In states across the nation, the electricity system is changing, presenting challenges and opportunities for the delivery of reliable, clean, and affordable power to America’s homes, businesses, and institutions. As variable renewable generation and distributed energy resources (DERs)—including energy efficiency, demand response, onsite generation, energy storage, and electric vehicles—grow, the management of electricity is becoming more complex.
Fortunately, advancing technologies open the prospect for more flexible management of building and facility energy loads to benefit occupants, owners, and the grid. The purpose of advancing Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) and, more broadly, demand flexibility (DF) is to optimize energy management by utilizing sensors, analytics, and smart controls to best serve the needs of occupants while considering the grid and external conditions (such as peak loads and weather). Greater optimization of the significant energy demand and supply functions that buildings offer – on an automated basis – has far reaching electricity policy and regulatory implications for State Energy Offices, Public Utility Commissions, utilities, building owners and occupants, technology and service providers, and and investors. Flexible load management can:
- Lower costs, enhance resilience, and reduce emissions
- Reduce peak loads, moderate the ramping of demand, and provide grid services
- Enhance energy efficiency and integrate distributed and renewable energy resources.
The fundamental question that arise from this opportunity are:
- How can we optimize facility interactions with the grid?
- How can states fashion policies, programs, and regulations to advance such optimization through GEBs?
- What are the roles for states, facility owners and operators, utilities, product and service providers, and others?
To help states approach these questions, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) established the NASEO-NARUC Grid-interactive Efficient Building Working Group, with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office.
Through the GEB Working Group, State Energy Officials and state utility regulators can explore GEB/DF technologies and applications; identify opportunities and impediments (technical and non-technical); identify and express state priorities and interests; inform policy, planning, programs and regulation; consider unregulated electric sector investments and implications; and advance GEB/DF road map and pilot options.
GEB Working Group activities include state interviews, webinars, and exchanges. Private sector and non-governmental organizations are also being engaged. A state GEB briefing paper and other resources have been and are being developed developed. The resources page also includes links to other NASEO, NARUC, and external papers, presentations, webinars, and other items. NASEO and NARUC are partnered with DOE and the National Laboratories to provide demand flexibility/GEB-related technical assistance (TA) to Working Group states. TA focus areas have included state and public buildings, pilot projects, state and regional GEB/DF potential, and valuation of GEB/DF grid services. Please contact email@example.com with questions.
National GEB Roadmap: U.S. DOE, A National Roadmap for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (May 2021)
U.S. DOE, Connected Communities (overview presentation)
NASEO, "Demand Flexibility and Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings 101" (September 2022) and "Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings: State Briefing Paper" (October 2019)
Upcoming Working Group forums are limited to state Working Group members. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Other events more widely open.
- Tentative: Joint webinar of the NASEO-NARUC GEB and Microgrid Working Groups on demand flexibility and electrified transportation – V2G/V2X. Thursday, February 1, 2024, 3:00-4:00pm ET. More information pending.
- ASHRAE Grid-Interactive Buildings for Decarbonization: Design and Operation Resource Guide (November 2023) released (link to the presentation slides from September 20, 2023 NASEO-NARUC GEB Working Group Forum on this can be found here).
- CalFlexHub Symposium - November 3, 2023 hybrid event advancing load flexible technologies for the state of California. Moving from static to dynamic energy management for all (recordings and slides).
- Smart Electric Power Alliance, The State of Bidirectional Charging in 2023 (September 2023)
- NASEO Annual Meeting (Portland, OR) Dynamic Loads, Virtual Power Plants, and Connected Communities session (October 18, 2023): Paul Heitmann (NJ Board of Public Utilities, presentation), Ram Narayanamurthy (U.S. DOE, presentation), Commissioner Andrew McAllister (California Energy Commission, presentation), and Aaron Berndt (Google, presentation).
- On October 18, 2023, the California Energy Commission adopted Flexible Demand Appliance Standards for pool controls. The new standards, which take effect in September 2025, and also include cybersecurity standards, require that pool controls default to operating pool equipment when both electricity prices and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are low. Pool controls are the first of many devices expected to be upgraded through the CEC’s new authority to adopt flexible demand appliance standards, complementing standards for appliance efficiency, building energy efficiency, and load management.
- NASEO-NARUC GEB Working Group Forum: (1) ASHRAE Grid-interactive Buildings for Decarbonization: Design and Operation Resource Guide and (2) GridOptimal Findings and Experience - September 20, 2023: The New Buildings Institute provided a preview of the upcoming ASHRAE GEB for Decarbonization resource guide and discussed real world findings and experience with pilot applications of the GridOptimal suite of metrics on building "grid friendliness." A link to the presentation slides can be found here.
DOE OCED Funding Opportunity for Distributed Energy Systems Demonstrations: Up to $50 million to demonstrate distributed energy systems that not only include distributed renewable generation but also flexible energy management by buildings, EV charging, heat pumps, energy storage, and other equipment. OCED will provide up to 50 percent of the cost share for 2-4 utility and/or private sector led projects to demonstrate the reliable operation and financial value of connected energy systems with high levels of renewable generation and a variety of connected energy assets. Concept papers are due by November 16, 2023, at 5 p.m., ET. Learn more and apply here.
DOE Releases New Report on Pathways to Commercial Liftoff for Virtual Power Plants (VPPs)
- LBNL and the Brattle Group, U.S. Building Sector Decarbonization Scenarios to 2050 includes extensive consideration of demand flexibility as well as efficiency and electrification measures.
- From the NASEO-NARUC Microgrids Working Group: State Microgrid Policy, Programmatic, and Regulatory Framework and view an online interactive version (and news release)