About the customer
DNV has been hired by SMUD to conduct M&V for the Developing and Implementation of EV and Energy Storage Programs. SMUD is nation’s sixth-largest, community-owned, not-for-profit electric service, which serves 1.5 million people.
The work involved two over-arching components:
- M&V handbook development. We worked closely with SMUD’s program team to develop a handbook for estimating the energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and financial impacts of SMUD’s EV and energy storage program offerings for SMUD customers. The handbook laid out a menu of data methods SMUD and evaluation researchers can use to quantify program impacts and cost-effectiveness. For EVs, the handbook recommended whole-building consumption analysis and in-vehicle metering approaches to assess these impacts. Regarding storage, it suggested SMUD leverage its three streams of AMI data: on-site production, building consumption, and energy transferred to and from the grid. Additionally, the handbook identified techniques to determine whether the storage installations deferred grid infrastructure investments. The handbook ensured SMUD can quantify the impacts of their EV and storage investments and optimize their programs as they pioneer the industry toward an increasingly distributed and customer-centred grid.
- M&V of SMUD EV programs. In early 2021, DNV completed an evaluation of the influence that SMUD’s residential and commercial EV programs have had on EV adoption and use. SMUD has administered a wide range of programs aimed at increasing EV adoption within their territory and managing when customers charge their EVs. These programs include time-of-day (TOD) electric rate discounts, a $599 USD incentive for installing Level 2 chargers at home, dealership engagement, ride and drive events, incentives for workplace and public charging infrastructure, and marketing campaigns. In addition, SMUD provided incentives for electric forklifts for non-residential customers. Because SMUD designed these programs to influence consumers at various stages in the vehicle purchasing journey, the influence of these programs is interwoven. As such, evaluation requires a novel approach. Our evaluation included two components:
- First, we deployed an online consumer survey with an embedded conjoint experiment to quantify the extent to which SMUDs programs increased EV adoption (for individual programs and across programs).
- Second, we conducted a series of in-depth interviews with sales staff at local auto dealerships, workplace charging station site hosts, and electric forklift program participants to provide a deeper understanding of how SMUD’s programs influenced mid-stream market actors and end-users.
Benefits to the customer
Study results addressed a broad range of topics. For example, consumer research results suggested that among the financial incentive available to customers, the availability of the EV TOD rate exerted noteworthy influence on consumer decisions to purchase EVs. Results also confirmed the effectiveness of ride-and-drive events in encouraging EV adoption. Overall, study results delivered a multi-dimensional assessment of SMUD’s EV program impacts on EV adoption in the greater Sacramento area.