Residential Wi-Fi Thermostat Demand Response Evaluation

Navigant evaluated National Grid’s demonstration project to assess customer acceptance and impacts of remote adjustments to thermostat setpoints

Challenge

National Grid’s Residential Wi-Fi Thermostat Demand Response demonstration project aimed to reduce peak demand in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York using communicating thermostats owned by customers as the enabling technology (i.e., a Bring Your Own Thermostat program). Navigant was engaged as a third-party evaluator to demonstrate the validity of the technology, assess customer acceptance, and measure demand and energy impacts, and to inform future program design.

Solution

Navigant’s impact and process evaluation assessed customer acceptance of the program offering and analyzed the demand and energy impacts of the remote adjustments to thermostat setpoints. This informed the feasibility of using thermostats as a demand response-enabling technology, and the resulting program savings.
  • Customer experience analytics relied on online surveys developed and fielded by Navigant to address awareness and participation in the program during enrollment, after events, and at the conclusion of the season.
  • Thermostat analytics relied on thermostat telemetry data to analyze program participation (e.g., opt-out rates during events and across the season), technical constraints (e.g., connectivity issues), and central AC behavior (e.g., share of systems in off or heat mode) to inform future program design.
  • Savings analyses determined demand and energy impacts by event for each jurisdiction and thermostat type. Due to the unavailability of AMI data, the team converted thermostat runtime to estimated power. Furthermore, we worked with National Grid and multiple thermostat vendors to design and implement an experimental design to provide an unbiased estimate of demand and energy savings.

Impact

Navigant’s advanced analysis of National Grid’s Residential Wi-Fi Thermostat Demand Response project demonstrated customer acceptance of the program offering, informed future program design, and identified the demand and energy savings on event days.

Experten

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