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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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