NREL, in collaboration with Illinois State University, with funding from the Department of Energy Sunshot Program, has enhanced the U.S. Utility Rate Database with the following new features:
- - Ability to download entire utility rate database as a CSV file
- - More powerful searching and filtering capabilities (e.g., commercial rates for zip code 94102)
- - Increased speed and flexibility (by moving the database from Semantic Media Wiki to MongoDB)
- - Improved quality control and automated error checking mechanisms
- - Historical tracking of rate changes (using the “supersedes” field)
- - New fields to accommodate additional types of utility rate structures
- - More intuitive data structures in machine-readable JSON schema (see comment below for specific JSON schema changes)
- - Better geographic lookup capabilities (single API call to return rates for an address/ZIP/lat.-long.)
- - Improved website access (http://en.openei.org/wiki/Utility_Rate_Database)
- - Better tracking of database usage using API keys (coming soon)
Illinois State University continues to populate the database with additional utility companies and rates. Unlike the previous wiki-based database, users do not have editing privileges by default. If you’d like to contribute to the database, send us an email: OpenEI.firstname.lastname@example.org
The recent progress on capturing rates can be seen in the maps below. As of July 10, 2014, the database has over 45,000 rates included covering nearly all 3,500 utilities across the United States.
Coverage as of July 10, 2014
Coverage as of March 13, 2012 (for comparison purposes)
The URDB can be accessed in several ways (and hopefully more to come):
Via the System Advisor Model for PV economic value analysis. See http://sam.nrel.gov for more information about downloading the free SAM tool and how utility rates can be used within the tool.
Via the BEopt (Building Energy Optimization) software for residential energy modeling and economic optimization of efficiency and PV. See http://beopt.nrel.gov for more information about downloading the free BEopt software and how utility rates can be used within the tool.
The direct link to the interactive website for the URDB is: http://en.openei.org/wiki/Utility_Rate_Database
Version 3 API documentation can be found here: http://en.openei.org/services/doc/rest/util_rates