Building more power plants or expanding plants already on line in an effort to meet peak demand is prohibitively expensive and carries unwanted environmental consequences. A more effective response—and one pursued by electric utilities across the country—is to employ demand response programs that give participating customers incentives to use less electricity when demand threatens to outpace supply.
Unlike demand response programs, energy efficiency programs have as their goal reducing the power used to do a particular task all the time, or whenever a task is performed. Programs that give consumers rebates for replacing inefficient incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or for buying energy-efficient appliances such as ENERGY STAR labeled washing machines and water heaters are examples. Energy efficiency programs often are the result of state regulations or legislative mandates.
Cadmus helps utilities and state regulators make sure demand response and energy efficiency programs are performing as intended and providing benefits cost-effectively. We verify the energy savings attributed to a program and adjust them as necessary to more accurately reflect program performance. We also use our in-depth knowledge of energy markets and market segments to assess the potential gains from energy efficiency programs as they are being developed.
Cadmus has conducted several hundred process, impact and program evaluations, many of them for entire portfolios of utility programs spanning several years. In fact, it was Cadmus that conducted the largest evaluation of demand-side management programs targeted at residential customers in the country—a three-year, $18 million effort covering 24 programs for the California Public Utilities Commission.
In addition to evaluating programs, Cadmus staff members have contributed to the development of some of the most widely used evaluation protocols, including the:
- International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocols (IPMVP).
- National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency Evaluation (NAPEEE) Guidelines.
- Electric Research Power Institute (EPRI) Residential Evaluation Protocols.