35th Annual Peak Load Management Association (PLMA) Conference

Apr 4, 2017 to Apr 5, 2017
Hilton Nashville Downtown
121 Fourth Avenue South,
Nashville, Tennessee , 37201
United States

Gain real-world insight from practitioners and energy utilities active in the demand response marketplace. About 200 demand response industry professionals are expected to attend from energy utilities and government agencies as well as industry allies, including consultants, manufacturers, and service providers.

Reimagining DR program design: using conjoint analysis and adaptive design for cost effective innovation

Field pilots are precise but limiting and expensive. Market research enables testing of many more parameters much more cheaply – along the lines of minimum viable product testing in design thinking and lean startup methodology. When Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) wanted to identify design(s) that would best support a DR program that would be cost-effective despite low capacity market prices, they turned to Nexant’s conjoint analysis expert Alana Lemarchand to help them combine the rigor of pilot programs with the more agile testing of minimum viable products and services. By combining the two approaches, SMUD tested many scenarios while remaining anchored to real world data. Alana Lemarchand teams with SMUD’s Josh Rasin to present a case study on how they did it.



Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 3:00-4:00 pm

Evaluation of PG&E's Two-year Behavioral Demand Response Study


  • Wendy Brummer, Demand Response Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E)
  • Josh Schellenberg, Nexant

PG&E conducted a two-year Behavioral Demand Response (BDR) study to assess the impact of BDR on residential peak electricity usage on designated "Summer Saving Days." The BDR study was part of PG&E's Demand Response Transmission and Distribution pilot. The study targeted residential customers served by 31 substations identified as high priority areas for reducing peak loads. BDR does not offer financial incentives for customers to reduce their usage, nor does it require the installation of technology at a customer's premise. Instead, it provides customers with pre/post-event communications and social comparisons specifically aimed at reducing usage on event days. The evaluation found that impacts are persistent across years and customer groups. It also assessed impacts on non-event days and investigated the types of customers that provide larger impacts. This presentation will address some key recommendations that came out of the two-year BDR study.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 1:00-1:30 pm

A Cost-Effective, Goal-Oriented Approach to Demand Response (DR) Program Design


  • Alana Lemarchand, Nexant
  • Josh Rasin, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

DR program managers face a rapidly expanding array of program design options including bring-your-own-thermostat (BYOT) models, two-way switches, and other control devices for a wide variety of end uses, integration with customer engagement campaigns, and varied capacity market landscapes. It is a challenging to take stock of the options, collect and assess information about program costs and benefits, and design a program that is aligned with and that balances program, department, utility, and regulatory goals. SMUD is taking a strategic, quantitative, cost-effective approach to program design that combines insights from a field pilot and an adaptive conjoint study providing key learnings about customer preferences and new program models. SMUD will share how it is leveraging market and field research, program design tools, targeted marketing, and rate-based compensation to design future offerings that meet companywide goals to grow customer satisfaction and engagement in a cost-efficient manner. Utilities of varying sizes can use this cost-effective program design approach to evolve demand response pilots into programs and to redesign or reimagine programs in a strategic, streamlined manner. 


Josh Schellenberg

Senior Vice President, Advanced Analytics

Data Science...read more