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Decreasing the Peak Demand in the Desert Southwest


This project demonstrates dramatic peak demand reduction in residential new construction through distributed generation, distributed energy storage, energy efficiency, direct load control and price-responsive load control. In cooperation with a nationally recognized home builder, a green field development of 185 homes has been built in which each home was designed for optimal energy efficiency and electrically metered with the most advanced technology available. Efficiency improvement over conventionally designed homes has exceeded 45% and the goal of 65% efficiency is expected when storage batteries are adopted by home owners. The multi-faceted approach to effective and efficient electricity use includes solar photovoltaic systems, direct and price-responsive load control and peak load reduction strategies. Most importantly, UNLV is directing this development along with the local utility with cutting edge metering and communication technologies to assess the cooperative behavior of residences in the goal of electricity conservation. An “Intelligent Agent” software system has been developed to integrate Internet and communications with home owners that weaves customer preferences into the energy savings strategy in a way to that is intended to excite and engage residential customers in the demand management process.

Contact Information

Thomas George
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Robert Boehm
UNLV Center for Energy Research
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154-4027

Recipient: UNLV
HQ State: Nevada
NERC Region:
Total Budget: $15,170,856
Federal Share: $6,948,278
Funding Program:
Project Type:
Targeted Benefits:
  • Lessons learned regarding customer recruitment
  • Residential demand reduction, with accompanying reduced emissions
  • Lessons learned from the development of advanced load control approaches based on home owner thermo-comfort preference

The Department of Energy's Office of Electricity (OE) recognizes that our nation's sustained economic prosperity, quality of life, and global competitiveness depends on an abundance of secure, reliable, and affordable energy resources. OE leads the Department of Energy's efforts to ensure a resilient, and flexible electricity system in the United States. Learn more about OE >>

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