This article was originally published in the March/April 1994 issue of Home Energy Magazine. Some formatting inconsistencies may be evident in older archive content.



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Home Energy Magazine Online March/April 1994

The State of DSM End-Use Monitoring

The results are in on a survey partially funded by Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) to look at end-use monitoring in existing demand-side management (DSM) programs. Utility consultant North Fork Retrofit mailed out 657 surveys to utilities, energy service companies (ESCOs), consultants, research organizations, and governmental/regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada and around the world. As of December 1993, 19% of the sample had responded.

Of those responding to the survey, 65% are currently using end-use monitoring devices, or are planning to begin monitoring in the near future; 30% are planning monitoring projects; and 22% are not currently considering any monitoring projects. Guiding DSM is the number one purpose given for monitoring, with only 7.2% ticking Regulatory Mandate as the motivation. Of the respondents who said they are not monitoring end uses, 33% said they use other data; 31% cited a lack of mandates; 19% said it was not cost-effective; and 17% checked not applicable.

According to the survey responses, the East and West Coasts are the biggest markets for end-use monitoring devices, with the Western Systems Coordination Council reporting 3,094 devices, the Mid-Atlantic Area Council at 2,300, and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council reporting 1,124. These numbers are skewed, however, by two utilities who reported particularly large inventories (Southern California Edison reported 2,000 residential devices, and Jersey Central Power & Light reported 1,600 commercial and industrial devices).

The survey indicates that data is collected, on average, every 30 days, although respondents spanned a range, from online, instantaneous data access to collection every two months. Devices were left in place for an average of 1.6 years in commercial and industrial settings and 1.8 years in residential settings. Monitoring devices are placed mostly in commercial and industrial facilities, which also use more expensive multi-channel devices, although respondents also reported significant use of multi-channel devices in the residential sector. Lower-cost, single-use devices--accumulated time or TOU (time-of-use)--account for 42% of all monitoring devices reported in the survey. Less than one-third of these simpler devices are accumulated time loggers monitoring either lights or appliances/motors. Of these lower cost devices, 68.4% are TOU, and 89% of the TOU devices are light-loggers.

Respondents most frequently identified load profiling as their most important need, followed in descending order by kWh, peak kW, run-time, on/off, power factor, RMS amps, voltage, and set end-use monitoring intervals.

Nearly two-thirds of the respondents are now recovering DSM costs or are in the process of establishing DSM cost recovery through their rate base. The portion of project expenditures going to devices dropped from 30% in 1992 to 15% in 1993, while total expenditures on monitoring projects increased by 8% for the same period, with total DSM increasing by 28%.

-- Frazer Dougherty

Frazer Dougherty is principal of North Fork Retrofit, an energy consulting company in Greenpoint, New York that provides building diagnostics and produces accumulated-time monitoring devices.


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