The Value Proposition for Cost-Effective, Demand Responsive-Enabling, Nonresidential Lighting System Retrofits in California Buildings

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Commercial lighting represents a significant potential source of demand response (DR) for the electrical grid, via traditional load shedding and rapid-dispatch (fast-DR) ancillary services when DR is enabled by networked lighting controls (NLCs). However, despite the significant opportunity and a regulatory push, DR-enabled lighting is installed in relatively few buildings because most building owners do not recognize its strong value proposition. Although NLCs can reduce energy bills, optimize facilities, and increase revenue, these co-benefits are not well quantified. This project analyzed lighting DR resources and energy-related co-benefits for commercial buildings in California. Using more than 100,000 individual hourly load profiles, the team forecasted the potential DR resources likely available from commercial lighting in 2025 and estimated revenues available from participation of these DR resources in energy markets. Combining these results with field-study estimates for NLC installation costs and energy savings provided a detailed accounting of site-level cost and energy-related co-benefits by building type from NLC’s DR enablement. In many cases, energy savings alone can deliver significant net value, justifying NLC DR-enabled adoption. Additionally, the study considers the sometimes-larger non-energy benefits (NEBs).

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