May 01, 2005

Evaluation of the Utility Distribution System Efficiency Initiative (Phase I)

Traditionally, electric utilities have taken a demand-side approach to energy efficiency and conservation, focusing resources on programs to promote energy-efficient measures and conservation practices for their customers.  However, industry experts have long believed that a vast, viable, and largely untapped resource for energy efficiency and peak load reduction may exist in the distribution system practices of many utilities.  More specifically, scientific evidence suggests that utilities may be able to achieve dramatic energy and demand savings by lowering service voltages on distribution feeders.   However, despite considerable utility research on this subject in the 1970s and 80s, few recent studies have examined this potential, and the means to attain it.

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