EE AND DSM
bit. A seasoned technology executive and entrepreneur, Merhav founded energyOrbit
mplementing e-commerce and information technology solutions for high growth sectors
More and more states are
implementing policies requiring
utilities to execute energy
efficiency (EE) and demand-side
management (DSM) programs
to help residents reduce energy
use. These policies have
power generators, transmission
operators and third-party
implementers finding themselves
overwhelmed managing the back
office for EE and DSM programs
efficiently and cost-effectively.
As a result, more DSM
organizations are implementing
online cloud-based platforms to
increase operational efficiency,
as well as facilitate collaboration
among outside stakeholder
entities such as research teams
and state agencies.
Data and the Cloud Key to More
Efficient EE and DSM Initiatives
Administering, managing, forecasting and reporting to state policymakers
and other stakeholders on the effectiveness of EE and DSM programs is both
time-consuming and distracting for project administrators. During enrollment periods, their attention is better put on the strategy and implementation of these programs for maximum effect and enrollment, rather than having the burden of entering data and building graphs. The same is true during
the third-party auditing and reporting phase of programs. Manually building
the graphs and reports required to effectively communicate the efficacy of
their EE and DSM programs to states and other stakeholders is not the highest leveraged use of a project administrator’s expertise.
SPREADSHEET HELL—A SURE DEAD END
Many might find it surprising to learn that some utilities and other large
programs are still using outdated spreadsheets and other inefficient tools to
manage their EE data and operations. This special kind of spreadsheet hell is
described as an operation conducted with spreadsheets where standards are
lacking and the information is scattered, hard to find, incomplete or missing.
In addition, designing charts and graphs based on the data is time-consuming, and maintaining third-party compliance without automated standards is
challenging and ineffective.
The state of Delaware is a good example. Before implementing an automated, cloud-connected DSM system, it used traditional spreadsheets and other
outdated methods to track statewide energy initiatives. This resulted in issues
associated with monitoring and sharing data with outside state agencies, as
well as research teams. After the implementation of the automated DSM system, data is now housed and displayed in one environment.
Meanwhile, Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) needed a way to
streamline its EE programs and incentivize rebate programs for its 60 plus
member municipal utilities. Before employing its automated DSM monitoring platform, MRES could not track EE data or rebate information under a
single unified solution. Today, it has thorough reporting, collaboration and
proper monitoring across its territory.