Tuesday, November 14, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
The Human Dimensions of 8,760 Load Flexibility
Session ID
F5 - The Human Dimensions of 8,760 Load Flexibility
Margaret Taylor

California is pursuing an integrated resource planning future in which significant grid incorporation of renewable energy is balanced by electricity demand that is flexible throughout the year's 8,760 hours. To make this future a reality, policy-makers are working to establish a system that sends signals containing dynamic retail electricity prices, reflecting the real-time costs of electricity production and delivery, to technologies in people's homes and businesses. In this system, people could react consistently to these prices to collectively balance grid needs most practically through the mediating actions of smart, automated load-flexible devices integrated into residences and businesses, although manual responses may also be possible. This symposium explores the human dimensions of this system, which will ultimately serve the State’s roughly 40 million residents and may provide a model for other places. The first speaker, Sarah Outcault, discusses the results of recent stakeholder interviews regarding the most pressing needs, priorities, and constraints involved in technology development and price signal implementation. Over two-dozen stakeholders, including developers of load-flexible technologies, firms that provide load management energy services, and investor-owned utilities, provided insights into everything from the needed customer and manufacturer value propositions to the nature of communication technologies. The second speaker, Angela Sanguinetti, presents the results of new research on user perceptions of automated, load-flexible devices in California homes and businesses when these devices were field-tested to respond to price signals. These perceptions are very important to the overall success of the 8760 load flexibility system, as they affect overall adoption of new devices and participation in load-shaping programs. The final speaker, Sarah Smith, discusses a new framework for valuing and comparing load flexibility technologies across a range of dimensions, from impacts on individual representative buildings and customers to impacts on the power system and environment (including greenhouse gas emissions and air quality).