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)
Upcoming forums are limited to state Working Group members. Please contact email@example.com with questions
CalFlexHub (California Load Flexibility Research and Development Hub) Symposium (online), December 6 & 7, 12-3 pm ET/9am-12pm PT. A two-day event exploring current innovations in load flexibility across California: program and registration.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory webinar, December 14, 2022, 2:00 pm ET presenting a new report, "End-Use Load Profiles for the U.S. Building Stock: Practical Guidance on Accessing and Using the Data". End-use load profiles (EULPs) and savings shapes are critically important to utilities, utility commissions, state energy offices, and stakeholders to better value DERs in utility resource planning, state and local energy planning, and programs. The webinar will address accessing EULPs and savings shapes and how to use them to support electricity planning, forecasting, demand-side management, rate and bill considerations, and other applications. Register here.
NASEO-NARUC GEB Working Group Virtual Forum: Demand Flexibility and Grid/Distribution Planning, including Non-Wires Solutions/Alternatives - October 26, 2022. Natalie Mims Frick (LBNL) presented on demand flexibility and DERs in distribution system planning, including as non-wires solutions/alternatives (NWS/NWA) (slides). Hanna Terwilliger (Minnesota PUC staff and GEB Working Group co-chair) discussed demand flexibility and NWS/NWA approaches, opportunities, and challenges in Minnesota (slides).
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.
NASEO Annual Meeting Session, "Grid Evolution or Revolution? Accelerating Building Electrification, Demand Flexibility, and Distributed Energy Resources" (October 12, 2022): Colorado Electrification Policies and Programs (Dylan Klomhaus, Colorado Energy Office), Accelerating Adoption of DERs through Incentive and Demonstration Programs (Demetra Tzamares, Center for Sustainable Energy), Smart Neighborhoods (aka Connected Communities) (Justin Hill, Southern Company Services).
DOE, Cybersecurity Considerations for Distributed Energy Resource on the U.S. Electric Grid (October 2022) provides recommendations for the DER industry, energy sector, and government to take action and secure current and future systems. The report also acknowledges the ongoing need to engage with DER industry stakeholders to develop cybersecurity standards and best practices, provide education and training, and establish information sharing mechanisms.
California Load Flexibility Research and Development Hub (CalFlexHub) is the innovation hub supporting the scaled adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable load flexible technologies. CalFlexHub seeks to advance the capability of smart building technologies to provide flexible energy load for the State of California and beyond.
NARUC-NASEO DER-Integration & Compensation Initiative
Smart Electric Power Alliance, Accelerating Coordinated Utility Programs for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings: Practitioners' Perspectives (July 2022) report and case studies. Webinars held July 28, August 17, and September 14, 2022 (see "past events") -- thanks to SEPA for a special extra discussion session with Working Group states after the final webinar.