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Establishment of Northwest Building Testbeds: Final Progress Report

Description: This document provides a short summary of a project jointly funded by the DOE Building Technologies Program and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. The report the outcomes achieved in the jointly-funded project, describes major project activities, discusses future plans for the homes and data, and provides details on project costs and schedule performance.
Date: August 1, 2012
Creator: Stiles, Dennis L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Use of a Consolidated Porous Medium for Measurement of Flow Rate and Viscosity of Gases at Elevated Pressures and Temperatures

Description: Note presenting an investigation of the use of a consolidated porous medium as a gas-metering device and for determination of gas viscosity over a moderate range of temperature and pressure. Results of the flow tests have been employed in the determination of the viscosity of air up to approximately 900 pounds per square inch absolute at the two test temperatures of 75 and 517 degrees Fahrenheit.
Date: September 1952
Creator: Biles, Martin B. & Putnam, J. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Net Metering and Interconnection Procedures-- Incorporating Best Practices

Description: State utility commissions and utilities themselves are actively developing and revising their procedures for the interconnection and net metering of distributed generation. However, the procedures most often used by regulators and utilities as models have not been updated in the past three years, in which time most of the distributed solar facilities in the United States have been installed. In that period, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has been a participant in more than thirty state utility commission rulemakings regarding interconnection and net metering of distributed generation. With the knowledge gained from this experience, IREC has updated its model procedures to incorporate current best practices. This paper presents the most significant changes made to IREC’s model interconnection and net metering procedures.
Date: April 1, 2009
Creator: Jason Keyes, Kevin Fox, Joseph Wiedman, Staff at North Carolina Solar Center
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Impact of Retail Rate Structures on the Economics of Commercial Photovoltaic Systems in California

Description: This article examines the impact of retail electricity rate design on the economic value of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems, focusing on commercial customers in California. Using 15-minute interval building load and PV production data from a sample of 24 actual commercial PV installations, we compare the value of the bill savings across 20 commercial-customer retail electricity rates currently offered in the state. Across all combinations of customers and rates, we find that the annual bill savings from PV, per kWh generated, ranges from $0.05/kWh to $0.24/kWh. This sizable range in rate-reduction value reflects differences in rate structures, revenue requirements, the size of the PV system relative to building load, and customer load shape. The most significant rate design issue for the value of commercial PV is found to be the percentage of total utility bills recovered through demand charges, though a variety of other factors are also found to be of importance. The value of net metering is found to be substantial, but only when commercial PV systems represent a sizable portion of annual customer load. Though the analysis presented here is specific to California, our general results demonstrate the fundamental importance of retail rate design for the customer-economics of grid-connected, customer-sited PV.
Date: May 11, 2008
Creator: Mills, Andrew; Wiser, Ryan; Barbose, Galen & Golove, William
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Government Program Briefing: Smart Metering

Description: This document is adapted and updated from a memo delivered to the City Council of New Orleans, the office of the Mayor of New Orleans, the Chairperson of the Citizen Stakeholders Group (New Orleans Energy Task Force) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Project Officer in March 2008. This briefing piece provides an overview of the benefits, costs, and challenges of smart metering.
Date: September 1, 2011
Creator: Doris, E. & Peterson, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current experience with net metering programs

Description: Net metering is a utility metering practice that encourages direct consumer investment in renewable energy technologies. Laws and regulations that establish net metering practices now exist in 22 states. Net metering enables electricity customers with small generators to receive a higher value for some or all of the electricity they generate. This is accomplished by allowing the electric meters of such customers to turn backward when there is more generation than demand. It effectively allows customers with small generators to use the electricity they generate to offset their usage over an entire billing period. This paper reports on the current status of net metering laws and rules in the US. In particular, the extent of the net metering authority in each state is highlighted. Differing requirements for grid-interconnection have introduced significant variations in the actual implementation of net metering programs. Interconnection requirements from specific utilities are collected to understand how net metering programs have been affected.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Wan, Y.H. & Green, H.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The impact of retail rate structures on the economics of commercial photovoltaic systems in California

