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The First Step to Solving the Duck Curve: Energy Efficiency

In his 10-step proposed solution for solving the “Duck Curve” distributed solar generation problem, Jim Lazar’s first step is to implement energy efficiency measures that are “time-targeted” to peak hours.  Here we present findings from retroactively examining groups of Vermont residential accounts that have implemented VEIC’s incentivized energy efficiency measures to determine whether those measures have alleviated or exacerbated the Duck Curve problem.  Seven different energy efficiency measures were examined among residential accounts.  Among examined efficiency measures, major LED lighting installations were the closest match to the hoped-for time-targeted energy efficiency measures in Lazar’s paper.  LED installations significantly lowered consumption during both the morning and evening peak periods of the wider ISO-New England grid, while reducing the off-peak baseload much less severely.  The other examined efficiency measure with a profound effect on the residential loadshape was cold-climate heat pumps.  While heat pumps exhibited the unwanted outcome of increased consumption during peak periods, they also increased consumption during off-peak periods dramatically.  Depending on the metric used or needs of local energy distribution engineers, cold-climate heat pumps could either be very helpful or a hindrance to solving the Duck Curve problem.

Report authored by VEIC Energy Data Analyst Michael Fink and presented at the Association of Energy Services Professionals 2018 national conference.

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The First Step to Solving the Duck Curve: Energy Efficiency


  • Michael Fink - VEIC


  • Evaluation, Measurement & Verification
  • Energy Planning