Jackson Associates recently announced results from the first utility-detailed nationwide study of smart grid savings. It is the first study is to apply individual utility customer end-use hourly electric loads to evaluate smart grid costs and benefits. Data for more than 800,000 residential and commercial utility customers in the 200 largest US utilities were applied in the study.

Before this analysis, studies, including a recently released FERC analysis, have relied on assumptions about elasticities and electricity pricing to estimate changes in broad customer-class aggregate hourly loads. Instead, this new study applies load control and pricing program impacts directly to individual customer end-use loads such as air conditioning, water heating and so on to determine utility-level impacts. The study revealed that the total savings potential, after cost, is $48 billion for the 200 largest US utilities.

However, individual utility savings range from negative savings to $3.2 billion.  One out of 10 utilities may lose money with comprehensive smart grid  deployments and the  benefit/cost ratios of comprehensive smart grid systems depend on a complicated mix of factors (such as dwelling unit age and size) and vary widely across utilities. Analysis of the data showed that targeted, strategic technology deployments significantly increase benefit/cost ratios and that customer end-use hourly load information should be used to ensure economic benefits exceed costs.

Click here to view more details from the study.

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.