The purpose of this solicitation is to fund applied research and technology demonstration projects to advance innovative technologies for controlling plug load and exterior lighting energy use. The objectives are:
- Plug loads: reduce electricity use of active and standby modes for residential and commercial plug load devices, provide information that may inform future updates to codes and standards and reduce commercial plug load electricity use with advanced controls integrated with building energy management systems (BEMS)
- Exterior lighting: reduce exterior lighting electricity use and load through use of solid-state lighting, improvements in fixture efficiency and form factor, and controls to maximize use of carbon-free electricity.
Plug loads are one of the fastest growing categories of energy use in residential and commercial buildings. Plug loads accounted for 40% of California residential electricity consumption and 27% of California commercial electricity consumption in 2018. Due to stay-at-home orders resulting from COVID-19, more people are teleworking. This can result in residential plug load energy use increase and commercial plug load energy use decrease. With more and more devices being brought into and used in buildings, it is expected that the total energy use for plug loads is expected to increase in the future. Plug load devices are typically not monitored nor controlled. Many of these devices have no power management capabilities and are left on 24/7.
Exterior lighting is a major energy use for municipalities and the commercial building sector. Based on comments from community-based organizations, poor exterior lighting is one of the main concerns among residents of low-income communities. Exterior lighting uses electricity when the grid is not powered by carbon-free electricity
The solicitation will have three funding groups:
Group 1: Analyze and Test Total Energy Consumption of Plug Load Devices to Support California Codes and Standards for Non-covered Products - Analyze the devices not currently covered by California or US Standards, determine their total energy consumption (standby and active mode) and identify those with the most potential for consideration in future energy efficiency or load management code and standards.
Group 2: Demonstrate the Integration of Smart Plug Load Controls and Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) in Commercial Buildings – Demonstrate the integration of existing building energy management systems (BEMS) with advanced smart plug controls. The demonstration goals are to: 1) verify data flows between the smart plug load controls and BEMS platforms, 2) identify additional enhancements needed to improve and make it easier for building owners to control and coordinate with other building energy end-uses to reduce the cost of implementation and 3) increase functionality, such as provide for grid and load management through price signals.
Group 3: Demonstrate Smart Exterior Solid-State Lighting in Low-Income or Disadvantaged Communities – Develop, test and demonstrate innovative exterior luminaires to determine energy performance, potential for grid flexibility and other criteria determined in partnership with low income or disadvantaged communities. Goal is to reduce energy consumption by a minimum of 20%, provide strategies to maximize use of low or no carbon electricity (e.g., renewable energy), improve light quality, security, and glare reduction, and enhance visibility and safety for drivers and pedestrians.