Determining a Baseline Using a Data-Driven Boiler Market Characterization

Are We There Yet? Determining a Baseline Using a Data-Driven Boiler Market Characterization

Susan Haselhorst, Isaac Wainstein, Michael Smalec, Antonio Larson, & Jeff Perkins for Zondits, September 11, 2014

Mature energy efficiency programs offering incentives for high efficiency equipment must keep an eye out for market transformation – that point at which the high efficiency equipment becomes standard practice and assistance or incentives are no longer required to sustain the high efficiency equipment sales. However identifying that inflection point can be difficult since markets are dynamic and complex and no one party has perfect knowledge of the whole market. This paper presents an approach that combines traditional market actor surveys with a novel, relatively straightforward and inexpensive methodology for estimating the overall size of the Massachusetts boiler market with a particular focus on units in the 300 -2,000 MBH (thousand Btus per hour) range .  The two methods together provide a higher level of certaintytogether than either would aloneThe emphasis of this paper is on the novel method of estimating market size using  individual commercial and industrial (C&I) gas-customer billing-usage data for all the C&I customers in the state. Customer-by-customer monthly gas usage is analyzed to estimate base and weather-sensitive loading. Hourly weather data is analyzed to determine the operating profile of the weather-sensitive load; typical base-load profiles, mapped by SIC code, are used to characterize the thermal design load. The thermal load can then be used to derive a heating system capacity that will meet that load.

The end product is a rich, “bottoms up” estimate of the installed base of C&I natural gas-fired boilers in the state, which can be grouped by capacity range, building type, community, and energy efficiency provider. In conjunction with the market actors surveys and a few key assumptions (such as the median age of a boiler), this study  estimates that 2500 boilers are sold statewide each year in the new construction and replacement C&I market. A key finding of the study is that about 25% of the boilers sold each year receive an incentive.  The number of boilers sold that meet the high efficiency standard is between 25% and 75% of all boilers sold.

[slideshare id=38975558&doc=arewethereyet-140911095804-phpapp01]