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An integrated engineering-econometric analysis of residential balance point temperatures

Jeffrey A. Dubin

Energy Economics, 2008, vol. 30, issue 5, 2537-2551

Abstract: This paper examines the theoretical and empirical properties of residential balance point temperatures. Heating-degree type measures in energy load temperature models are typically used because heating load should be zero when temperatures are larger than the base (balance point) level. Thermostat setting and the insulation properties of the residential shell determine the balance point temperature. Proper measurement of balance point temperatures is important in selecting the base temperature used in heating and cooling degree measures. I apply an engineering thermal load model to impute balance point temperatures for residential households in the Puget Sound Energy Washington service territory. The distribution of implied balance point temperatures suggests that heating degree measures base 65 °F inadequately capture the non-linear relationship between load and temperature due to prevalence of low balance point households.

Date: 2008
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