This project was completed in December 2017. The project surveyed energy use in multi-family units in the Bay Area and the Central Valley. The project found that the differences between load profiles are also correlated with demographic and cultural factors such as race/ethnicity of the occupants as well as the amount of plug loads they use. These are second order effects though to the weather-dependent energy use such as use of cooling energy in the hot Central Valley versus relatively mild coastal areas. The multivariate analysis shows that no single demographic or cultural factor (nor interactions with others) by themselves explain the differences more than or as much as the effects of location and climate. The initial finding of the TRC survey were presented at the BECC Conference on October 17, 2017 in Sacramento, CA.
This project examined the cultural and demographic factors that correlate with multifamily tenants' electric energy use patterns, before and after energy efficiency upgrades, and tenant engagement activities. Using multilevel tenant surveys and interval meter data analytics this study investigated the who, what, and why variations in multifamily energy use patterns. The large data sets will help to improve demand forecasts and energy efficiency program design by providing lessons learned and guidance for how social, cultural, and socioeconomic groups use energy differently in multifamily settings.
Energy efficiency programs that incorporate social, behavioral and cultural aspects into the program design are likely to have greater appeal to potential customers.
Understanding social, cultural, and behavioral aspects of can help utilities most cost-effectively and efficiently market their energy efficiency programs to hard-to-reach customer groups.
Key Project Members
Pacific Gas and Electric Company