Itron’s Consulting and Analysis (C&A) group offers industry-leading expertise and knowledge regarding the measurement, evaluation, and verification of demand response programs. Using load data supplied by our clients, Itron estimates DR program impacts by estimating baselines and associated load reductions when demand reduction events are called. Itron’s C&A group possesses a great deal of experience in the evaluation of DR programs, as exhibited in the 2004 and 2005 Statewide Large Nonresidential Day-Ahead and Reliability Demand Response Programs studies. C&A has also completed evaluations of the commercial and industrial customer participation in the demand response-style California 20/20 Rebate Program and PG&E’s Business Energy Coalition Program, a third-party run tariff-based pilot demand-response program targeted towards San Francisco downtown businesses. Itron has also conducted numerous evaluations of direct load control DR programs, including those for FPL (the largest in the U.S.), SCE, PacifiCorp and other clients. Itron has studied numerous demand response programs not only to assess their effectiveness, but also to help utilities determine their load curtailment potential for future generation planning purposes. Itron’s Forecasting group also provides forecasting and software tools for estimating DR impacts on an on-going basis.
Pilot Project Implementation
When utilities are considering load management and demand response programs, Itron statisticians, economists, and engineers can design, implement, and report on pilot projects. Pilot project services include: developing a research plan, including research goals; designing and selecting a sample for study; recruiting volunteers; arranging for equipment installation; collecting load and customer satisfaction information throughout the process and upon completion of the pilot project; conducting quantitative analyses to determine impacts; reporting on findings and results; and making recommendations based on the complete study.
Time-differentiated pricing analysis studies provide an examination of interval metered load data for the purpose of understanding customer response to price signals from demand response programs. The price elasticity results from these studies are then used directly in developing or modifying demand response pricing, such as time-of-use rates or critical peak pricing, and can be used as an aid in system planning and estimating program cost-effectiveness. Pricing programs and tariffs, in combination with other demand response programs, are a critical element of the SmartGrid value proposition and business case.
Feasibility and Cost-Effectiveness Studies
Itron consultants can conduct detailed feasibility studies to determine whether load management and demand response options are feasible and cost effective. These studies typically include an evaluation of the capabilities and cost of the necessary hardware and software, the likely customer acceptance and impacts on load shapes, cost savings in generation and transmission, meter reading cost savings, improvements in meter accuracy, effects on cash flow, and many other effects. These studies result in recommendations and action plans that can be presented to utility management and help support regulatory filings.