SmartGrid Seminar

Insights from Pecan Street’s Data-Intensive Research on Customer Energy, Water and Appliance Use
Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 1:30pm
Spilker 232
Brewster McCracken (Pecan Street, Inc.)
Abstract / Description: 

For the past six years, Pecan Street has operated one of the nation's most data-intensive research investigations on residential electricity and water use, behavioral response and field performance of different measurement devices. Using smart meters, gateway devices and CT-collar systems, Pecan Street researchers have measured appliance-level electricity use every minute in nearly a thousand homes in 20 states, including measuring generation from rooftop solar panels in over 250 homes and home EV charging in over 70 homes. In late 2013, Pecan Street launched Dataport, which makes all of the data from this ongoing multi-year investigation available to the academic research community for free in an online searchable database. Dataport's academic Research Board has estimated Dataport to be the world's largest research database on customer end uses of electricity and water.

The presentation draws on original data from this research to provide preliminary insights and identify research questions related to consumer behavioral response, residential battery systems, electric vehicle charging, solar PV generation's alignment with customer use patterns and the role of data.


Our speakers will discuss exciting new ideas and technologies that are changing the electricity industry. The theme of the seminar series is on smart grids and energy systems, with speakers from academic institutions and industry. The hour-long seminars, including ample time for discussion, are held at 1:00 pm or 1:15 pm approximately every Thursday.

This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.


Brewster McCracken is President and CEO of Pecan Street Inc., a nonprofit research institute focused on the utility industry that is headquartered at The University of Texas. Pecan Street provides research support for university-industry applied research around the world by carrying out behavioral field trials, installing and operating measurement equipment in actual homes and businesses and operating the world's largest research database on customer energy and water use. Smart Grid Today has named him one of the nation's "50 Smart Grid Pioneers", and named him to its VERGE 25 list of 25 U.S. smart grid leaders. Before his position with Pecan Street, Mr. McCracken was elected to two terms on the Austin City Council, serving in a city-wide at-large position. Through his elected position, he served as a board member of Austin Energy and Austin Water, and he founded and chaired the city council's Emerging Technologies Committee. He previously practiced commercial litigation for nearly a decade with two large international law firms. He is an honors graduate of Princeton University and The University of Texas School of Law, and he holds a Masters in Public Affairs from UT's LBJ School of Public Affairs.