Identifying Potential Markets for Behind-the-Meter Battery Energy Storage: A Survey of U.S. Demand Charges

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Commercial electricity customers who are subject to high demand charges may be able to reduce overall costs using battery energy storage to manage demand, according to research by NREL.

The analysis represents the first publicly available survey of commercial-sector demand charges across the United States. By determining where high demand charges are located and the number of customers that may be paying them, researchers provide insight into the commercial battery storage market across the United States.

The white paper, Identifying Potential Markets for Behind-the-Meter Battery Energy Storage: A Survey of U.S. Demand Charges, details an analysis of more than 10,000 utility tariffs in 48 states. The findings indicate that approximately 5 million commercial customers across the country may be able to achieve electricity cost savings by deploying battery storage to manage peak demand.

Many medium to large commercial customers are subject to utility demand charges, yet customers often do not understand how these charges are structured or calculated. Demand charges are a portion of an electricity bill based on a customer’s peak level of demand and are typically based on the highest average electricity usage occurring within a defined time interval (usually 15 minutes) during a billing period. In many cases, these demand charges can account for anywhere from 30% to 70% of a customer’s electricity bill.

Many states have adopted policies to encourage energy efficiency

Read the full story from the Energy Information Administration.

As of July 2017, thirty states and the District of Columbia have adopted energy efficiency policies—either mandated requirements, voluntary goals, or pilot programs—designed to lower the growth of electricity consumption by using electricity more efficiently. Seven of these states have either created new or updated existing energy efficiency standards within the past year.

Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards: A Roadmap for State and Local Action

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This new working paper examines how the Energy Policy and Conversation Act (“EPCA”), and the DOE regulations promulgated thereunder, place limits on the ability of states and cities to outlaw the use of inefficient appliances and equipment.  It surveys existing state efficiency laws that cover products beyond federal jurisdiction, and discusses several steps states can take to advance appliance and equipment efficiency including: (i) seeking EPCA waivers from DOE to create and enforce statewide standards for federally covered products (and, if necessary, litigating the rejection of any such waiver petition); (ii) regulating non-federally covered products such as computers; (iii) encouraging the use of more efficient appliances and equipment through local building codes for new construction; and (iv) revising procurement laws to require the use of products that exceed federal efficiency standards.

Memo to the President: Support for Green Climate Fund Puts America First

Read the full story at e360.

President Trump plans to end U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries finance climate-related projects. But his decision ignores the reality that this cost-effective global initiative protects the strategic interests of the United States.

Strong Public Support for State-level Policies to Address Climate Change

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This report presents findings from the Spring 2017 National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) fielded just prior to President Trump’s June 2017 announcement to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 international climate agreement negotiated in Paris and subsequent pledges by a number of states to continue to honor their share of Paris emission reduction commitments. The data suggest that these state-level pledges match the expectations of a majority of Americans who feel that in the absence of federal action, state governments have a responsibility to act to address climate change. Furthermore, while it is still unclear what specific policies states will seek to uphold their pledges, our data finds the suite of policy options that have previously formed the backbone of state climate policy are likely to enjoy broad-based public support across the political spectrum. This even holds among those who don’t necessarily think that climate change is occurring.

85 percent of the top science jobs in Trump’s government don’t even have a nominee

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Trump is facing science-focused problems and issues with a key limitation: lack of staffing. As of June 6, Trump had announced a nominee for just seven, or 15 percent, of 46 top science posts in the federal government that require Senate confirmation, according to a Post analysis.

Proposed federal budget and its impact on energy and environment: A roundup

Below is a roundup of some of the most recent stories about the effect of President Trump’s proposed budget on energy and environmental agencies. I’ll do additional roundup posts as more information becomes available.