Challenge:In 2019, Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) was a new community choice aggregator (CCA) looking to begin building a portfolio of energy programs to meet their goals of decarbonization, providing the lowest possible billing rates to customers, and supporting community emergency preparedness and grid reliability/resiliency. Tierra was tasked with creating a strategic framework and 5-year plan for developing a portfolio of customer-facing energy programs that support these goals.
Approach: Tierra’s approach to developing energy program portfolios begins with a market assessment of a utility’s customer base, focused on profiling the demographic and key energy usage characteristics using our proprietary “County Metrics” database.
- Built a public dashboard that visualizes key demographic and energy metrics from the market assessment.
- Forecasted energy program adoption, as well as GHG and energy impacts.
- Wrote detailed program designs for a portfolio of beneficial electrification, demand response and DER initiatives.
Next, we facilitate a collaborative process between utility staff, and key stakeholders including local government agencies, community-based organizations, regional air quality management districts and other organizations. This process involves information and data exchange, screening of various program concepts, and the potential linkage of initial program concepts to statewide and local government and community sustainability initiatives. Key outcomes of this collaboration are the identification of leverage points and areas of cooperation with regional agencies and organizations for the delivery of programs as well as alignment with local Climate Action Plans. Tierra then assembles a “long list” of potential program design concepts based on this market assessment and community engagement. A qualitative screening of program ideas to assess which programs most closely align with utility goals is then used to narrow the field of candidate programs down to those that most closely met the utility’s program selection criteria and that can be delivered within staffing and budget constraints. Qualitative screening is then followed by an assessment of potential program impacts and performance metrics.
Outcome: The result of our market assessment, community engagement, and program design was a 5-year strategic plan detailing how 3CE could build a portfolio of customer-facing energy programs that includes a balanced strategic blend of energy efficiency, demand response, renewable generation + storage, and electrification programs. The strategic plan has detailed program design descriptions that identify various customer markets that will be served by the programs, the incentives, services and market intervention strategies that will be used by each program, and the technologies that will ultimately need to be deployed at customer sites to achieve 3CE’s desired energy, GHG, and grid reliability impacts.
The PDF version of this project description can be downloaded here.
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