Time-Sensitive Value of Efficiency: Use Cases in Electricity Sector Planning and Programs

December 4, 2019

Most energy efficiency measures produce energy savings that vary over the course of a year. The value of the hourly electricity savings also varies over the course of a year—even on a per megawatt-hour basis—because the cost of generating, transmitting and distributing electricity during peak demand periods is often significantly higher than during off-peak, or lower load, hours for most U.S. regions.

Yet many electricity planning and program activities across the United States are missing this temporal element. Several electricity system trends further highlight this gap, including increased adoption of distributed solar and energy storage, electrification of buildings and vehicles, and declining costs of generation from natural gas, wind and solar.

Knowing when energy efficiency occurs and the value of the energy or demand savings to the electricity system—the time-sensitive value of efficiency—provides decision-makers with key information needed to procure the optimal amount and type of energy efficiency for their jurisdiction.

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