Description: This article examines the impact of retail electricity rate design on the economic value of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems, focusing on commercial customers in California. Using 15-min interval building load and PV production data from a sample of 24 actual commercial PV installations, we compare the value of the bill savings across 20 commercial-customer retail electricity rates currently offered in the state. Across all combinations of customers and rates, we find that the annual bill savings from PV, per kWh generated, ranges from $0.05 to $0.24/kWh. This sizable range in rate-reduction value reflects differences in rate structures, revenue requirements, the size of the PV system relative to building load, and customer load shape. The most significant rate design issue for the value of commercial PV is found to be the percentage of total utility bills recovered through demand charges, though a variety of other factors are also found to be of importance. The value of net metering is found to be substantial, but only when energy from commercial PV systems represents a sizable portion of annual customer load. Though the analysis presented here is specific to California, our general results demonstrate the fundamental importance of retail rate design for the customer-economics of grid-connected, customer-sited PV.
Date: June 24, 2008
Creator: Mills, Andrew D.; Wiser, Ryan; Barbose, Galen & Golove, William
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tariffs Can Be Structured to Encourage Photovoltaic Energy

Description: The solar power market is growing at a quickening pace, fueled by an array of national and local initiatives and policies aimed at improving the value proposition of customer-sited photovoltaic (PV) systems. Though these policies take many forms, they commonly include up-front capital cost rebates or ongoing production incentives, supplemented by net metering requirements to ensure that customer-sited PV systems offset the full retail rate of the customer-hosts. Somewhat less recognized is the role of retail rate design, beyond net metering, on the customer-economics of grid-connected PV. Over the life of a PV system, utility bill savings represent a substantial portion of the overall economic value received by the customer. At the same time, the design of retail electricity rates, particularly for commercial and industrial customers, can vary quite substantially. Understanding how specific differences in rate design affect the value of customer-sited PV is therefore essential to supporting the continued growth of this market.
Date: August 31, 2008
Creator: Wiser, Ryan; Mills, Andrew; Barbose, Galen & Golove, William
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unlocking the potential for efficiency and demand response throughadvanced metering

Description: Reliance on the standard cumulative kilowatt-hour meter substantially compromises energy efficiency and demand response programs. Without advanced metering, utilities cannot support time-differentiated rates or collect the detailed customer usage information necessary to (1)educate the customer to the economic value of efficiency and demand response options, or (2) distribute load management incentives proportional to customer contribution. These deficiencies prevent the customer feedback mechanisms that would otherwise encourage economically sound demand-side investments and behaviors. Thus, the inability to collect or properly price electricity usage handicaps the success of almost all efficiency and demand response options. Historically, implementation of the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) necessary for the successful efficiency and demand response programs has been prevented by inadequate cost-benefit analyses. A recent California effort has produced an expanded cost-effectiveness methodology for AMI that introduces previously excluded benefits. In addition to utility-centric costs and benefits, the new model includes qualitative and quantitative costs and benefits that accrue to both customers and society.
Date: June 30, 2004
Creator: Levy, Roger; Herter, Karen & Wilson, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Net metering programs

Description: There has been a recent surge of interest from the renewable energy industry and environmental groups in net metering. The reason for this interest is that net metering is a simple, low-cost, and easily administered method to encourage direct customer investment in renewable energy technologies. The renewable energy industry supports net metering because it removes an economic disincentive for potential customers by increasing the value of the electricity generated by renewable energy technologies. Environmental groups support net metering because it promotes clean energy production. The concept of net metering programs is to allow the electric meters of customers with generating facilities to turn backwards when their generators are producing more energy than the customers` demand. Net metering allows customers to use their generation to offset their consumption over the entire billing period, not just instantaneously. This offset would enable customers with generating facilities to receive retail prices for more of the electricity they generate. Without a net metering program, utilities usually install a second meter to measure any electricity that flows back to the utility grid and purchase it at a rate that is much lower than the retail prices. There are various net metering programs in the country. Most are available to customer-owned small generating facilities only, some further restrict the eligibility to renewable energy technologies. This Topical Issues Brief discusses how these net metering programs have been implemented by different utilities an states, what the rationales are behind may net metering programs, and what the potential impact of net metering may be on the deployment of renewable energy technologies.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Wan, Y. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Facilitating submetering implementation. Final report

