Electric Load Forecasting
Fundamentals and Best Practices
Duration: 2 days (16 hours)
This course introduces electric load forecasting from both statistical and practical aspects using the language and examples in the power industry. Through hands-on exercises, participants gain experience of load forecasting for a variety of horizons (short, very short, medium and long term forecasts). The overall aims are to prepare and sharpen the statistical and analytical skills of participants in dealing with real-world load forecasting problems, and improve their ability to design, develop, document, and report sound and defensible load forecasts.
Tao's Energy Forecasting Webinar Series is being hosted every few weeks as the supplement for this course.
Attendee Profile (based on 89 participants from the offerings in 2012)
Business title: student, analyst, forecaster, consultant, lead, head, manager, director, VP
SAS experience: 0 to 20+ years
Industry experience: 0 to 35+ years
Statistical background: no background to PhD


 Organization Name

US Utilities 

Ambit Energy Holdings
Arkansas Electric Cooperative
Bear Valley Electric Service
Clearview Electric
Direct Energy
Duke Energy
El Paso Electric
Electric Reliability Council of Texas
Golden State Water
Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Coop
Integrys Energy
Lee County Electric Cooperative
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Midwest ISO
North Carolina Electric Membership Coop
Northern California Power Agency
Northern Virginia Electric Coop
Oklahoma Gas and Electric
Pacific Gas & Electric
PNM Resources
Questar Gas
Sacramental Municipal Utility District
Salt River Project
San Diego Gas & Electric
Southern California Edison
Southern Company
Southern Maryland Electric Coop
Tucson Electric Power 

 International Utilities

Israel - Public Utility Authority
Phillippine - Philippine Electricity Market Corp
Saudi Arabia - Saudi Electricity Company
Saudi Arabia - Saudi National Grid
Virgin Island - Glacial Energy


