RTF Quarterly Newsletter: Quarter No. 32, April - June 2018

  • July 20, 2018

With the year halfway over, there is a good amount to report from the Regional Technical Forum. The second quarter of 2018 included a number of important measure updates, regional coordination efforts, and exploration of new territory, all of which depended on a wealth of vital stakeholder involvement. Below is a review of the happenings of the second quarter of 2018. For a full review of RTF decisions, click here

RTF Policy Advisory Committee Opines on 2019 Direction

On June 14th the RTF Policy Advisory Committee met for its quarterly meeting, and discussed several important topics, the most paramount being the direction the RTF may take in 2019. The PAC discussed potential work plan activities for next year, and discussed where resources would be expended, both to accomplish the RTF’s core missions, and to expand the RTF where it is needed by the region. One specific area discussed was allocating a portion of the 2019 Work Plan to support savings estimates for demand response products. A majority of PAC member were ultimately in favor of recommending the Work Plan with this small allocation to demand response work. With this direction, staff developed a Draft 2019 Work Plan, which will go before the full RTF at its July meeting and will be released for a 30-day comment period. After public comments are reviewed, the RTF PAC and RTF will be presented the final Work Plan, and vote on whether or not to recommend it for approval to the Council.

Continuing Work on the Capacity Benefits of Efficiency

Beginning in 2016, the RTF contracted with Cadmus to support the development of guidelines for assessing the reliability of its capacity estimates from energy efficiency and reviewing all of its measures against those guidelines. In the second quarter of 2018, this work continued as the RTF released a series of memos for public comment in which the current load shapes used for RTF UES measures were assessed for reliability and quality. These memos also contained recommendations to the RTF for potential alternative load shapes and means to improve measure reliability. The RTF posted these memos on the RTF website for comment, and received feedback from various stakeholders. Now, the final memos, and the feedback gathered during this process will be presented to the RTF at its upcoming meeting in July. As a next step, the RTF will be working to improve the hourly profiles where necessary and possible by the end of 2019. Also, the RTF will be working through subcommittee to refine the profile evaluation framework, and incorporate it into the RTF Guidelines for future measure updates.

Data Collection for the 2017 Regional Conservation Progress Report

Another high-profile annual effort launched by the RTF in the second quarter of 2018 was beginning data collection for the 2017 Regional Conservation Progress Report. Each year the RTF collects energy savings and costs data from the region’s efficiency programs, the Bonneville Power Administration, investor owned utilities, the Energy Trust of Oregon, and NEEA. The received data is then compiled, analyzed, and published, for use by the Council in evaluating progress against the conservation savings contained in the Power Plan goals. In April the RTF, working with EES Consulting, began collecting data from across the region. These data will be presented to the full Council at its August meeting, after which time they will be available to the public on the RTF website.

2017 Annual Report Published

The second quarter of 2018 brought with it another edition of the RTF’s annual report. This report was published in June, and details the key accomplishments of the previous year (2017), as well as progress made on the RTF’s work plan in 2018. Activities highlighted in this report for 2017 included ongoing work on determining the reliability of capacity benefits estimates, the RTF’s enhancement of its measure library with new market research, and the expansion of the RTF’s communication efforts. These and other items are available in the full report, published online here.

Subcommittee Roundup

The RTF relies on its subcommittees to review and provide oversight or guidance on projects, provide feedback to the RTF on specific issues, and help develop and update sector-specific measure savings assumptions. The following subcommittees convened during the second quarter of 2018.

Implementers Group: The Implementers Group meets after each RTF meeting to discuss the outcome of the RTF meeting, upcoming RTF meeting topics, and other topics that affect program implementers in the region.

Market Analysis: This subcommittee was created to discuss ongoing market analysis being conducted in the region, as well as to provide review of said research. The RTF’s Market Analysis Subcommittee met three times in the second quarter of 2018.  In May, the subcommittee met to discuss analysis methodology regarding NEEA’s retail products portfolio. In June, the subcommittee convened twice, once to review of BPA’s non-residential lighting sales data analysis, and a second time to discuss the development of a HVAC market model.

Residential and Non-Residential Lighting: The RTF convened a special subcommittee in the second quarter of 2018 made up of members of the existing Residential and Non-Residential Lighting Subcommittees. These members were convened to discuss potential changes to the RTF’s lighting competition groups used to create the current practice baseline in lighting measures across all sectors.

Operations: The RTF Operations subcommittee meets before each RTF meeting  to review and discuss the RTF meeting agendas, decisions, and contracts.

Small and Rural Utilities Subcommittee: The Small/Rural Subcommittee maintains a dedicated function within the RTF to support the specific needs of small and rural utilities. This subcommittee met once in Q2 of 2018 to discuss changes to UES measures that may affect small/rural utilities differently, as well as potential roles the RTF could play to better meet the needs of small/rural utilities.

Research and Evaluation: The Research and Evaluation Subcommittee convenes on a need basis to discuss the development of RTF Research Strategies and the framing and utility of ongoing research in the region. In Q2 of 2018, the subcommittee met once discuss research needs and a draft research strategy for faucet aerators.

Approved Measure Changes

In addition to the items highlighted above, the second quarter of 2018 the RTF voted to approve the following changes to UES measures and Standard Protocols: