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)
Calibrated, Validated, and Publicly Available End Use Load Profiles for the U.S. Building Stock, October 28, 2021, 12:00 -1:00 PM ET - End-use load profiles describe how and when energy is used and are critically important to utilities, PUCs, SEOs, and other stakeholders for a variety of purposes such as valuing energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed energy resources. This DOE, NREL, and Berkeley Lab webinar on October 28, 2021 will provide an overview of the project, options to access the end-use load profiles and share information on two forthcoming reports documenting the project, "End-Use Load Profiles for the U.S. Building Stock: Methodology and Results of Model Calibration, Validation, and Uncertainty Quantification" and "End-Use Load Profiles for the U.S. Building Stock: Applications and Opportunities". Register here.
- DOE Awards 10 Connected Communities Pilot Projects to Deploy Grid-interactive Energy Efficient Building Technologies - DOE announced awards of $61 million for Connected Communities pilot projects that will demonstrate and validate grid-interactive efficient building GEB) technologies that will cut energy costs and reduce emissions. The 10 selected projects, planned to operate in 11 states, all include strong energy efficiency foundations on which will be built various grid-interactive, demand flexible distributed energy resources (DERs). The projects will all feature multiple buildings that will work with the grid, ranging from 15 facilities to hundreds of buildings and thousands of dwelling units. They will include a range of residential, commercial, and mixed use private and public building applications and vary from individual campuses and neighborhoods to widely dispersed grid-interactive coordination.
California Energy Commission (CEC) Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) workshop on Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings and Load Flexibility, October 5, 2021 – This CEC, with CPUC participation, workshop explored how GEBs and demand flexibility will further California’s decarbonization goals, and how national GEB policy complements California’s load management and load flexibility policies. Presentations and recordings for Session 1 (morning) and Session 2 (afternoon) are available. Workshop notice with comment instructions (due by October 19, 5:00 pm PT).
Valuing and Incentivizing Demand Flexibility as a Grid Asset, September 22, 2021, 1:00-2:00 pm ET - Better Buildings Alliance webinar covering research to quantify the value of demand flexibility (DF) from GEBs to the utility and highlights mechanisms that utilities and policymakers can use to encourage DF as a grid asset and capture this value. Building owners learn about financial motives and technical considerations to support DF operational plan and agreement implementation. Speakers: Tom Eckman (consultant to LBNL - Determining Utility System Value of Demand Flexibility from Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings) and Margot Everett (Guidehouse - Incentive Mechanisms for Leveraging Demand Flexibility as a Grid Asset). Webinar slides and recording.