Industry Survey on Efficiencies from Scaling Utility Programs

Industry Survey on Efficiencies from Scaling Utility Programs

A member of the Market Transformation Research Team designed and led a California statewide survey of commercial HVAC contractors to gather data on the potential for cost savings of a retrofit bundling utility program contemplated by the CPUC, as part of a larger project to identify opportunities for cost-effective retrofit solutions for multi-tenant light commercial buildings.

Project Partners: UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center (lead), Western Cooling Efficiency Center, California Lighting Technology Center  

Sponsor: California Energy Commission (Contract # 500-10-028)

Resources

Publications

Research Roadmap for Zero Net Energy

Research Roadmap for Zero Net Energy

The project, led by Itron, developed a roadmap for research priorities drawing on wide consultation with technical experts. A member of the Market Transformation Research Team assisted in the development of the approach for collecting and analyzing expert input. The team member also advised on technologies targeting occupant behavior and the high-priority research gaps in that area.

Project Partners: Itron (lead), NBI, Integral Group, Frontier Energy (Davis Energy Group), EPRI  

Sponsor: California Energy Commission (Contract # 300-15-008)

 

Resources

Final report 

Case study on multi-level governance of rural electric cooperatives in South Carolina

Case Study on Multi-Level Governance of Rural Electric Cooperatives in South Carolina

A member of the Market Transformation Research Team collaborated on a study led by Dr. Keith Taylor of the UC Davis Community Regional Development Department to conduct a case study of Central Electric Power Cooperative (“Central”) of South Carolina. The Team used an “appreciative inquiry” approach to describe how the rural electric cooperative effectively self-governs. Through in-depth interviews and focus groups, the researchers collected information from dozens of staff from Central and its networked cooperatives. The research highlights how Central’s multilevel model (i.e., being a cooperative of coops) provides the flexibility (and ability) to reap the benefits of both decentralization and centralization. The paper also describes how Central and its member distribution cooperatives are leveraging as

competitive advantages their response to the market and institutional threats they are facing (e.g., growing preference for renewables, increasing cost of carbon, regulatory pressure). The research builds on Dr. Elinor Ostrom’s seminal work on cooperatives.

Project Partners: UC Davis Community Regional Development Department

Sponsor: Central Electric Power Cooperative, South Carolina

Resources

Publications

Sustainable Culture at The Sustainable City in Dubai

Sustainable Culture at The Sustainable City in Dubai

The EEI Market Transformation Research Team collaborated on a case study of The Sustainable City (TSC) in Dubai to understand aspects of planned community development and management that promote (or constrain) a culture of sustainability. The project followed the development of TSC over three years, interviewing residents and developers/managers at multiple time points.

Project Partners: The American University in Cairo, Consumer Energy Interfaces Lab 

Sponsor: Diamond Developers

Resources

Publications

Smart Showers

Smart Showers

The EEI Market Transformation Research Team worked with UC Davis Housing and Facilities Management to conduct an experiment aimed at reducing energy and water use in on-campus housing. The Team deployed Hydrao smart showerheads that monitor water use and provide feedback to users. The showerheads have built-in colored lights, which are programmed to illuminate during the shower and change colors based on the volume of water that has passed through the nozzle. The showerheads were installed in the bathrooms of two residence halls, serving 400 students. Average shower length decreased by 1.5 minutes and 92% of users who responded to a survey at the end of the study reported using the lights to time their showers.

Project Partners: UCD Office of Energy & Engineering, UCD Housing, Consumer Energy Interfaces Lab 

Sponsor: UCD Office of Energy & Engineering

Resources

Presentations

Building Energy Audits

Building Energy Audits

The EEI Market Transformation Research Team contributed to a project for the Office of Naval Research, led by the UC Davis Office of Energy and Engineering and in partnership with a software company called arbnco, to design, develop, and test a building energy audit app that could be used at military bases and other commercial buildings. The goal was to develop a tool that could help organizations conduct their own audits rather than hiring them out. We provided feedback on app design and interviewed staff at military bases involved in energy management and building retrofit planning.

