The ways of consuming energy have drastically changed since the 1980s. Back then, incandescent bulbs were the norm and LEDs were a thing of the future. From lighting to HVAC, and the invention of newer technologies like laptop computers, high-definition TVs and smart devices, homes and businesses across the country are more connected – and consuming energy in more ways – than ever. Now, for the first time in 30 years, the alliance is conducting a wide scale regional study to understand energy consumption in real time.
In 2017, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) kicked off the Northwest End Use Load Research (EULR) project. Composed of two studies and funded by regional electric utilities and government agencies, the EULR project is designed to fill a widely recognized need for current electrical end-use data. The project collects continuous energy consumption data, including key heating and cooling technologies and other major end uses, through the Home Energy Metering Study (HEMS) and the Commercial Energy Metering Study (CEMS).
The previous study, known as the End-Use Load Consumer Assessment Project, or ‘ELCAP,’ documented energy use from both residential and commercial end uses. Even though consumer behaviors and circumstances of 30 years ago are very different than those of today, ELCAP data is still used across the country for energy modeling and forecasting. Recognizing the need for up-to-date energy use data, the EULR project seeks to fill a large gap in not only the region, but the nation’s understanding of contemporary energy end-use patterns. The data can be used for better energy efficiency planning, clean energy integration into the grid, and lowering utility operational costs.
While the project is set to continue data collection for up to five years, the first look at the data is already available. Year one and year two of the residential HEMS study data is available for download on neea.org.
And, more information on the impacts and benefits of the EULR project can be found in this journal article, written by David Clement, NEEA and Graham Parker.
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