In this Insights, we illustrate the incremental effects of considering energy efficiency and distributed solar on load forecasting accuracy. In addition, we examine the implications of future solar photovoltaic (PV) integration and energy efficiency (EE) adoption on long-term forecasts. Overall, we found:
- Consideration of EE and distributed energy resources (DERs) in electricity use forecasting generates different results from a scenario without EE and DERs.
- Different methodologies affect the levels of accuracy performance, which can also vary by customer segment, demonstrating the importance of accuracy and transparency in regional load forecasting methods used by utilities.
- Forecasted peak demand is different in these EE and DER integration scenarios from scenarios without these considerations, and the differences widen over time.
- The discrepancy between the peak demand forecasts increases with higher levels of solar integration and the difference is not negligible, especially for forecasts far in the future.