Study Details Smart-Grid Savings


Jackson Associates has announced the results of a utility-detailed nationwide study of smart-grid savings. This study applies individual utility customer end-use hourly electric loads to evaluate smart-grid costs and benefits. Data for more than 800,000 residential and commercial utility customers in the 200 largest U.S. utilities were applied in the study.

Before this analysis, previous studies, including a recently released Federal Energy Regulatory Commission analysis, had relied on assumptions about elasticities and electricity pricing to estimate changes in broad customer-class aggregate hourly loads.

Instead, this new study applies load-control and pricing-program impacts directly to individual customer end-use loads such as air conditioning, water heating and so on to determine utility-level impacts.

Study conclusions include the following:

– Total savings potential, after cost, is $48 billion for the 200 largest U.S. utilities;

– Individual utility savings range from negative savings to $3.2 billion;

– One out of 10 utilities may lose money with comprehensive smart-grid deployments;

– Benefit/cost ratios of comprehensive smart-grid systems depend on a complicated mix of factors (such as dwelling unit age and size) and vary widely across utilities;

– Targeted, strategic technology deployments significantly increase benefit/cost ratios; and

– Customer end-use hourly load information should be used to ensure economic benefits exceed costs.

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SOURCE: Jackson Associates

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