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) and, more broadly, demand flexibility (DF) 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, building owners and occupants, technology and service providers, and 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.
Through the GEB Working Group, State Energy Officials and state utility regulators can explore GEB/DF 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/DF 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. TA focus areas have included state and public buildings, pilot projects, state and regional GEB/DF potential, and valuation of GEB/DF grid services. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
National GEB Roadmap: U.S. DOE, A National Roadmap for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (May 2021)
U.S. DOE, Connected Communities (overview presentation)
NEW! NASEO, "Demand Flexibility and Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings 101" (September 2022) provides a high-level overview of DF, GEB, DERs, and related areas. The brief includes a glossary of selected terms and links to additional resources for deeper exploration.
L. Schwartz, D. Nemtzow, and N. Mims Frick, 2022, "How to Build a Connected Community: Policies to Promote Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings and Demand Flexibility" (August 2022) presented at ACEEE Summer Study.
Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG), DER Integration Report Series -- DER Integration into Wholesale Markets and Operation (January 2022), Lesson Learned for the U.S. Context: An Assessment of UK and Australian Open Networks Initiatives (August 2022), and The Transition to a High-DER Electricity System: Creating a National Initiative on DER Integration for the United States (August 2022).
NASEO-NARUC Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) Working Group Virtual Forum: Benefit-Cost Analyses (BCA) for GEB Programs - August 10, 2022. David Pudleiner (ICF) and Kate Strickland (Smart Electric Power Alliance) presented a case study of using the National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) for DERs to do a BCA for a hypothetical GEB residential retrofit program that includes efficiency, demand response, and electrification measures. The presentation slides can be found here. Such programs can entail significant challenges, such as accounting for interactive effects of DERs and customer and societal impacts.
- NASEO-NARUC GEB Working Group Virtual Forum on inclusion of demand flexibility (DF)/GEB and electrification in utility energy efficiency programs - July 13, 2022. Jerrylyn Huckabee, MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER) presented on “active demand management” in the state’s EE plan, including ConnectedSolutions in the Mass Save program, while Joan White of Vermont PUC staff spoke on Vermont’s work on electrification and DF in utility programs. The presentations were followed by discussion and cross-state exchange.
- California PUC Order Instituting Rulemaking to Advance Demand Flexibility Through Electric Rates (July 14, 2022) - news release, order - and Advanced Strategies for Demand Flexibility Management and Customer DER Compensation workshops page with links to white paper and proposal (and slides), comments, and other materials.