Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Residential Demand-side Smart Grid Research; hot water heater demand response aggregation, heat pump hot water heaters and energy feedback(21081)

Delaware County Electric Cooperative, In


Electric utilities are considering a variety of Smart Grid measures including advanced metering, distribution automation, demand response and smart homes and appliances for cost effectiveness and their ability to maintain reliable and satisfactory service to customers. Though advanced metering is not currently being pursued by NYS’s investor owned utilities there are lessons to be learned from both deployment of smart metering and smart grid demand-side measures that do not require AMI. The Delaware County Electric Cooperative (DCEC) is a retail non-profit distribution and generation electric utility serving 5,200 member-owners throughout Delaware, Schoharie, Otsego and Chenango Counties. The cooperative has been progressive in its use of technology having implemented advanced meter reading, SCADA, integrated outage management software and direct load control (DLC) of electric hot water heaters. DCEC is a participant in a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Smart Grid Demonstration Project funded in part by a DOE smart grid investment grant. As part of that work, DCEC will install an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system. Installation of this metering system in NYS presents a unique opportunity to gather interval data needed to research several demand-side techniques that are of interest to NYS, as well as provide analysis of an AIM installation in NYS including cost/benefit, customer acceptance, and cyber security.

Map Error

Project Description

This project will support DCEC to: 1) Install and demonstrate a hot water heater direct load control system in 800 homes and its integration and use for system load management and wholesale demand response. 2) Conduct a pilot study of heat pump electric hot water heaters in 40 homes to test their efficiency, performance and impact on peak load in comparison to the conventional water heaters in DCEC’s direct load control system and traditional uncontrolled electric water heaters. 3) Conduct a full pilot study of the effectiveness of in-home energy displays, expanding the sample size from 50 to approximately 250 and adding a treatment of indirect mailed home energy report for comparison to a similarly sized sample. 4) Plan, implement and analyze smart grid measure as they relate to providing integration of interval metering and data management, interoperability, cyber security and metrics and benefits reporting.


• DOE ARRA funding for a NYS cooperative utility smart grid investments supervised and studied by the NRECA as the principle investigator. Access to lessons learned from the larger national smart grid project. • Demonstration of a verifiable residential aggregation of hot water heaters for utility load relief and wholesale demand response. Detailed baseline profile data of electric water heater use in single family homes. • Demonstration of the effectiveness, energy efficiency and load impacts from heat pump hot water heaters in typical NYS single family residence applications. • Demonstration of the relative effectiveness in encouraging conservation of in-home energy displays compared to a mailed home energy report and a control group. • NYS specific reports on smart grid measure cost effectiveness, planning framework for smart grid cyber security and interoperability.

Project Results


Delaware County Electric Cooperative, In
39 Elm St # 471
Delhi, NY 13753

Principle Investigator

Mark Schneider

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Demonstration

Technologies Types:

Electric Power Delivery

NYSERDA Contact Information

Gregory Pedrick


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 2/7/2012 1
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 21081

Last Updated: 12/19/2013