The adoption of electricity generation from renewable sources, as well as the push for a speedy electrification of sectors such as transportation and buildings, makes peak electric load management an essential aspect to ensure the electric grid’s reliability and safety. Utilities have established peak load charges that can amount to up to 70% of electricity costs to transfer the financial burden of managing these loads to the consumers. These pricing schemes have created a need for efficient peak electric load management strategies that consumers can implement in order to reduce the financial impact of this type of load. Research has shown that the impact of peak load charges can be reduced by acting on the intelligence provided by peak electric load days (PELDs) forecasts. Unfortunately, published PELDs forecasting methodologies have not addressed the increasing number of facilities adopting behind the meter renewable electricity generation. The presence of this type of intermittent generation adds substantial complexity and other challenges to the PELDs forecasting process. The work reported in this dissertation is organized in terms of its three main contributions to the body of knowledge and to society. First, the development and testing of a first of its kind PELDs forecasting methodology able to accurately predict upcoming PELDs for a consumer regardless of the presence or absence of renewable electricity generation. Experimental results showed that 93% and 90% of potential savings (approximately US$ 142,129.01 and US$ 123,100.74) could be achieved by a consumer with and a consumer without behind the meter solar generation respectively. The second contribution is the development and testing of a novel methodology that allows virtually any type of consumer to determine an efficient electricity demand threshold value before the start of a billing period. This threshold value allows consumers to proactively trigger demand response actions and reduce peak demand charges without receiving any type of signal or information from the utility. Experimental results showed 65% to 82% of total potential demand charge reductions achieved during a year for three different consumers: residential, industrial, and educational with solar generation. These results translate to US$ 149.09, US$ 23,290.00, and US$ 107,610.00 in demand charges savings a year respectively. As a third contribution, we present experimental results that show how the implementation of machine learning based ensemble classification techniques improves the PELDs forecasting methodology’s performance beyond previously published ensemble techniques for three different consumers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Energy consumption--Forecasting; Electric utilities--Rates--Peak-load pricing; Machine learning; Renewable energy sources

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (Ph.D)

Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


Katie McConky

Advisor/Committee Member

Brian Thorn

Advisor/Committee Member

Bing Yan


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes