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Advocacy Update October 2019

Normalized Metered Energy Consumption

The CPUC has been working on a rulebook for Normalized Metered Energy Consumption or NMEC

The overall principle is to concentrate on actual measured energy use over predictive models. NMEC is a means of measuring energy savings based on using data from smart meters. “Normalized” which is another way of saying adjusted, in this case to weather, so the data is more accurate. 

Energy modeling is extremely complex.  Predictive models, which most current programs rely on, are frequently not consistent or accurate. The challenge with energy models is deciding which data points are essential and which assumptions to use. Currently, it is not uncommon to use two different energy models with the same data and get drastically different results. Accuracy is a serious concern when you base incentives on the results, such as in a pay-for-performance program.

NMEC solves many of the predictive modeling issues by using actual consumption data transmitted from the meter. Even with measured data, standards will be required to provide consistent results. Most of the conversation focuses on which standards to use and defining software requirements for rebate programs that use NMEC in California.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

HPWHs are getting lots of attention statewide. It seems everyone in the industry is working on rolling out a new incentive program to support the adoption of HPWHs. The Building Decarbonization Coalition is trying to help consolidate this effort. They have held several meetings discussing how to roll out this technology, the various program designs, and incentive structures, and they have also solicited feedback from manufactures.

In January of next year, there will be a “science fair” to showcase heat pump water heaters. Several manufacturers are participating. They will demonstrate their technologies, including prototype “retrofit ready” heat pumps water heaters that run on 110 volts. Retrofit HPWHs could be game-changer as they address one of the most common barriers, a 220volt electrical supply.

The HPWH science fair will be in Sacramento at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Headquarters. The goal of the event is to demonstrate the technology to policymakers and contractors. Attendees will include commissioners from the CEC and the CPUC.

There will be breakout sessions to educate attendees on the features and benefits of HPWHs. The event will include several fully functioning heat pump water heaters and a few prototypes. Manufactures representatives will be available to answer questions.

The event will be held on Jan. 23rd and 24th. We will provide more details and updates as we get closer to the event.

Charley Cormany
Executive Director

Read Advocacy Update from last month: Advocacy Update, September 2019