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This report describes the final Phase 2 analysis of the effects on residential customers' energy consumption patterns of Commonwealth Edison's (ComEd's) Customer Application Program (CAP).
This report presents the findings of a pilot, implemented by Commonwealth Edison, to improve the understanding of how advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) can be used to influence residential electricity consumption. It is part of a series of Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) studies to help the power industry exploit technological advances and induce changes regarding when and how consumers use electricity in order to increase reliability, reduce costs, and promote sustainable economic growth.
The final report will interest those concerned with the efficacy with which smart grid technologies facilitate DR. AMI-enabled pricing structures and technologies can yield system-wide distribution benefits when they provide, at lower cost, services comparable to those that could otherwise be provided only by supply-side resources. These benefits include reduced costs of generation and transmission, lower distribution capital and operating costs, and reduced siting and environmental costs associated with supply-side technologies. DR might also provide flexibility that could help planners ensure reliable delivery with limited resources. Smart grid technologies might facilitate DR by giving customers information to help them make effective consumption decisions and offer automated ways to make those decisions. The ComEd project provides data to assess the extent to which smart grid technologies actually do induce DR.
This report describes the findings from EPRI's analysis of ComEd's CAP. It updates and expands on the interim findings from the Phase 1 analysis by using a full year's worth of data on electricity usage and prices for participants, as well as data collected as part of a survey of participants in the pilot. The additional data were used to update tests of several hypotheses and to test additional ones that could not be addressed using the limited data available for the Phase 1 analysis.
This analysis determines the extent to which residential customers' consumption of electricity is affected by various combinations of dynamic rates, enabling technologies, and other inducements. The CAP implemented 27 experimental treatments to test for impacts singularly and in combination. The Phase 1 analysis (EPRI report 1022703) was based on data from the first three months of the pilot (June through August 2010) and was considered preliminary.
This Phase 2 report confirms that none of the treatments resulted in any significant change in average customer usage, even when customers paid an additional $1.74/kWh for electricity. However, an important subset of customers facing dynamic rates—about 10%—responded to elevated event-day prices by reducing usage. These event-responders exhibited load reductions in excess of 20% for critical peak pricing and around 14% for peak-time rebate and day-ahead real-time pricing. It also appears that event load reductions were undertaken by some customers on the other rates tested, despite there being no financial advantage to doing so. This might be the result of ComEd's education and event notification to CAP participants that raised awareness of supply cost on certain days of the year.
Application, Value and Use
Utilities recognize the need to provide better information to customers about the cost of supply and the time-specific usage levels. Customers are becoming aware of new technologies that make modifying usage easier to accomplish, reducing electricity costs. Many regulators are pressing utilities to fully use a range of DR solutions and offer customers choices in how they purchase electricity. AMI and smart metering can play an important role in meeting these needs, but only if the benefits enabled are well defined and widely accepted. The findings described in this report make a substantial contribution toward defining the benefits attributable to AMI.
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