Small and rural utility technical needs study
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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 resources

Utility Resources


Utility constraints

Utility Constraints


Engagement with regional organizations

Engagement with Regional Organizations


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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