Project Partners: arbnco, UC Davis Office of Energy & Engineering, Consumer Energy Interfaces Lab

Sponsor: Office of Naval Research

Comparative Case Studies of All-Electric Affordable Housing: Developer and Occupant Perspectives

Comparative Case Studies of All-Electric Affordable Housing: Developer and Occupant Perspectives

The research team conducted case studies of three affordable housing developments to document the experiences of residents and stakeholders involved in project development. Data was collected from interviews with developers, architects, consultants, and on-site staff (including property managers and facilities staff) and a phone survey with residents. Information was also gathered from existing literature and industry webinars. The research will result in several reports that highlight the experience of some of the first affordable housing communities to adopt low carbon energy systems. 

Project Partners: EPRI (lead), UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center

Sponsor: CEC, Grant CEC 15-094

Resources

Presentations

Field Experiments to Encourage Passive Cooling Strategies in Japanese Households and among American College Students

Field Experiments to Encourage Passive Cooling Strategies in Japanese Households and among American College Students

UCD researchers conducted a pair of experiments to reduce energy consumption from air conditioning by encouraging alternative cooling methods. In Japan, the researchers conducted an experiment to encourage the use of passive cooling techniques to maintain thermal comfort and reduce air conditioning usage in the summer at E-Sogo, a sustainably-built community in Yokohama, Japan. The experiment focused on behavioral drivers of energy usage within households, and utilized information, commitments, and competition to encourage adoption of alternative cooling strategies. Electricity use from air conditioning dropped by 7% due to the intervention. Slightly higher savings were recorded among households with already relatively low electricity consumption from air conditioning, suggesting that the project encouraged families already motivated to save energy to try alternative methods.

Simultaneously, UCD researchers conducted a randomized control trial in the United States to encourage the use of passive cooling techniques to maintain thermal comfort and reduce summer air conditioning usage at West Village, a net-zero student housing community in Davis, California. The experiment provided information, encouragement, and asked for participant commitments to try alternative cooling approaches. Some behavior change was observed, but electricity consumption from air conditioning remained unchanged due to low participation and failure to engage at the household level, rather than the individual level.

Sponsor: Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd.

Resources

Publications

Additional Resources

Field Experiments to Encourage Passive Cooling Strategies in Japanese Households and among American College Students

Field Experiments to Encourage Passive Cooling Strategies in Japanese Households and among American College Students

UCD researchers conducted a pair of experiments to reduce energy consumption from air conditioning by encouraging alternative cooling methods. In Japan, the researchers conducted an experiment to encourage the use of passive cooling techniques to maintain thermal comfort and reduce air conditioning usage in the summer at E-Sogo, a sustainably-built community in Yokohama, Japan. The experiment focused on behavioral drivers of energy usage within households, and utilized information, commitments, and competition to encourage adoption of alternative cooling strategies. Electricity use from air conditioning dropped by 7% due to the intervention. Slightly higher savings were recorded among households with already relatively low electricity consumption from air conditioning, suggesting that the project encouraged families already motivated to save energy to try alternative methods.

Simultaneously, UCD researchers conducted a randomized control trial in the United States to encourage the use of passive cooling techniques to maintain thermal comfort and reduce summer air conditioning usage at West Village, a net-zero student housing community in Davis, California. The experiment provided information, encouragement, and asked for participant commitments to try alternative cooling approaches. Some behavior change was observed, but electricity consumption from air conditioning remained unchanged due to low participation and failure to engage at the household level, rather than the individual level.

Sponsor: Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd.

Resources

Publications

Additional Resources

Market Barriers to Adopting Emerging HVAC Technologies

Market Barriers to Adopting Emerging HVAC Technologies

UCD researchers conducted a study to identify market barriers impeding the adoption of emerging HVAC technologies in California, relying on interviews with key experts and industry stakeholders. A behavior economics model of behavior change was applied to analyze the data collected and identified cross-cutting issues related to dependency, risk, transparency, accountability, and trust. The Team recommended promising opportunities to stimulate demand by addressing behavioral obstacles to supplier and consumer adoption. A follow-up project was funded to study ways to address informational barriers.

Project Partners: UCD Western Cooling Efficiency Center

Sponsor: Southern California Edison

Resources

Publications

Presentations