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Title: Quantifying the electricity, CO 2 emissions, and economic tradeoffs of precooling strategies for a single-family home in Southern California*

High fractions of variable renewable electricity generation have challenged grid management within the balancing authority overseen by the California’s Independent System Operator (CAISO). In the early evening, solar resources tend to diminish as the system approaches peak demand, putting pressure on fast-responding, emissions-intensive natural gas generators. While residential precooling, a strategy intended to shift the timing of air-conditioning usage from peak-demand periods to cheaper off-peak periods, has been touted in the literature as being effective for reducing peak electricity usage and costs, we explore its impact on CO2emissions in regional grids like CAISO that have large disparities in their daytime versus nighttime emissions intensities. Here we use EnergyPlus to simulate precooling in a typical U.S. single-family home in California climate zone 9 to quantify the impact of precooling on peak electricity usage, CO2emissions, and residential utility costs. We find that replacing a constant-setpoint cooling schedule with a precooling schedule can reduce peak period electricity consumption by 57% and residential electricity costs by nearly 13%, while also reducing CO2emissions by 3.5%. These results suggest the traditional benefits of precooling can be achieved with an additional benefit of reducing CO2emissions in grids with high daytime renewable energy penetrations.

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Publisher / Repository:
IOP Publishing
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Journal Name:
Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Article No. 025001
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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