Description: Residential submetering is the measurement and billing of electric use in individual apartments in master-metered buildings. In master-metered building situations, residents do not bear electricity costs in proportion to consumption levels. As a result, studies have confirmed that residents in master-metered buildings tend to consume more electricity than residents with individual apartment metering, and have established electrical submetering as an effective energy conservation measure. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) has commissioned a project called Facilitating Submetering Implementation to identify and analyze barriers to the implementation of residential electrical submetering in New York and to formulate recommendations that would facilitate the removal of these barriers, streamlining the process. Experienced professionals in the technical, legal, regulatory, analytical, financial, and other aspects of submetering were retained to interview key interested parties and conduct public forums. This and other data were then analyzed to ascertain the barriers to submetering and develop recommendations designed to reduce or eliminate these barriers. The key barriers to submetering implementation were found to be the Public Service Commission (PSC) requirement for a vote of a majority of shareholders (for coops and condos) and the high initial cost that cannot easily be recouped by owners of both rental and shareholder-owned buildings. The key recommendations are to repeal the voting requirement, maintain the utility incentives, adopt a uniform dispute resolution mechanism, and increase awareness through an Ad-hoc Submetering Committee and supporting educational materials. Other funding sources not fully available can also be made available with regulatory agency support.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Bowers, M.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wind powering America: Minnesota

Description: This fact sheet contains a description of Minnesota's wind energy resources, and the state's green power and net metering programs as well as financial incentives that support the programs. The fact sheet includes a list of contacts for those interested in obtaining more information.
Date: April 10, 2000
Creator: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (U.S.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wind powering America - Texas

Description: This fact sheet contains a description of the wind energy resources in the state of Texas and the state's efforts to develop wind energy production, green power, and net metering programs. The fact sheet also includes a list of contacts for those interested in obtaining more information.
Date: April 13, 2000
Creator: O'Dell, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Impact of Rate Design and Net Metering on the Bill Savings from Distributed PV for Residential Customers in California

Description: Net metering has become a widespread mechanism in the U.S. for supporting customer adoption of distributed photovoltaics (PV), but has faced challenges as PV installations grow to a larger share of generation in a number of states. This paper examines the value of the bill savings that customers receive under net metering, and the associated role of retail rate design, based on a sample of approximately two hundred residential customers of California's two largest electric utilities. We find that the bill savings per kWh of PV electricity generated varies by more than a factor of four across the customers in the sample, which is largely attributable to the inclining block structure of the utilities' residential retail rates. We also compare the bill savings under net metering to that received under three potential alternative compensation mechanisms, based on California's Market Price Referent (MPR). We find that net metering provides significantly greater bill savings than a full MPR-based feed-in tariff, but only modestly greater savings than alternative mechanisms under which hourly or monthly net excess generation is compensated at the MPR rate.
Date: June 1, 2011
Creator: Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley; Darghouth, Naim R.; Barbose, Galen & Wiser, Ryan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Impact of Retail Rate Structures on the Economics ofCommercial Photovoltaic Systems in California

Description: To achieve a sizable and self-sustaining market for grid-connected, customer-sited photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar will likely need to be competitive with retail electricity rates. In this report, we examine the impact of retail rate design on the economic value of commercial PV systems in California. Using 15-minute interval building load and PV production data from 24 actual commercial PV installations, we compare the value of the bill savings across 20 commercial customer retail rates currently offered in the state. We find that the specifics of the rate structure, combined with the characteristics of the customer's underlying load and the size of the PV system, can have a substantial impact on the customer-economics of commercial PV systems. Key conclusions for policymakers that emerge from our analysis are as follows: {sm_bullet} Rate design is fundamental to the economics of commercial PV. The rate-reduction value of PV for our sample of commercial customers, considering all available retail tariffs, ranges from $0.05/kWh to $0.24/kWh, reflecting differences in rate structures, the revenue requirements of the various utilities, the size of the PV system relative to building load, and customer load shapes. For the average customer in our sample, differences in rate structure, alone, alter the value of PV by 25% to 75%, depending on the size of the PV system relative to building load. {sm_bullet} TOU-based energy-focused rates can provide substantial value to many PV customers. Retail rates that wrap all or most utility cost recovery needs into time-of-use (TOU)-based volumetric energy rates, and which exclude or limit demand-based charges, provide the most value to PV systems across a wide variety of circumstances. Expanding the availability of such rates will increase the value of many commercial PV systems. {sm_bullet} Offering commercial customers a variety of rate options would be of value to PV. Despite the ...
Date: July 3, 2007
Creator: Wiser, Ryan; Mills, Andrew; Barbose, Galen & Golove, William
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Who Owns Renewable Energy Certificates?

