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Incentive design for efficient building quality of service

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2 Author(s)
Aswani, A. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Univ. of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA ; Tomlin, C.

Buildings are a large consumer of energy, and reducing their energy usage may provide financial and societal benefits. One challenge in achieving efficient building operation is the fact that few financial motivations exist for encouraging low energy configuration and operation of buildings. As a result, incentive schemes for managers of large buildings are being proposed for the purpose of saving energy. This paper focuses on incentive design for the configuration and operation of building-wide heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, because these systems constitute the largest portion of energy usage in most buildings. We begin with an empirical model of a building-wide HVAC system, which describes the tradeoffs between energy consumption, quality of service (as defined by occupant satisfaction), and the amount of work required for maintenance and configuration. The model has significant non-convexities, and so we derive some results regarding qualitative properties of non-convex optimization problems with certain partial-ordering features. These results are used to show that “baselining” incentive schemes suffer from moral hazard problems, and they also encourage energy reductions at the expense of also decreasing occupant satisfaction. We propose an alternative incentive scheme that has the interpretation of a performance-based bonus. A theoretical analysis shows that this encourages energy and monetary savings and modest gains in occupant satisfaction and quality of service, which is confirmed by our numerical simulations.

Published in:

Communication, Control, and Computing (Allerton), 2012 50th Annual Allerton Conference on

Date of Conference:

1-5 Oct. 2012