AUSTIN (KXAN) — Every light bulb, microwave and electric vehicle charger — tracked! That’s what around 300 homes are doing in the Mueller neighborhood in east Austin. They’re doing it as part of a research project called Pecan Street, and the data they’re collecting could reshape energy usage in the years to come.
As climate action takes center stage this week at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Pecan Street will reflect on some of the issues we believe will be key to keeping global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. Topics will include, AI applications for soil carbon sequestration, energy equity, water equity, and electrified transportation infrastructure. Next up are our recommendations for federal EV charging infrastructure spending.
Earlier this week, we released a new analysis on electric panel capacity and residential electrification. Our goal was to draw attention to the opportunities to clear the path for electrification by introducing policies and incentives for electric panel upgrades.
Pecan Street’s new analysis explores the opportunities for policymakers and utilities to remove a significant barrier to residential electrification. By incentivizing electric service panel upgrades for existing homes and requiring larger capacity panels for new construction, we can clear the path for full residential electrification.
To demonstrate the challenges and opportunities associated with total power factor, we used Pecan Street’s home energy use and PV data to explore the grid impacts of poor residential power factor and the system benefits of power factor correction. The analysis showed that by improving power factor of the homes in our sample, an additional current capacity of 12-16% to the distribution system can be achieved.