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Face it. It’s challenging to find sig- nificant ways to cut energy costs throughout your facility. But there are
demand response programs that can be a
profitable proposition for building owners
New Smart Grid
The specifics tend to vary because
demand response programs are the products of individual utilities rather than a
nationwide effort. However, a new smart
grid initiative by the New Buildings Institute
(NBI) and USGBC aims to go beyond the
individual demand response structure.
GridOptimal, a rating system for grid-interactive buildings, will recognize facilities that are capable of taking some of
the stress off of the local electrical grid
during peak usage times. The new rating
system will develop metrics to judge which
buildings are good candidates for demand
response and provide tools and guidance for
building owners and utility operators.
The ultimate goal is to improve interactions between buildings and the grid in a
measured, standardized way rather than
asking individual utilities to puzzle out the
intricacies of setting up demand response
“Building efficiency, advanced controls,
on-site photovoltaics and battery storage
are all contributing to a fundamental shift
in building energy loads and in some areas
creating challenges for balancing the energy
grid," says Alexi Miller, NBI senior project
manager. "GridOptimal is about defining
and measuring what makes buildings good
‘grid citizens,’ so that those aspects of the
building are optimized to support a healthy
electricity system. This kind of a metric has
the potential to open many doors. In the
near-term, it will help utilities avoid costly
investment in new generation resources. In
time, the measurement will mean higher
valuation for a building and even offer owners opportunities to be paid for the grid
Smart Grid Initiative:
Financial Benefits for
INSIDE THE RATING SYSTEM FOR
The Financial Benefits
of the Smart Grid
Building owners would do well to priori-tize grid integration because the financial
benefits for smart grid technology are significant.
A wider rollout of demand-responsive
devices allows utilities to avoid building new
generation and transmission infrastructure,
thus reducing their need to pass infrastruc-
ture costs on to customers. You’re also likely
to see more direct benefits in the form of
lower peak demand charges, as well as the
financial incentives that typically accompany
demand response programs.
Existing demand response initatives
typically reward buildings that can shed
loads or switch to stored energy during
peak demand. Buildings with favorable
GridOptimal ratings would immediately