Demand response programs use rates, incentives and other strategies to persuade customers to voluntarily contribute to load reduction during periods of high demand, like hot summer days. How does demand response compliment your utility’s energy efficiency programs? Providing homes and businesses with opportunities to reduce or shift electricity use during critical times increases energy reliability and affordability. Furthermore, growing your demand response efforts can make it less necessary to seek out new electricity supplies in the future.
Smart Grid Technologies Facilitate Demand Response
Smart grid devices provide your utility’s system operators with real-time information on system conditions and more readily allow for the integration of demand side resources into the minute-by-minute operations of the electric system. Smart meters and other end-user smart grid devices provide your customers with more timely information about their energy usage and the cost of electricity at any particular time. This type of information encourages load reductions or load shifting and also facilitates participation by customers, both large and small in demand response programs.
Learning as We Go
In October, roughly $550 million of the American Reinvestment and Recovery (ARRA) Smart Grid Grants were awarded to public power utilities. Soon, CEEP will add case studies about aspects of program planning and implementation, based on these utilities experiences. In the meantime, resources here will help you understand the basics of demand response and smart grid, and the practical and logistical sides of program implementation. Because this is a rapidly evolving area, links are also provided to issue-specific websites that track technology advances and other developments.