About Demand Analysis Working Group

Mission

The Demand Analysis Working Group (DAWG) is a forum for technical discussion and consensus-building on inputs and results for the electricity and natural gas demand forecasts adopted by the California Energy Commission.  The Energy Commission’s Energy Assessments Division sponsors and manages the DAWG.  Staff convenes DAWG, pulling in additional forecasting experts at the utilities as well as other stakeholders, to discuss technical details behind the forecast.  The purpose is to build consensus on those details before the forecast is complete so that the adoption process can proceed smoothly.

Topic Areas include:

  • Inputs to and development of demand forecasts

  • Modeling assumptions and techniques used to produce the forecasts

  • Approaches for ensuring transparency

  • Uses for demand forecast results

Of particular importance to the DAWG are methods and approaches for including demand modifiers in demand forecasts, including demand response, distributed generation, transportation electrification and additional achievable energy efficiency.  These demand modifiers ultimately affect the demand used to make energy procurement and transmission planning decisions.

Purpose & Goals 

The key goal of DAWG is to foster collaboration between Energy Commission staff and stakeholders and thereby smoothing the process of developing the energy demand forecast that is adopted in the Energy Commission’s California Energy Demand Forecast and Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR).  That forecast is used in the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Long Term Procurement and Energy Efficiency Proceeding, its Energy Efficiency proceedings and in the California Independent System Operator’s (California ISO) Transmission Planning Proceeding. 

Information developed by the DAWG and its members is used in regulatory proceedings including the Energy Commission’s California Energy Demand Forecast and Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR), and the CPUC’s Long Term Procurement and Energy Efficiency proceedings as well as the California ISO’s transmission planning analyses

DAWG allows detailed technical discussion of complex forecasting issues in a working group forum of experts who can compare notes, trade ideas and iron out differences in a more informal setting than allowed at typical Energy Commission workshops.  DAWG also covers topics such as forecast disaggregation, weather normalization, and econometric versus end-use forecasting approaches.  These tend to be areas less easily addressed by traditional forecasting methodology.  DAWG offers a forum to compare different approaches, including their strengths, weaknesses and results.

Organizations and Subgroups 

DAWG meetings are called by Energy Commission staff, using a facilitator provided under a technical support contract.  Some DAWG meetings are of the full working group.  Others are called for individual subgroups, colloquially known as “Pups” of the DAWG.  They are: the Demand Forecasting Subgroup, related to demand forecasting in general, the Energy Savings Subgroup with a focus on energy efficiency and conservation, the Distributed Generation Subgroup focusing on customer-side distributed generation, and the Demand Response Subgroup, focusing on demand- or load-modifying (as opposed to supply-side) demand response.  Other subgroups can be added, if needed.  Participants should expect no more than 10 or 11 full or subgroup meetings per year, and probably less in non-IEPR years.

History

When it began, the DAWG was called the Demand Forecasting Energy Efficiency Quantification Project (DFEEQP) but that name was changed in 2010 to better reflect the Working Group’s scope and activities.  The Working Group originally focused on improving the quantification of energy efficiency in the demand forecasts.  It soon became apparent, however, that other aspects of the demand forecast could cause controversy, suggesting their discussion at DAWG meetings would improve the forecast and smooth the adoption process.  Continuing this coordination is important as California’s progress implementing clean energy policies means that organizations will need to interact more as some provide increasingly detailed information to help develop the Energy Commission’s electricity and natural gas demand forecasts, while others will need to understand what the information means, where it came from and how to properly apply it to their own analysis or decision process.

Key documents describing the Energy Commission’s original initiative to improve quantification of energy efficiency in the demand forecasts are posted on the Energy Commission’s website as part of two workshops: Committee Workshop on Energy Efficiency and Demand Forecasting held on March 11, 2008 and Committee Workshop on Electricity and Natural Gas Forecasting Process held on August 12, 2008.

The Energy Commission then developed a “conceptual project plan” for improved quantification of energy efficiency in the Energy Commission’s demand forecasts.  (The document describes goals in particular for the 2009 IEPR cycle, but envisions continuous improvement for subsequent cycles.)  The plan recognized that in order to accomplish the goals the Energy Commission had established for itself, it would be necessary to engage other stakeholders more fully.

As described in the conceptual project plan, the Energy Commission’s 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) committed the Energy Commission to examining issues raised with respect to the amount of energy efficiency included within the adopted demand forecast. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) agreed that the IEPR is the proper forum in which to address these topics, and in CPUC R.08-02-007, directed the California investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to participate in this process. The 2008-09 IEPR Committee conducted a workshop on this topic and the closely related issues of the incremental effect of near-term energy efficiency programs and long-term energy efficiency potential beyond the adopted demand forecast on March 11, 2008. At its March 17, 2008 meeting, the 2008-09 IEPR Committee determined that staff resources should be devoted to three topics over the course of the 2008 IEPR Update and 2009 IEPR time period:

  1. Improving estimated impacts of energy efficiency within the demand forecast and attribution to motivating forces, such as price response, market effects, program participation, requirements of standards, etc.;

  2. Creating a new capability to project near-term program impacts incremental to the Energy Commission’s demand forecast; and

  3. Creating new capability to project long-term impacts from portions of potential energy efficiencies that are identified as achievable under various program designs.

 

Click here to see documents for the August 12, 2008 meeting, including the Conceptual Project Plan discussed above.