Energy Efficiency and Demand-Side Management

Energy Program Design

Energy needs and population continue to grow in North America as do concerns about clean air, energy security and global climate change. Maintaining cost-effective and viable energy efficiency, demand-side management, and demand response programs is of crucial importance to our nation, as well as to utilities, government agencies, and end-use customers.

Our staff of highly qualified specialists assists clients with the complexities of planning, implementing and evaluating multi-faceted energy efficiency programs. GDS is an industry-recognized leader in numerous energy efficiency, demand response, and market transformation program areas including:


Strategic Policy & Program Design


Regulatory Support


Program Evaluation


Market Transformation


Technical & Market Potential Studies


Load Response Assistance


Program Implementation

Strategic Policy & Program Design

GDS experts understand the quantitative and qualitative issues associated with the design, implementation, and evaluation of successful energy efficiency plans and programs. We use our technical expertise to minimize financial risks and to maximize the benefits from energy efficiency programs and policies for our clients. Our services include:


Energy efficiency strategic policy design and program logic model development


Program identification and feasibility assessment


Cost effectiveness model development (energy efficiency, renewables/distributed generation)


Detailed program implementation and staffing plan development


Formal energy efficiency regulatory filing development


Settlement negotiation with stakeholders


Expert testimony


System benefits charge analysis


Strategic marketing plan development


Measure, program, and portfolio-level benefit cost analysis


energy efficiency rating

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission – Phase 2 of ACT 129 Statewide Evaluator

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission | 2013 through 2017

In 2009, GDS was awarded a contract by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission as the Statewide Evaluator for Pennsylvania’s Act 129 energy efficiency programs. GDS developed the statewide framework for impact and process evaluations conducted by seven investor-owned utilities in Pennsylvania. GDS was also responsible for verifying compliance by these seven electric utilities with the statewide evaluation framework and with the Pennsylvania Technical Reference Manual developed by GDS.

NYSERDA Small Commercial Program – Region 1

New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) | January 2014 to December 2016

GDS was the lead contractor in a four-organization team responsible for implementation of NYSERDA’s Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Program for 10 counties in New York designated as Region 1.

Efficiency Maine Business Incentive Program

Efficiency Maine Trust | July 2013 – Present

GDS is the lead contractor responsible for the implementation of Efficiency Maine’s Commercial & Industrial Incentive Program. The Efficiency Maine C&I Program provides incentives to commercial customers for energy efficiency projects including new, efficient electric, natural gas, oil and propane measures. The programs GDS implements include the C&I Prescriptive Program, Small Business Direct Install Initiative, HVAC Distributor Discount Initiative, Discounted Screw-in LEDs Initiative and the Maine Advanced Buildings program. GDS has been implementing programs under the Efficiency Maine umbrella since 2003.


GDS has been part of the team implementing an Illinois Business Energy Efficiency program since 2008. The utility customer base includes 1.2 electric customer and 840,000 gas customers spread over 43,700 miles. Program participants have included small and large commercial, industrial, agriculture and public facility customers. GDS has played a major role in the design and implementation of this multi award-winning program since its inception. Over the first six years of existence, the program has successfully saved Illinois customers approximately 2.85 billion kWh and 27.2 million therms. Participants have received approximately $55 million in cash incentives and completed thousands of energy efficiency projects that have saved over $190 million in energy costs. The team has continually exceeded energy savings goals while staying under budget, and boasts a 94% customer satisfaction rate, as reported by a third party survey. In addition to program design, GDS performs a number of implementation services for the Illinois Energy Efficiency Program, such as:

  • Conducts project technical reviews, inspections, and serves as expert technical knowledge for HVAC and industrial refrigeration.
  • Serves as the point of contact for the Statewide Technical Reference manual.
  • Serves as the lead for the customer contact center, which, in the first six years has fielded over 30,000 customer contacts. The team has also successfully coordinated large outbound calling campaigns (up to 5,000 at a time), as well as managing high-traffic incoming customer inquiries.
  • Served as Program Ally Coordinator and grew the ally network from 482 to 1,004.
  • Designed and maintained the original database that stored all program data, which was used to generate program reports.

Energy, Utility, and Fuel Consulting Services

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) | July 2017 – Present

GDS was contracted by MARTA, the City of Atlanta’s transit authority, to serve in a multi-year consulting role as an advisor on energy management/procurement and uncovering energy efficiency opportunities for the rail, bus, and paratransit systems. The GDS Team is tasked with investigation of all fuel and electric accounts that serve ground transportation and large propulsion activities, as well as vendor proposal evaluation, tax credit consulting, sustainability options, risk management, and weekly newsletter creation to inform MARTA management of market news. The Team is charged with finding overall efficiencies that will help advance North America’s ninth largest transit system towards the future of metropolitan transportation.

Battery Storage Incentive – Program Design and Implementation Support

JEA | September 2017 – Present

GDS was contracted by JEA in Jacksonville, Florida to assist with the development and program launch of an incentive designed for residential and commercial electric customers of JEA that are interested in installing battery storage systems to use in conjunction with distributed generation, particularly rooftop solar. Our Consultants worked with JEA to develop the incentive based on equipment and installation pricing, solar performance modeling, and long-term payback calculations. The team then developed a program plan, marketing material, implementation schedule/protocol, interconnection agreement, and application material for JEA’s project management. We reviewed implementation contractor proposals and assisted in the selection, and were heavily involved in stakeholder meetings and assisting with program launch.

Building Momentum for Implementation of Electric Utility Infrastructure Efficiency Projects in Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Commerce 

GDS recently completed a potential study for the Minnesota Department of Commerce to identify and quantify conservation opportunity in Electric Utility Infrastructure (EUI) assets owned and operated by utilities serving Minnesota consumers. The study required us to design an entirely unique approach to estimating potential. The project also created an opportunity for inter-departmental collaboration across GDS because it required expertise in transmission, distribution, generation, energy efficiency, and stakeholder engagement.


Dick Spellman

Matt Siska

Rich Hackner

Bruce Bennett

Providing solid engineering and energy consultant services throughout the U.S.