In states across the nation, the electricity system is changing, presenting challenges and opportunities for the delivery of reliable, clean, and affordable power to America’s homes, businesses, and institutions. As variable renewable generation and distributed energy resources (DERs)—including energy efficiency, demand response, onsite generation, energy storage, and electric vehicles—grow, the management of electricity is becoming more complex.
Fortunately, advancing technologies open the prospect for more flexible management of building and facility energy loads to benefit occupants, owners, and the grid. The purpose of advancing Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) is to optimize energy management by utilizing sensors, analytics, and smart controls to best serve the needs of occupants while considering the grid and external conditions (such as peak loads and weather). Greater optimization of the significant energy demand and supply functions that buildings offer – on an automated basis – has far reaching electricity policy and regulatory implications for State Energy Offices, Public Utility Commissions, utilities, and building owners and investors. Flexible load management can:
- Lower costs, enhance resilience, and reduce emissions
- Reduce peak loads, moderate the ramping of demand, and provide grid services
- Enhance energy efficiency and integrate distributed and renewable energy resources.
The fundamental question that arise from this opportunity are:
- How can we optimize facility interactions with the grid?
- How can states fashion policies, programs, and regulations to advance such optimization through GEBs?
- What are the roles for states, facility owners and operators, utilities, product and service providers, and others?
To help states approach these questions, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) established the NASEO-NARUC Grid-interactive Efficient Building Working Group, with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
Through the GEB Working Group, State Energy Officials and state utility regulators can explore GEB technologies and applications; identify opportunities and impediments (technical and non-technical); identify and express state priorities and interests; inform policy, planning, programs and regulation; consider unregulated electric sector investments and implications; and advance GEB road map and pilot options.
GEB Working Group activities include state interviews, webinars, and exchanges. Private sector and non-governmental organizations are also being engaged. A state GEB briefing paper and other resources have been and are being developed developed. The resources page also includes links to other NASEO, NARUC, and external papers, presentations, webinars, and other items. NASEO and NARUC are partnered with DOE and the National Laboratories to provide demand flexibility/GEB-related technical assistance (TA) to Working Group states; 2020-2021 TA focus areas include: state and public buildings, pilot projects, state and regional GEB potential, and valuation of GEB grid services.
National GEB Roadmap: U.S. DOE, A National Roadmap for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (May 2021)
GSA and Rocky Mountain Institute, Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings Made Easy: A GSA Building Manager's Guide to Low- and No-cost GEB Measures (June 2021) - September 2, 2021 news release.
Olinsky-Paul, T., "Energy Storage Best Practices from New England: Ten Lessons From Six States," Clean Energy Group (August 2021)
Considerations and Approaches for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) Pilots, August 10, 2021, 4:00-5:00pm ET -- With DOE support, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is providing technical assistance (TA) to Washington State and Hawaii on considerations for GEB pilots. This webinar summarizes key points and approaches from technical briefs being developed for both states, including the states' motivation and interest in GEB pilots and how they plan to use the TA. (Introductory slides, main presentation, recording.)
- NARUC webinar Virtual Power Plants in the 20s: Moving From Theory to Practice, August 12, 2021, 3:00-4:00 pm ET (recording).
- Grid Integration and Electrification in Energy Codes, August 12, 2021, 1:00-2:00 pm ET, DOE Building Energy Codes Program webinar on the role of building energy codes in advancing connected buildings, how electrification will necessitate this, and GEB technologies being adopted at state and local levels. (slides; recording).
- Decarbonization at a District Scale: Colorado Residential Retrofit Energy District (CoRRED), August 31, 2021, 12:00-1:00 pm ET - DOE State Energy Program webinar on the results of a DOE-funded simulation of a Denver neighborhood of grid-interactive efficient homes conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with the Colorado Energy Office, Rocky Mountain Institute, and Xcel Energy. (August 31 slides and recording pending; also available are the July 20 versions of the webinar slides and recording link [password for recording: CoRRED2021! ] )
Technical assistance opportunity: