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Small and Rural Utility Technical Needs Study:. Presentation of Key Findings, Conclusions, & Recommendations June 1, 2011 Presented by Ecotope, Inc. Agenda. Acknowledgements Project objectives Project methodology Key findings and recommendations Utility responses Utility segmentation

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Small and rural utility technical needs study

Small and Rural Utility

Technical Needs Study:

Presentation of Key Findings, Conclusions, & RecommendationsJune 1, 2011Presented by Ecotope, Inc.


Agenda
Agenda

  • Acknowledgements

  • Project objectives

  • Project methodology

  • Key findings and recommendations

    • Utility responses

    • Utility segmentation

    • Existing measures

    • Desired measures

  • Priorities


Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

  • Small and rural utilities across the region that took the time to meet and provide valuable feedback

  • The RTF SRR subcommittee that provided input and guidance throughout the project


Project objectives
Project Objectives

  • Determine what technical assistance the RTF can offer small/rural utilities to address the unique circumstances of their service territories

  • Identify program and infrastructure barriers faced by small/rural utilities

  • Develop and prioritize recommendations


Project methodology
Project Methodology

  • Review reporting databases

  • Identify criteria for “small,” “rural,” and “residential”

  • Select utilities based on review of reporting databases

  • Develop interview guide based on review of reporting databases and the project objectives

  • Interview 20 utilities

  • Analyze interview results

  • Develop recommendations based on interview findings


Utility screening criteria
Utility Screening Criteria

  • Small (<15 aMW)

  • Rural (LLD recipients)

  • Residential (> 60%)


Utility selection criteria
Utility Selection Criteria

  • Selection Criteria:

  • Small, rural, residential status

  • Volume of savings

  • Patterns of measure implementation of various utilities

  • Climate

  • Availability of adjacent conservation infrastructure

  • Residential vs. commercial


Interview guide
Interview Guide

  • Focus on technical characteristics of conservation efforts:

    • Development of deemed measures

    • Technical specifications

    • Simplified M&V protocols

  • Help identify program barriers faced by small/rural utilities (for RTF approved measures/protocols)

  • Review measures implemented by the utility

  • Discuss staff resources, incentives paid, and measures not reported to the PTR

  • Develop list of measures the utility is interested in implementing

  • Assess available conservation infrastructure


General findings
General Findings

  • The utilities should be segmented in order to zero in on unique challenges and opportunities

  • The utilities by and large want measures/programs that:

    • Are deemed and easy to implement

    • Achieve high savings

    • Don’t change very often

  • Utilities focus on deemed measures and appear to require process improvements and strategic support, rather than technical changes to measures

  • Many utilities are not aware of what the RTF or NEEA do





Utility segmentation as lens for
Utility Segmentation as Lens for:

  • Measure recommendations

  • Regional collaboration and communication

  • Prioritization


Utility segmentation type 1
Utility Segmentation, Type 1

  • Utilities with their own programs, developed and marketed to their customers

    • Generally larger with conservation staff resources of at least 1 FTE

    • Specific program offerings outside of PTR, sometimes not reported

    • Specific recommendations to RTF to support their programs and approaches

    • Often have a medium-large agricultural customer base

    • 35% of respondents


Utility segmentation type 2
Utility Segmentation, Type 2

  • Utilities using PTR as main guideline

    • Utility programs developed around PTR

    • Utility programs designed as required by specifications within the utility structure

    • Few custom measures (if any) except as delivered by third party providers

    • Most recommendations focused on the need for more measures that are “deemed and provide lots of savings”

    • 45% of respondents


Utility segmentation type 3
Utility Segmentation, Type 3

  • Utilities with no defined program or implementation approach

    • React to customer or contractor requests

    • Provide pass through incentives from PTR

    • Would implement new measures if they appeared

    • Develop no custom measure

    • Usually staffed at under .25 FTE or less (much less)

    • 20 % of respondents


Applying utility segmentations
Applying Utility Segmentations

  • The utilities should be segmented in order to zero in on unique challenges and opportunities

    • Type 1 utilities will respond to different programs and new initiatives

    • Type 1 &2 utilities need more variety in deemed RTF measures

    • Type 3 utilities may not respond to anything

    • Type 3 utilities need more direct assistance from BPA

  • The utilities by and large want measures/programs that:

    • Are deemed and easy to implement

    • Achieve high savings

    • Don’t change very often

  • Type 2 utilities focus on deemed measures and appear to require process improvements and strategic support, rather than technical changes to measures

  • Many type 2 and 3 utilities are not aware of what the RTF or NEEA do


Other important factors
Other Important Factors

  • Staffing: Median conservation staff size-.65 FTE

    • No type one utilities are below this level

    • Staff size not always critical

  • Remoteness: Many utilities remote from all major markets or contractor resources

    • Utilities more than 100 miles from a major market

    • Half of our respondents

  • Size: Median size of these utilities 22.8 aMW

    • Correlated to staff size but not completely

    • Some “Type 1” utilities are smaller while some “Type 3” utilities are larger


Guide to measure recommendations
Guide to Measure Recommendations

  • Recommendations for the RTF (in red) are a combination of utility comments and Ecotope recommendations.

    • Utility only findings/recommendations identified with “*”

    • Utility and Ecotope recommendations identified with “**”

  • These small/rural utilities are much more focused on process.

  • The measures recommendations are both technical and programmatic.

  • Deemed savings are important but so are savings that can be achieved in these utilities.

  • Incentives need to be improved for some programs to work.


Existing measures
Existing Measures

  • Weatherization

    • RTF: Make new weatherization specifications more practical for utility administration*

    • RTF: Improve air sealing measure to make it more usable* *

    • RTF: Add small commercial deemed measures (Wx)*

    • Stabilize window replacement measures, incentives and savings are unpredictable**

  • EStar New homes

    • Must have higher incentives to get builders attention*

    • Mostly a gas program, need more electric savings*


Existing measures1
Existing Measures

  • PTCS

    • PTCS measures require more attention than most of these utilities can give*

      • Contractors not available

      • Contractors not interested

      • Customers not impressed

    • Provide more training opportunities**

    • Provide incentives to contractors for training**

    • RTF: Provide alternatives to QC regime (with reduced savings)**

  • GSHP

    • GSHP seen as an important alternative for electric heating*

    • Customers and contractors are very interested but no current incentives*

    • Cost effectiveness seen as a barrier, customers will not use air source HP*

    • RTF: Provide some mechanism for use in MT**

      • Develop incremental savings and costs that can be cost effective

      • Establish “non-energy benefits” that reflect the value of GSHP in cold climates

      • Develop a deemed measure or calculator that can be the basis of utility incentives and rate credits


Existing measures2
Existing Measures

  • Irrigation

    • Irrigation energy important use for several utilities, irrigation measures are difficult to package for customers*

    • RTF: More individual measures need to be deemed**

    • RTF: Package measures to focus on specific irrigation needs**

    • Timing must be more flexible, adapted to customer *

  • Distribution Efficiency

    • Distribution efficiency very important to these utilities with large distances between loads**

    • RTF measures address these technical needs**

    • Direct help with design and installation required for most of the small/rural utilities**

      • Many utilities do not have in-house engineering resources

      • DEI needs to be clarified to these utilities to sell them


Existing measures3
Existing Measures

  • DHPs

    • Program need more flexibility*

    • Many utilities mentioned this program as a great model*

  • Commercial Lighting

    • Commercial lighting one of the few measures for the commercial sector of these SRR utilities*

    • Contractors have difficulty using the current calculator*

    • Improve the calculator**

    • RTF: Add deemed measures (LEDs maybe)**

  • Schools

    • Schools represent a major commercial customer in these smaller utilities. *

      • Directly targeting schools would make a usable commercial measure**

      • Should be based on packages that can be presented to Schools**

    • RTF: Develop deemed savings for lighting packages**

    • RTF: HVAC and Envelope measures should be included as packages**


Desired new measures
Desired New Measures

  • Several utilities had suggestions for new measures

    • RTF: HPWH*

      • Utilities want this measure as a deemed measure*

      • Address cold climate concerns**

    • RTF: Wind turbines (idle) have large impact on small utilities, need measures to control this load**

    • Add appliances and electronics, (EnergyStar)*

    • TVs *

    • RTF: Manufactured homes recycle program**

    • Water heater timers and cozies*

    • Room AC/Dehumidifiers*

    • Small water heaters (30-40 gallons)*


Srr measure review form ecotope recommendation
SRR Measure Review Form(Ecotope Recommendation)

  • The RTF should develop and utilize a standard “measure review form” to assess and clearly communicate the applicability of new or revised measures to small/rural utilities.

  • The review form would front-load problem identification.

  • The review form would also provide a feedback loop to BPA or other regional organizations, providing an opportunity to build in programmatic adjustments/support for small/rural utilities as required.


Priorities proposed by ecotope
Priorities Proposed by Ecotope

  • RTF, BPA, and NEEA should coordinate to develop an integrated approach to supporting small/rural utilities

    • What can be accomplished in 2012?

    • What can be accomplished by 2016?

    • How can the complementary capacities of these organizations be leveraged across the region to achieve specific 1-year and 5-year goals?

  • RTF should focus on Type 1 utilities

    • Agricultural measures

    • M&V, evaluation, and QC

    • Deemed commercial measures

  • BPA and NEEA should focus on Type 2 and 3 utilities


Questions and answers
Questions and Answers

  • Ecotope Contact:

  • Poppy Storm

  • 4056 9th Avenue NE Seattle, WA, 98105

  • (206) 322-3753 www.ecotope.com


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