Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings CharacteristicsIn 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 geb@naseo.org 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)

Calendar:

Webinars are open to all. Working Group forums are limited to states and territories. Please contact geb@naseo.org with questions.

  • RMI VPP Partnership Webinar: Saving Money and Supporting the Grid: How IRA Home Energy Rebates Enable Virtual Power Plants - June 13, 2024, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET: This RMI Virtual Power Plant Partnership (VP3) and The Flex Coalition webinar will discuss the intersection of VPPs and the IRA’s Home Efficiency Rebates (HOMES) and Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates (HEAR) provisions. Industry stakeholders and policy experts will discuss how investments in energy efficient homes and buildings can prepare the industry for flexible energy management and create more resilient and responsive homes. Register here.

Recent:

  • NASEO-NARUC Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) and NASEO Industrial Working Groups Joint Forum: Industrial Demand Flexibility - June 11, 2024: This Forum focused on industrial demand flexibility and load management to save money, lower emissions, and reduce grid stresses from industrial operations. Dr. Kody Powell (Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center and University of Utah) and Dr. Blake Billings (Oak Ridge National Lab) presented Working Smarter, Not Harder: Opportunities and Challenges for Industrial Demand Response to Support the Grid and Ilia Krupenich and Akruti Gupta of the California Energy Commission (CEC) presented Industrial Energy Innovation in California highlighting industrial load flexibility opportunities and programs in California.
  • DOE announces a new Notice of Intent to issue $100M for field demonstration and other research for grid-connected buildings, vehicles, and other DERs.
    • Connected Communities 2.0 (DE-FOA-0003136)
    • Solar Technologies’ Rapid Integration and Validation for Energy Systems (STRIVES) (DE-FOA-0003331)
    • SuperTruck Charge (DE-FOA-0003344)
  • NASEO-NARUC Microgrids and NASEO Rural Working Groups Joint Webinar: Improving Energy Resilience with Rural and Remote Microgrids (May 7, 2024) (Recording, Slides)
  • Resources and Assistance for State Energy Offices and Regulators Program is funded DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy and Office of Electricity to provide high-impact technical assistance and resources at scales and intervals that are responsive to State Energy Office and Public Utility Commission needs through multi-modal support options. It is designed to be responsive to a rapidly changing regulatory and policy landscape that seeks to match the timing and depth of questions with National Laboratory subject matter experts (SME) on key topical areas. This program augments and complements current technical assistance activities undertaken by various DOE program offices.
  • The California Energy Commission announces a $21 million funding opportunity, called VPP-FLEX, to demonstrate community-based virtual power plant (VPP) approaches and demonstrate innovative energy management systems (EMS) in commercial buildings with the goal of increasing demand flexibility. March 28 pre-application workshop recording posted here. The submission deadline is July 1, 2024, 11:59 pm PT. Click here for more information on the workshop and here for the solicitation.
  • March 14 U.S. DOE Deep Dive Webinar on the Pathways to Commercial Liftoff VPP report recording is posted.
  • NASEO-NARUC Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) and Microgrids State Working Groups Joint Webinar: Demand Flexibility and Electrified Transportation - February 1, 2024: This joint webinar of the NASEO-NARUC GEB and Microgrids State Working Groups explored opportunities for electrified transportation integrated with other distributed energy resources (DERs) to provide grid services and support resilience through demand flexibility and vehicle-to-grid (V2G)/vehicle-to-everything (V2X) functionality. Amy McGuire of Highland Electric Fleets (presentation) discussed school bus electrification, including work with Montgomery Co. (MD) on what will be the nation’s largest EV school bus fleet and its piloting of V2G applications. Jeremy Berke of the Washington State Department of Commerce (presentation) discussed the state’s Clean Energy Fund and Grid Modernization Program. Scott Gibson of the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) (presentation) discussed the utility’s Arlington Microgrid V2G Demonstration Project that incorporates solar generation, battery storage, and V2G charging for the PUD’s EV fleet. (Recording)   
  • American Council of an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE): Johnson, A., A. Fraser, and D. York (2024) Enabling Industrial Demand FlexibilityAligning Industrial Consumer and Grid Benefits calls on industry, utilities, and states to prepare for increasing loads by investing in strategies and technologies that enable demand flexibility, the ability of industrial facilities to adjust their energy consumption in response to grid conditions. 
  • NASEO-NARUC DER Integration and Compensation initiative webinars:
  • Guidehouse, Alternative Aggregated DER Participation Methods for US Grids Are Still Needed: FERC Order 2222 Is a Good First Step, but Additional Work Remains (4Q 2023) - This report discusses DER adoption and grid service potential of aggregated DER portfolios in the United States. It also outlines FERC Order 2222 goals, barriers to aggregated DER wholesale market participation, and discusses and offers recommendations on alternative grid participation methods for aggregated DERs.
  • Illinois Commerce Commission: Investigation Into The Value Of, And Compensation For, Distributed Energy Resources (illinois.gov) - Workshop Series 1 presentations and recordings, Workshop Series 2 upcoming.
  • Liu, et al. (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Factors Influencing Building Demand Flexibility (December 2023)
  • Connecticut Innovative Energy Solutions (IES) Program: On December 13, 2023 PURA announced selection of seven Cycle 1 projects focused on demand flexibility. The application period for Cycle 2 Empowering Electrification in Connecticut opened on January 1. 2024. See the IES online portal for more information and direct questions to info@ct-ies.com.
  • 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).
  • 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)
  • Working Group Members – 28 States

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    Twenty seven states through their State Energy Offices and/or Public Utility Commissions are members of the Working Group.

    The GEB Working Group state co-chairs are:

    • Liz Reichart, Senior Energy Policy Specialist, Washington State Department of Commerce (NASEO member)
    • Ashley Norman, Utility Analyst, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (NARUC member)

    Working Group States:

    • Arkansas
    • Arizona
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Hawaii
    • Idaho
    • Illinois
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Mississippi
    • Nebraska
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Utah
    • Vermont
    • Virginia
    • Washington
    • Wisconsin
    • Wyoming

     

    NASEO contacts: Rodney Sobin rsobin@naseo.org, Ed Carley ecarley@naseo.org, Jasmine Xie jxie@naseo.org,  or GEB@naseo.org

    NARUC contact: Jeff Loiter jloiter@naruc.org 

  • Resources and More Information

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