Forefront Economics
Iowa State University
Macquarie Energy
Enbridge Pipeline
Endurance Energy
Plano Independent School District
SAS Russia
US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Zencos Consulting
Past Offerings
03-04 JUN 2013 Chicago, IL
25-26 APR 2013 Irvine, CA
08-09 APR 2013 Rockville, MD
04-06 DEC 2012 Atlanta, GA (onsite class at Southern Company)
19-21 NOV 2012 Saudi Arabia (onsite class at Saudi Electricity Company)
23-24 OCT 2012 Boston, MA
13-14 SEP 2012 Atlanta, GA
12-13 JUL 2012 Dallas, TX
26-28 JUN 2012 Houston, TX (onsite class at Direct Energy)
04-05 JUN 2012 San Francisco, CA
03-04 MAY 2012 Cary, NC
Introduction to Electric Load Forecasting
• an overview of the electric power industry
• business needs of load forecasting
• driving factors of electricity consumption
• classification of load forecasts
Salient Features of Electric Load Series
• data pool
• trend
• seasonality
• more about load profiles
Mulitiple Linear Regression
• Naïve models
• trend
• class variables: weekday, month and hour
• polynomials of temperature
• interaction regression
• rolling regression
A Naive Benchmark for Short-term Load Forecasting
• motivation
• criterion
• a Naïve MLR model for STLF
• applications
• two more salient features
Customizing the Benchmarking Model
• recency effect
• weekend effect
• holiday effect
• case studies
• two more salient features
Very Short-Term Load Forecasting 
• hour ahead load forecast
• weighted least squares regression
• dynamic regression
• two-stage method
• extensions
Medium/Long-Term Load Forecasting 
• macroeconomic indicator
• weather normalization
• forecasting with weather variation
• forecasting with cross scenarios
Variables, Methods, Techniques, and Further Readings 
• load, weather, calendar, macroeconomic indicators, etc.
• similar day and hierarcy
• regression
• exponential smoothing 
• support vector machine
• artificial neural networks
• fuzzy systems and fuzzy regression
• relavent and readable books
• load forecasting papers
• fuzzy systems and fuzzy regression
Frequently Made Mistakes
• counterexamples
• expectation
• data
• models
• decisions
Software Applications
Comments from the attendees 
"Excellent framework for the presentation. Tao was extremely informative and was flexible in directing the presentation towards the class needs. He went through the presentation very smoothly. I found all of the presentations very interesting. It was easy to engage into the class discussion thanks to Tao. Highly recommend class to senior and junior forecasters in the electric industry."
Joseph Phalen
Business Analyst
Bear Valley Electric Service
"Tao does a wonderful job teaching his innovative and highly effective methods. I realized quickly that what he teaches is applicable to all utility forecasting, not just electric load forecasting, and I'm anxious to try his methods in my own work on natural gas consumption."
Dave Landward
Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Questar Gas Company 
"This is by far the best short course I've attended. The instructor clearly has mastery of the subject material and is willing and able to share this knowledge."
Michael Hollis, PhD
Senior Resources Specialist
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
"This course should be a requirement for anyone involved in bidding in next day forecasted load into an organized market, or for those involved in purchasing hourly electric power. Resource planners would find this course especially helpful in developing mid-term demand forecasts. Tao covers ground that no one else in the industry wants to talk about. "
Dave Stolz
Manager Power Markets
Hoosier Energy REC, Inc
"Dr. Hong’s course was very informative and useful. He covered the fundamentals and provided real world examples using SAS. My team and I are going to be leveraging the knowledge gained to help develop/improve our short-term forecasts. I would highly recommend this course!"
Huan Ho
Manager of Gas Load Forecasting
Direct Energy
"Tao has great expertise in utility load forecasting. Combine his skills in SAS with his outstanding capabilities as an instructor, and you have an opportunity to learn from the best.  Don’t miss his classes."
Margaret Yelverton
Manager of Business Services
NC Electric Membership Corporation
"The load forecasting course provided detailed instructions on how to develop a forecast from a rather simple model to more complex models. The class also covered best practices on how to validate the forecasting accuracy of models. The instructor was very knowledgeable and did his best to ensure that all attendees understood the material covered."
Calvin Opheim
Manager of Forecasting
Electric Reliability Council of Texas
"Tao's interest and passion when it comes to load forecasting is infectious. Tao's experience academically as well as in the industry makes him an expert in this area. I can honestly say that this was the most interesting training I have attended, and I learned a lot of valuable information. I highly recommend this course."
Crystal Glidewell
System Load Analyst III
Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
Tao was fabulous! It's great to see such clear enthusiasm for the topic and he clearly knows the material AND is able to break it down so that we can understand the basics. AWESOME! I want to take every tao class.
Sandra Holland, PhD
Sr. Forecast Analyst
Tucson Electric Power
"This course is significantly improved over the one I took earlier in 2012. The use of SAS enterprise guide during the exercises is very relevant and applicable to my job. Dr. Hong is an excellent teacher. He has a passion for what he teaches, and he exhibits a total mastery of the subject matter. If a student asks a question, Dr. Hong immediately has the correct answer. I very much enjoy learning from him. SAS needs to give him a raise."
Jason Wilson
Load Research Analyst
NC Electric Membership Corporation
"Thank you for all you have done, we gained a lot from you and it was the best course I have ever attended regarding load forecasting. I wish you and your family the best."
Abdulwahab M. Mohder
Sr. Transmission Engineer
Saudi Electricity Company
And more...
(The comments below are picked up from course evaluations. If you find yours and would like to associate your name with it, please let Tao know.)
"Excellent job, I wish more of my college professors could have taught more like you."
"Great course. Definitely a good course for professionals in the industry to learn a few new tricks."
"He is extremely experienced in this subject area and actually enjoys what he is teaching... so it was very easy to stay completely engaged during the entire course. The class was exciting and I would definitely recommend this class to others if Tao is teaching."
"The course design and speaker flexibility was excellent. Very useful presentation and suggestions which can be immediately put to use. Well worth the time, money and effort."
"One of the best courses I have taken in my careers (28 years). There was a lot to learn from this course and Tao even after many years as a utility and energy market forecaster. I will recommend this course to all of my colleges in the power industry."
"Dr. Tao Hong is extremely knowledgeable about forecasting methodology."
It is clear that Tao is very passionate about his work. His enthusiasm is quite catching. I'm anxious to get back to work and try some of his examples on my own data.
Not just very nice and friendly, but also know the topic very well.
That was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken (and I’ve taken a lot of classes).
The class discussions were very helpful and the direction provided for them helped keep them on task and relevant.
I appreciated the activities. As a novice in forecasting, it helped me gauge my retention and level of understanding, and the discussion/review helped understand varying viewpoints.
Dr. Hong is clearly an expert and passionate in this field.
Tao's combination of academic, industry and SAS experience is beneficial.
He did a great job of explaining complicated material and making it simple to understand.
Great material and knowledgeable instructor. Very worthwhile.
He did a very good job with the teaching, not only covering the materials in an organized way but also introducing many new perspectives.
Very helpful, it filled in a couple of gaps I had in construction proper models.
Tao is very informative and I would highly recommend him as an instructor in this course.
For someone who doesn't know SAS I thought the class was well taught and progressed smoothly.
"I would recommend this class to new forecasters and experienced ones alike. It was a great intro and also offered new approaches and visualization for more experienced participants."
"I think Tao was great. He communicated the concepts in ways that were easy to understand, in an extremely well organized manner and really engaged the class. I really don't know how he could have do better."
"Very good presenter, clearly has strong area interest and desire to share skills with others."
"The course was great for me... I'm excited that I can go back and apply some of the fundamentals/methodologies that we learned over that past two days."
"Great presenter. Very well spoken and engaing. He made me feel comfortable and gave various means of contacting him after the class."
"Very knowledgeable and presents material clearly."
"Tao was well prepared and cover each topic in a timely manner."
"Dr Tao was exceptional. He actively looks for ways to improve the course."
"Good interaction with students. It helped me when people talked about their specific issues."
"Absolutely wonderful. Material was right on target. Tao is so energetic. It is hard to keep the attention and engagement of folks in a class of that level of theoretical detail-- Tao accomplished that."
"His knowledge is best of the best. US and World needs his talent. Such people need to spend more time with executives to educate them. This will help executives understand analysts and why analysts need more time and budget. "
"Very knowledgeable with practical experiences, got to know more than any other courses."
"Very interesting learning about the materials, thanks for continuing allow us to understand these concepts and to better apply to our work."
"Course is very well done; good pace and covers lots of material. "
"Great class Tao. Good refresher for me in regards to forecasting for me (took one in college). Also helps me try to develop a strong model for our gap editing. "
"Good job. Very good class. You make understanding the logic in forecasting very simple and easy to grasp. "
"Excellent instructor. Tao Hong has outstanding modeling and forecasting skills built on a deep understanding of statistical methods and theory AS WELL AS excellent communication and teaching skills. It is a rare combination to find someone so technically knowledgeable who can also explain difficult information in such a clear, concise, and effective manner. "
"Challenged my thinking and helped me see new ways of approaching old problems. This aspect alone was well worth the investment in the course. "