National Assessment of CVR- Preliminary Results from DOE’s CVR Initiative Kelly Warner, Applied Energy Group

Presented by: Kelly Warner

An application of the smart grid, conservation voltage reduction (CVR) could be the new untapped source for energy efficiency. Historically, utilities have lacked visibility to voltage states on the distribution network, requiring them to set voltage levels at the high-end of allowed ANSI standards to ensure sufficient voltage levels at the end of the line.

Now, with the advancement of smart grid technologies, increased automation and voltage monitoring are allowing distribution operators to manage voltage levels across distribution circuits to much finer tolerances. This in turn creates the opportunity to lower voltages, allowing greater line efficiency and end use efficiency. However, CVR technology deployment is being hindered by numerous market barriers, including regulatory disincentives and utility business model conflicts.

Therefore, a DOE study was put together to examine barriers of CVR and identify recommendations for wider spread adoption. Recently, Kelly Warner of Applied Energy Group, presented the webinar National Assessment of CVR: Preliminary Results from DOE’s CVR Initiative, giving an overview of this DOE CVR study.

To ultimately unlock CVR’s potential, the DOE study had three main objectives that Kelly shares in the webinar. First, it hoped to build a body of knowledge on the demonstrated costs, benefits and applicability of CVR projects at US utilities to help utilities prioritize CVR investments. Second, it wanted to draw conclusions and make recommendations on how to overcome industry barriers to more widespread adoption of CVR technologies. Lastly, it sought to develop a self-sustaining CVR industry group that can provide project input and future direction.

After a broad industry outreach relying on literature reviews supplemented with direct utility interviews and data reviews, project case studies, and industry input on major findings and policy recommendations, the study resulted in six high-level, preliminary conclusions.

  1. Major advancements in CVR technologies are enabling greater CVR savings without compromising power quality and reliability.
  2. Advanced CVR deployments are yielding deeper savings and load reductions than achieved in the past. While savings of up to 5% per feeder have been observed, the cost-effectiveness threshold to achieve this level of savings is still unknown.
  3. Although momentum is building, most states currently do not allow utilities to count CVR as a qualified Energy Efficiency resource.
  4. Major regulatory hurdles exist, impeding CVR adoption.
  5. Market barriers need to be addressed before CVR can reach its full potential.
  6. To make CVR a reliable resource, better planning methods and M&V protocols must be developed.

Kelly closes his presentation with an invitation to support the efforts by joining the CVR Industry Group. If interested in learning more, please contact Kelly Warner via email at

To learn more about Applied Energy Group, visit their website here.

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warnerThis webinar by IEEE Smart Grid expert, Kelly Warner will present results from a soon-to-be released collaborative effort between the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Applied Energy Group (AEG) to conduct an assessment of Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) activities across the USA, identify barriers, and recommend actions to overcome the barriers. The assessment resulted in the review of 41 contemporary CVR projects, the collection of 583 references (including 40 regulatory filings), and discussions with industry experts from investor owned utilities, electric cooperatives, public utility districts, manufacturers, and standards groups.

Tags & Topics for This Webinar:

foundational support systems; DOE; national assessment; IEEE; Smart Grid; webinar; CVR; SVR; Kelly Warner; initiative operations


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