The good, the bad, and the ugly: Data-driven load profile discord identification in a large building portfolio

June Park, Eric Wilson, Andrew Parker, Zoltan Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus Citations


Reducing the overall energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector is essential for meeting our future sustainability goals. Recently, smart energy metering facilities have been deployed to enable monitoring of energy consumption data with hourly or subhourly temporal resolution. This unprecedented data collection has created various opportunities for advanced data analytics involving load profiles (e.g., building energy benchmarking programs, building-to-grid integration, and calibration of urban-scale energy models). These applications often need preprocessing steps to detect daily load profile discords, such as: 1) outliers due to system malfunctions (the bad) and 2) irregular energy consumption patterns, such as those resulting from holidays (the ugly) compared to normal consumption patterns (the good). However, current preprocessing methods predominantly focus on filtering using statistical threshold values, which fail to capture the contextual discords of daily profiles. In addition, discord detection algorithms in building research are often aimed at finding individual building-level discords, which are not suitable at a large scale. Thus, in this paper, we develop a method for automated load profile discord identification (ALDI) in a large portfolio of buildings (more than 100 buildings). Specifically, ALDI 1) uses the matrix profile (MP) method to quantify the similarities of daily subsequences in time series meter data, 2) compares daily MP values with typical-day MP distributions using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and 3) identifies daily load profile discords in a large building portfolio. We evaluate ALDI using the metering data of both an academic campus and a residential neighborhood. Our results demonstrate that ALDI efficiently discovers measurement errors by system malfunctions and low energy consumption days in the academic campus portfolio, and it detects unique load shape patterns likely driven by occupant behavior and extreme weather conditions in the residential neighborhood.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number109892
Number of pages19
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-75533


  • Data mining
  • Discord detection
  • Load profile
  • Portfolio analysis
  • Smart meter


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