U.S. Utility Rate DatabaseEntry ID: Utility_Rate_Database
Abstract: The Utility Rate Database (URDB) is a free storehouse of rate structure information from utilities in the United States. Here, you can search for your utilities and rates to find out exactly how you are charged for your electric energy usage. Understanding this information can help reduce your bill, for example, by running your appliances during off-peak hours (times during the day when ... electricity prices are less expensive) and help you make more informed decisions regarding your energy usage.
Rates are also extremely important to the energy analysis community for accurately determining the value and economics of distributed generation such as solar and wind power. In the past, collecting rates has been an effort duplicated across many institutions. Rate collection can be tedious and slow, however, with the introduction of the URDB, OpenEI aims to change how analysis of rates is performed. The URDB allows anyone to access these rates in a computer-readable format for use in their tools and models. OpenEI provides an API for software to automatically download the appropriate rates, thereby allowing detailed economic analysis to be done without ever having to directly handle complex rate structures. Essentially, rate collection and processing that used to take weeks or months can now be done in seconds!
NREL’s System Advisor Model (formerly Solar Advisor Model or SAM), currently has the ability to communicate with the OpenEI URDB over the internet. SAM can download any rate from the URDB directly into the program, thereby enabling users to conduct detailed studies on various power systems ranging in size from a small residential rooftop solar system to large utility scale installations. Other applications available at NREL, such as OpenPV and IMBY, will also utilize the URDB data.
Upcoming features include better support for entering net metering parameters, maps to summarize the data, geolocation capabilities, and hundreds of additional rates!
Purpose: Developed by the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, OpenEI is where energy officials and consumers alike can go to boost their energy IQs and make better decisions.
The free site blends elements of social media and Wiki-based technology with robust and previously unavailable information on energy sources and prices. The result: a powerful, collaborative platform that is helping ... government and industry leaders around the world define policy options, make informed investment decisions, and create new businesses.
The information allows anyone with Internet access to compare kilowatt-hour rates in dozens of cities and zero in on such variables as time-of-use rates, demand charges, and tiered rate structures.
For household consumers, that could mean getting wiser about whether to install rooftop solar panels or finding other ways to lower their energy bills. A farmer in rural Iowa can assess potential profitability of leasing land for wind development.
Energy investors could use other tools to determine how many turbines could be installed on the same property. They can analyze information on rates, sunshine, wind speed, and incentives to inform their decisions. With OpenEI, decision makers can reduce missteps and save time and money.
The new utility-rate data show average consumption rates in the cities. The data illuminate, for example, that air-conditioner-revving warm-weather cities Tucson and Atlanta consume far more energy than cooler-weather cities such as Boston, Denver and Milwaukee.
[Information from http://www.nrel.gov/news/features/feature_detail.cfm/feature_id=1581 ]
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2013-09-02
Last DIF Revision Date: 2014-03-02