Data-Driven Examination of the Impact Energy Efficiency Has on Demand Response Capabilities in Commercial Buildings
23 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2021
Date Written: 2021
Growing concerns over climate change and grid reliability have led to widespread adoption of energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) programs at utilities. Despite such adoption, numerous questions exist regarding the interactions between EE and DR. In this paper, we empirically examine the impact a building’s EE level (quantified by traditional EE benchmarking metrics) has on its DR capabilities (quantified by a building’s normalized load shed) for commercial buildings in California, USA. We find no evidence that a building’s EE level has an impact on DR load shed capabilities and thus demonstrate the need to reevaluate the notion that EE cannibalizes a building’s DR potential. We expand our analysis by proposing Data-Driven Operational Flexibility and Efficiency ( DOFE ) metrics that provide an alternative quantification of a building’s grid-interactive efficiency (i.e., a building’s ability to provide efficient demand-side management services to the grid). Our proposed DOFE metrics reveal statistically significant evidence that more operationally flexible buildings have higher load sheds during DR events. Our results shed light on the interactions between EE and DR in buildings and demonstrates the potential of achieving Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) in which improving operational flexibility and DR capabilities in buildings have synergistic benefits.
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