Quantifying the Opportunity Limits of Automatic Residential Electric Load Shaping

Robert Cruickshank, Gregor Henze, Rajagopalan Balaji, Bri Mathias Hodge, Anthony Florita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Electric utility residential demand response programs typically reduce load a few times a year during periods of peak energy use. In the future, utilities and consumers may monetarily and environmentally benefit from continuously shaping load by alternatively encouraging or discouraging the use of electricity. One way to shape load and introduce elasticity is to broadcast forecasts of dynamic electricity prices that orchestrate electricity supply and demand in order to maximize the efficiency of conventional generation and the use of renewable resources including wind and solar energy. A binary control algorithm that influences the on and off states of end uses was developed and applied to empirical time series data to estimate price-based instantaneous opportunities for shedding and adding electric load. To overcome the limitations of traditional stochastic methods in quantifying diverse, non-Gaussian, non-stationary distributions of observed appliance behaviour, recent developments in wavelet-based analysis were applied to capture and simulate time-frequency domain behaviour. The performance of autoregressive and spectral reconstruction methods was compared, with phase reconstruction providing the best simulation ensembles. Results show spatiotemporal differences in the amount of load that can be shed and added, which suggest further investigation is warranted in estimating the benefits anticipated from the wide-scale deployment of continuous automatic residential load shaping. Empirical data and documented software code are included to assist in reproducing and extending this work.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number3204
Number of pages19
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-74293


  • Demand response
  • Electric load modeling
  • Price-response
  • Spectral representation


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