Description: Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are tradable instruments that convey the attributes of a renewable energy generator and the right to make certain claims about energy purchases. RECs first appeared in US markets in the late 1990s and are particularly important in states that accept or require them as evidence of compliance with renewables portfolio standards (RPS). The emergence of RECs as a tradable commodity has made utilities, generators, and regulators increasingly aware of the need to specify who owns the RECs in energy transactions. In voluntary transactions, most agree that the question of REC ownership can and should be negotiated privately between the buyer and the seller, and should be clearly established by contract. Claims about purchasing or using renewable energy should only be made if REC ownership can be documented. In many other cases, however, renewable energy transactions are either mandated or encouraged through state or federal policy. Because of the recent appearance of RECs, legislation and regulation mandating the purchase of renewable energy has sometimes been silent on the disposition of the RECs associated with that generation. Furthermore, some renewable energy contracts pre-date the existence of RECs, and therefore do not address REC ownership. In both of these instances, the issue of REC ownership must often be answered by legislative or regulatory authorities. The resulting uncertainty in REC ownership has hindered the development of robust REC markets and has, in some cases, led to contention between buyers and sellers of renewable generation. This article, which is based on a longer Berkeley Lab report, reviews federal and state efforts to clarify the ownership of RECs from Qualifying Facilities (QFs) that sell their generation under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978. The full report also addresses state efforts to clarify REC ownership in two other situations, customer-owned ...
Date: June 1, 2006
Creator: Holt, Edward; Wiser, Ryan & Bolinger, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Real Time Pricing as a Default or Optional Service for C&ICustomers: A Comparative Analysis of Eight Case Studies

Description: Demand response (DR) has been broadly recognized to be an integral component of well-functioning electricity markets, although currently underdeveloped in most regions. Among the various initiatives undertaken to remedy this deficiency, public utility commissions (PUC) and utilities have considered implementing dynamic pricing tariffs, such as real-time pricing (RTP), and other retail pricing mechanisms that communicate an incentive for electricity consumers to reduce their usage during periods of high generation supply costs or system reliability contingencies. Efforts to introduce DR into retail electricity markets confront a range of basic policy issues. First, a fundamental issue in any market context is how to organize the process for developing and implementing DR mechanisms in a manner that facilitates productive participation by affected stakeholder groups. Second, in regions with retail choice, policymakers and stakeholders face the threshold question of whether it is appropriate for utilities to offer a range of dynamic pricing tariffs and DR programs, or just ''plain vanilla'' default service. Although positions on this issue may be based primarily on principle, two empirical questions may have some bearing--namely, what level of price response can be expected through the competitive retail market, and whether establishing RTP as the default service is likely to result in an appreciable level of DR? Third, if utilities are to have a direct role in developing DR, what types of retail pricing mechanisms are most appropriate and likely to have the desired policy impact (e.g., RTP, other dynamic pricing options, DR programs, or some combination)? Given a decision to develop utility RTP tariffs, three basic implementation issues require attention. First, should it be a default or optional tariff, and for which customer classes? Second, what types of tariff design is most appropriate, given prevailing policy objectives, wholesale market structure, ratemaking practices and standards, and customer preferences? Third, if ...
Date: August 1, 2005
Creator: Barbose, Galen; Goldman, Charles; Bharvirkar, Ranjit; Hopper,Nicole; Ting, Michael & Neenan, Bernie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Community Net Energy Metering: How Novel Policies Expand Benefits of Net Metering to Non-Generators

Description: As interest in community solutions to renewable energy grows, more states are beginning to develop policies that encourage properties with more than one meter to install shared renewable energy systems. State net metering policies are evolving to allow the aggregation of multiple meters on a customer’s property and to dissolve conventional geographical boundaries. This trend means net metering is expanding out of its traditional function as an enabling incentive to offset onsite customer load at a single facility. This paper analyzes community net energy metering (CNEM) as an emerging vehicle by which farmers, neighborhoods, and municipalities may more easily finance and reap the benefits of renewable energy. Specifically, it aims to compare and contrast the definition of geographical boundaries among different CNEM models and examine the benefits and limitations of each approach. As state policies begin to stretch the geographic boundaries of net metering, they allow inventive solutions to encourage renewable energy investment. This paper attempts to initiate the conversation on this emerging policy mechanism and offers recommendations for further development of these policies.
Date: April 1, 2009
Creator: Rose, James & Varnado, Laurel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Scientific/Technical Report Solar America Initiative: Solar Outreach and Communications

