IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2020 - 64

Rate Design

Special Studies

The load research department supports the rate design function by testing various rate designs under consideration and
providing information on elements such as structural winners and losers based on an anticipated new rate design. The
analysis of structural winners and losers helps to differentiate
customers who would benefit from the rate from those that
would be hurt by the rate. The load research department provides other critical insight into the load characteristics of the
proposed rate, such as on- and off-peak energy and on-peak
demand as well as their current contribution to the revenue
associated with the rate design. In addition, load researchers are often asked to model how likely the customers are to
change their behavior under various time-of-use (TOU) scenarios to predict how that behavior change may affect future
revenue. Load researchers are often consulted to help develop
and conduct randomized control trials for pilot programs that
support the testing of various rate designs.

The load research skill set is particularly useful in supporting
special studies. This may include the design and execution of
a randomized control experiment focused on a special rate
design or an enabling technology, such as smart thermostats.
The list of special studies is endless and includes studying
the load characteristics for new and evolving appliances,
such as heat pump water heaters and high-efficiency air conditioners, EVs, residential or commercial solar impacts, residential or grid-side battery storage, and conservation voltage
reduction (CVR) pilot programs.

Fulfilling Internal Data Requests
Fulfilling internal data requests is simply responding to
ad hoc data and information requests from various internal departments related to the load characteristics of customer segments or the load impact associated with specific activities. Countless examples of this exist, such as
low-income customer use compared to non-low-income
customer use, comparing the load characteristics of customers based on their seasonal or annual consumption
(e.g., low summer use versus high summer use or low,
medium, and high annual use), and how the load during a
particular holiday season compares to the load during the
days surrounding holidays.

Fulfilling External Data Requests
The task of fulfilling external data requests is associated
with responding to data requests from external stakeholders,
including parties not working for the utility. In the United
States, this is dominated by fulfilling formal data requests
during rate cases. The commission staff, or outside intervenors in rate cases, may request that the load research department examine several things, such as how a recommended
rate impacts low-income customers.

Load Forecasting
The load research department generally conducts an
annual analysis of all customer classes of interest. These
historical load profiles can be used to develop class-level
load forecasting models. Further, load researchers can be
called upon to provide information and insight for new
emerging technologies, such as EVs, which can be incorporated into the forecasts. Additionally, load researchers
can aid in the design, implementation, and analysis of an
end-use load research effort to develop end-use appliance
profiles, which can be used to support a bottom-up load
forecasting methodology.
64	

ieee power & energy magazine	

Demand-Response Planning and Evaluation
Demand response includes economic or reliability programs
designed to reduce customer consumption for short periods
of time. Load researchers often assist in determining the
demand impacts associated with demand-response program
activities through a comparison with a baseline. This may
include innovations like high-frequency water-heating controls or more traditional measures such as residential airconditioning switches or smart thermostats. Additionally,
the load research department often works with the independent system operator to develop appropriate baseline strategies for their demand-response program offerings. It can
also support planning efforts by helping to determine the
load available for reduction at various times of the day.

Key Account Management
The load research department normally has direct access to
the interval load data for individual meters/accounts. These
can be brought together, aggregated if appropriate, to represent key accounts/customers and provided to the other internal
departments, including key account representatives responsible for, or have direct contact with, customers. Usual customer
requests include daily peak values (if on a demand charge)
and the typical day graphs used to spot irregular use patterns,
such as lights kept on at night when they should be switched
off. Customers on tariffs that include penalties for excessive
reactive power consumption are interested in reactive power
load shapes. In some utilities, customers have direct access to
their own individual interval load data. Here, the load research
department may support the development of standard presentation formats and reports that allow for meaningful visualization and insights or show the savings that are available
from alternative rate designs or load management strategies.

Energy Efficiency Planning and Evaluation
Energy efficiency programs are defined as activities that
reduce overall end-use customer energy consumption via the
adoption of more efficient appliances, air conditioners, lighting, and other energy-reduction technologies. Load researchers often assist the energy efficiency team with determining
the demand and energy characteristics associated with specific measures or measure bundles. This may include a formalized randomized control experiment or simple/complex
may/june 2020



IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2020

Contents
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2020 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2020 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2020 - Contents
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2020 - Cover3
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