Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification

Our core expertise lies in estimating impacts from data-rich offerings such as behavioral conservation, demand response, and time-varying pricing. The proliferation of advanced metering has created a wide range of new opportunities and Demand Side Analytics can help leverage the AMI investment to test and measure the effectiveness of new strategies. Our goal is to help clients incorporate experimental design into the program delivery process and provide actionable insights for program improvement taking into account both the impacts and the economics through benefit-cost modeling.

Example Projects:

  • As a Managing Consultant at Nexant Mr. Smith led the evaluation of the largest Home Energy Report program in North America. The MyHER program provides neighbor comparison reports to over 2 million residential customers in Duke Energy’s service territory spanning Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina and generates nearly 500 GWh of savings annually. In addition to the core billing regression to estimate impacts, Jesse developed a bootstrapping simulation to provide strategic intelligence regarding the optimal size and composition of the control groups for each state. Jesse also led HER evaluations for Mississippi Power Company, Avista Utilities, and Seattle City Light and authored the behavioral evaluation protocol for Pennsylvania’s Act 129 programs.
  • From 2012 to 2015, Mr. Smith was the lead analyst for Nexant’s evaluation of CPS Energy’s Home Manager and Smart Thermostat demand response programs. These programs control residential and small commercial HVAC units, hot water heaters, and pool pumps allowing CPS Energy to curtail the energy use of these devices during peak periods. He developed time-series weather regression models to estimate program performance under both observed weather conditions and possible system emergency conditions. In 2014, Jesse led the evaluation of two demand response pilot programs offered by CPS Energy. The Nest Rush Hour Rewards program offers existing Nest thermostat owners in CPS service territory an incentive to allow CPS to modify their set points on hot summer days. A randomized control trial (RCT) experimental design was developed and implemented for the pilot to accurately estimate load impacts and inform CPS’s decision making about expanding the pilot into a full program within its portfolio. The ThinkECO pilot attempts to reach the 17% of CPS customers with room air conditioning. Participants are provided a control device that allows them to operate their room AC unit like a programmable thermostat and control it from their smart phone. During DR events, the device will increase the thermostat setting in the room to reduce cooling load. Nexant used a ‘within-subjects’ regression model to estimate impacts for the program.
  • Mr. Smith was the project manager for the Nexant evaluation of Efficiency Maine’s two primary non-residential offerings. The Business Incentive program includes custom and prescriptive offerings for Commercial businesses. The Large Customer program is limited to enterprises with a peak demand of 400 kW or greater and focuses on buying down the payback period of projects with substantial capital investments and savings opportunity. The evaluations include a gross and net impact evaluation, process evaluation, and cost-benefit analysis. Jesse’s primary duties were evaluation plan design, sampling, compliance with ISO-New England M&V requirements, and cost-benefit modeling. He worked closely with a team of engineers who are responsible for calculating project specific impact estimates and the survey lab who recruited site inspections and completed surveys with participants and Trade Allies.