Abstract

Low demand response (DR) participation and high program drop-out rates continue to impede DR goals that could save up to $13 billion in annual grid expansion and electricity demand costs. Yet, the literature lacks a thorough understanding of how different residential customer segments enrolled in DR programs respond to utility signals in view of occupant comfort considerations. The objective of this study is to gain a clear understanding of the effects of four different customer personas on residential DR. Given current data limitations, this work developed an array of hypothetical personas with varied priorities, activity levels, and comfort thresholds based on demographic variables that have been found in previous studies to influence energy consumption. A BEopt™ DR model for a reference residential single-family building located in Colorado was built to isolate the effect of differences in buildings or climate. The results provide useful evidence on how persona-comfort differences lead to significant deviations in DR goals (especially peak demand reduction), ranging from 0.1% to 20%. This work presents a novel framework representing comfort preferences in DR models. The data generated, albeit synthetic, and the results could inform DR program design considerations of how different people respond to different comfort priorities.

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