Optimizing Consumer Utility Systems to Drive Engagement and Action

November 15, 2012 - 12:00pm
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This presentation reviews a new software tool that recommends specific actions for homeowners and others to undertake to optimize their utility system configuration and operation. The tool, the "Utility System Optimizer" (USO), may be configured to optimize across all utilities (electricity, gas, water - and other fuels as propane, oil and wood) to meet objectives that are defined by the owner/operator (homeowner, retailer, etc.). Such objectives may be to maximize net wealth over time, to minimize carbon footprint for the best economics, to maximize health and/or comfort for the best economics, to evaluate the marginal economics of a specific potential action, etc. The optimizer addresses all types of demand reduction action possible; changes in behavior (utility system operation), efficiency retrofits and generation retrofits in determining the optimal prescription.    The presentation will also review how the USO is being incorporated into a set of programs and software oriented around demand reduction - persuading consumers to undertake elective upgrades. In the PG&E service area, the value of undertaking the most optimal elective upgrades averages around several tens of thousands of dollars for at least half of the existing residential stock; for the highest consuming 20% of consumers the net value is around $100,000. The software suite is able to evaluate each home/structure using entirely hands-off techniques (with real-estate and other public information, disaggregation software-based 'audits', etc.) in support of out-bound messaging, and in programs that use low-touch and in-person 'audits' as sales tools.

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Schedule subject to change without notice. If you are coming from off-site, please call first to verify. UC staff and guests are welcome. LBNL shuttle buses stop every few minutes at marked sidewalk locations along Bancroft and Hearst Avenues and Rockridge BART.