Consumer-Centric Programs that Promote Electrification: Leasing Water Heaters and Other Strategies to Meet Consumer Needs with Electric Water Heaters
By Christine Grant, Amy Wheeless, and Patrick Keegan, Collaborative Efficiency, Published January 2017
Co-ops desiring to grow or even maintain the flexible and stable water heater load should have a strategy to help members make a well-informed choice when they replace a water heater. Programs that offer assistance with upfront costs and maintenance of water heaters ease the pain members feel when faced with the expensive but necessary replacement of a water heater. Many co-ops are already leaders in promoting water heaters to their member-consumers. Co-ops should also consider the role of water heater programs as part of an evolution toward home or premises energy management in partnership with interested member-consumers. This article describes several controllable water heater programs that reduce upfront and ongoing costs to their members, as they help co-ops meet demand response challenges. Considerations for launching a controllable water heater program are also offered.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Energy Efficiency information for electric cooperatives and others

PLMA Grid-Interactive Behind-the-Meter Storage Interest Group
The PLMA Grid-Interactive Behind-The-Meter Storage (BTMS) Interest Group (formerly named Grid-Interactive Water Heating) is dedicated to bringing the economic, environmental and societal benefits of grid-interactive, behind-the-meter storage (BTMS) technologies to end-use electric customers across the country. The group provides a focused platform for information sharing and market development efforts in support of wide-scale implementation of BTMS technologies and programs.

Community Storage Gives Co-ops Flexibility
By Cathy Cash | ECT Staff Writer, Published: February 22nd, 2016
Energy storage—the holy grail of the electric power industry—that will save consumers money and give electric cooperatives new flexibility might be as close as your water heater.

 About The Brattle Group’s Study

The research examines the economic and grid benefits of controlling three different types of water heaters (80-gallon electric resistance, 50-gallon electric resistance, and heat pump water heaters) for peak shaving, thermal storage, and real-time fast response to supply fluctuations. Researchers modeled these program designs using 2014 data from the PJM and MISO markets.

The Brattle researchers also modeled these programs using projected prices and energy resources in MISO in 2028 to determine the economic and environmental potential of electric water heaters to provide energy services to the grid in the future. The report NRECA-NRDC-PLMA report, "The Hidden Battery: Opportunities in Electric Water Heating," is authored by Brattle Principals Ryan Hledik and Judy Chang, and Associate Roger Lueken.