This project seeks to enrich regulatory discussions of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs. In the states of the Southeast, the expansion of utility-based energy efficiency programs is under active consideration, particularly in the proceedings of public service commissions. The level of information available to stakeholders in discussions of these programs varies greatly. The tools to address these questions independently are often very expensive or otherwise inaccessible. Enhanced modeling capability, if readily accessible, could provide a more complete picture to regulators and other stakeholders.
The first year of activities are described in a 10-page final project report. In this year, we focused on (1) understanding the information needs of stakeholders, (2) reviewing the capabilities of existing models, and (3) creating the beta version of a new tool, GT-DSM, along with a detailed user's manual. GT-DSM evaluates the economics of energy efficiency programs operated by electric utilities. It is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation.
In 2014, the second year of this project, we completed Version 1 of the GT-DSM tool. The users manual was also updated. The second year of activities also involved a test drive and tune-up of the tool, using the characteristics of a typical Southeast investor-owned utility. We presented and discussed the GT-DSM at a meeting hosted by the Southface Energy Institute. We also presented the project at a Georgia Tech workshop on the Agile Utility. We also completed a working paper on Business Models for Utilities of the Future: Emerging Trends in the Southeast. This was published in October, 2014, in the Working Paper series of the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“Expanded Capability for Modeling Energy Efficiency in the Southeast” is a joint research project of the Southface Energy Institute and Georgia Institute of Technology supported by the Energy Foundation.