Tuesday, November 14, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Using Customer Preferences to Guide Climate- and Grid-Conscious Rate Design in California
Session ID
B6 - Distributed Energy Resources, Demand Response, and Rates
Behavior - based Programs
Alana Lemarchand

The energy mix is evolving toward lower carbon, but more intermittent sources and the grid is facing reliability challenges driven in part by extreme weather and a changing climate. Moving more customers to time differentiated rates and providing better economic signals could help consumers align their energy consumption with times of plentiful, lower carbon energy and reduce usage when the grid is stressed. It is in this context that the California IOUs have been instructed by the CPUC to roll out dynamic, hourly rates to customers. PG&E commissioned a large-scale customer research study to help inform its customer focused rate pilot and rollout strategy. This research included a choice experiment (conjoint) survey with 2,908 residential, SMB, and agricultural customers and quantified the relative importance of 6 design attributes (addressing rate design, load and bill management, price response and automation), and granular customer segment specific preferences across a total of 864 design configurations, calibrated to observed real world uptake. The innovative study was designed to provide realistic, personalized choices to respondents by incorporating, respondent specific expected bill impact ranges dynamically calculated in the survey for every configuration shown, incorporating both rate design features and price response features tailored to respondent characteristics and technology (e.g., climate, load factor, PV, EV, battery storage). The study data was used to build dynamic adoption simulations of expected load reductions and bill savings, as well as adoption for any configuration tested (individually or side by side). These results, which are grounded in customer preference data, will help PG&E develop a customer focused roadmap proposal to help design dynamic rates tailored to work for different customer segments and sectors, and at a pace that works for customer needs and preferences.

Supporting Document 1