Description: The purpose of the Solar America Initiative: Solar Outreach and Communications grant was to promote better communications among stakeholders; address infrastructure barriers to solar energy; and coordinate with industry, the U.S. Department of Energy, national laboratories, states, cities and counties. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), a non-profit organization formed in 1982, approached this grant project by establishing a wide range of communication and outreach activities including newsletters, workshops, webinars, model practices and publications; by advancing easy and fair hook-up rules to the utility grid; and by upgrading training based on industry competency standards. The Connecting to the Grid project and the Solar Codes and Standards Public Hearings project offered communication coupled with technical assistance to overcome interconnection, net metering and other regulatory and program barriers. The Workforce Development Project tackled building a strong workforce through quality training and competency assessment programs. IREC’s web site, the semi-monthly state and stakeholder newsletter and the metrics report resulted in better communications among stakeholders. Workshops and phone seminars offered technical assistance and kept stakeholders up-to-date on key issues. All of these activities resulted in implementing sustainable solutions to institutional and market barriers to solar energy and getting the right information to the right people.
Date: September 10, 2011
Creator: Weissman, Jane M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Y-12 National Security Complex Water Assessment

Description: The Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) sponsored a water assessment at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y 12) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Driven by mandated water reduction goals of Executive Orders 13423 and 13514, the objective of the water assessment is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the current water-consuming applications and equipment at Y-12 and to identify key areas for water efficiency improvements that could be applied not only at Y-12 but at other Federal facilities as well. FEMP selected Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to coordinate and manage the water assessment. PNNL contracted Water Savers, LLC to lead the technical aspects of the water assessment. Water Savers provided key technical expertise in water auditing, metering, and cooling systems. This is the report of that effort, which concluded that the Y-12 facility could realize considerable water savings by implementing the recommended water efficiency opportunities.
Date: November 1, 2010
Creator: Elam, Shana E.; Bassett, P. & McMordie-Stoughton, Katherine L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Net Metering Policy Development and Distributed Solar Generation in Minnesota: Overview of Trends in Nationwide Policy Development and Implications of Increasing the Eligible System Size Cap

Description: The goal of the Minnesota net metering policy is to give the maximum possible encouragement to distributed generation assets, especially solar electric systems (MN 2008). However, according to a published set of best practices (NNEC 2008) that prioritize the maximum development of solar markets within states, the Minnesota policy does not incorporate many of the important best practices that may help other states transform their solar energy markets and increase the amount of grid-connected distributed solar generation assets. Reasons cited include the low system size limit of 40kW (the best practices document recommends a 2 MW limit) and a lack of language protecting generators from additional utility fees. This study was conducted to compare Minnesota's policies to national best practices. It provides an overview of the current Minnesota policy in the context of these best practices and other jurisdictions' net metering policies, as well as a qualitative assessment of the impacts of raising the system size cap within the policy based on the experiences of other states.
Date: December 1, 2009
Creator: Doris, E.; Busche, S. & Hockett, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Commercial Buildings Partnership Projects - Metered Data Format and Delivery

Description: A number of the Commercial Building Partnership Projects (CBPs) will require metering, monitoring, data analysis and verification of savings after the retrofits are complete. Although monitoring and verification (M&V) agents are free to use any metering and monitoring devices that they chose, the data they collect should be reported to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in a standard format. PNNL will store the data collected in its CBP database for further use by PNNL and U.S. Department of Energy. This document describes the data storage process and the deliver format of the data from the M&V agents.
Date: November 16, 2010
Creator: Katipamula, Srinivas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Economic Value of PV and Net Metering to Residential Customers in California

Description: In this paper, we analyze the bill savings from PV for residential customers of the California's two largest electric utilities, under existing net metering tariffs as well as under several alternative compensation mechanisms. We find that economic value of PV to the customer is dependent on the structure of the underlying retail electricity rate and can vary quite significantly from one customer to another. In addition, we find that the value of the bill savings from PV generally declines with PV penetration level, as increased PV generation tends to offset lower-priced usage. Customers in our sample from both utilities are significantly better off with net metering than with a feed-in tariff where all PV generation is compensated at long-run avoided generation supply costs. Other compensation schemeswhich allow customers to displace their consumption with PV generation within each hour or each month, and are also based on the avoided costs, yield similar value to the customer as net metering.
Date: May 17, 2010
Creator: Darghouth, Naim; Barbose, Galen & Wiser, Ryan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department