A New Approach for Modeling the Peak Utility Impacts from a Proposed Commerical Unitary Air-Conditioning Standard

Publication Type


Date Published




This report describes a new Berkeley Lab approach for modeling the likely peak electricity load reductions from proposed energy efficiency programs in the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). This method is presented in the context of the commercial unitary air conditioning (CUAC) energy efficiency standards. A previous report investigating the residential central air conditioning (RCAC) load shapes in NEMS revealed that the peak reduction results were lower than expected. This effect was believed to be due in part to the presence of the squelch, a program algorithm designed to ensure changes in the system load over time are consistent with the input historic trend. The squelch applies a system load-scaling factor that scales any differences between the end-use bottom-up and system loads to maintain consistency with historic trends. To obtain more accurate peak reduction estimates, a new approach for modeling the impact of peaky end uses in NEMS-BT has been developed. The new approach decrements the system load directly, reducing the impact of the squelch on the final results. This report also discusses a number of additional factors, in particular non-coincidence between end-use loads and system loads as represented within NEMS, and their impacts on the peak reductions calculated by NEMS.

Using Berkeley Lab's new double-decrement approach reduces the conservation load factor (CLF) on an input load decrement from 25% down to 19% for a SEER 13 CUAC trial standard level, as seen in NEMS-BT output. About 4 GW more in peak capacity reduction results from this new approach as compared to Berkeley Lab's traditional end-use decrement approach, which relied solely on lowering end use energy consumption. The new method has been fully implemented and tested in the Annual Energy Outlook 2003 (AEO2003) version of NEMS and will routinely be applied to future versions. This capability is now available for use in future end use efficiency or other policy analysis that requires accurate representation of time varying load reductions

Year of Publication



Research Areas

Related Files