. Findings from this study include:
  • 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. 
Berkeley Lab selected the geographic regions studied based on their differing power system load shapes, market structures, approach to and experience with energy efficiency valuation, and availability of data. The study relied on publicly available data, so caution should be used when comparing the time-varying value of energy efficiency across the four regions.
The Building Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supported this work.


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