Systems Efficiency Initiative
Suzanne Frew, P. E. is a senior project manager at Snohomish County PUD and is responsible for the District's electrification and demand response strategies as well as emerging customer technologies. Her experience includes demand side management, renewable generation and mechanical systems design experience. She is a registered mechanical engineer in California and Washington.
For more than two decades, Laura Van Wie McGrory has been managing international energy efficiency projects in the U.S., Asia, Africa, southeast Europe, and Latin America. She is vice president of strategic initiatives at the Alliance to Save Energy, where she manages the systems efficiency subcommittee as well as the Alliance's international energy efficiency policy activities.
Utility energy efficiency programs yield significant energy and economic benefits to utility customers and the power system. Some studies indicate that energy savings from customer energy efficiency programs are typically achieved at one-third the cost of new generation resources.
An area with high potential for scaling up energy savings is utility-led programs that incorporate systems efficiency approaches - taking into account the interactions of components and controls within and among building systems during both the design and operation phases, as well as interactions among multiple buildings and between buildings and the grid.
Improved systems efficiency can not only reduce peak and overall energy demand on the grid. It also can improve energy reliability, infrastructure resilience, energy and housing affordability, and public health and safety.
The Alliance to Save Energy's systems efficiency initiative — a multi-year collaboration among industry leaders, utilities, and national and state-level government agencies — has identified numerous examples of energy savings opportunities. These are missed by traditional device-specific or whole-building approaches to efficiency.