The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Summer Solutions Pilot project was designed to investigate the energy savings and load reduction resulting from a variety of treatments, including different levels of energy use information, a time of use/critical peak pricing (TOU-CPP) rate, and a customer or a utility-controlled programmable communicating thermostat (PCT). The utility controlled PCT option also provided a financial incentive of $4 per event.
Different levels of energy use information (home level, and home level plus appliance level) and control technologies were explored within subsets of an opt-in sample group of about 300 residential customers over a two-year period.
The study is one of 40 projects conducted as part of the Smart Sacramento® program. The data collected throughout the project was analyzed to determine how customers utilized both information and enabling technologies to realize summer bill savings. The results of the project and the lessons learned throughout the project have and will continue to be used by SMUD to develop new residential rates and demand response programs that provide their customers with the most appropriate tools and information necessary to achieve the desired results of energy efficiency and load reduction. Key lessons learned and conclusions of the study are presented in this case study.