According to a recent report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), demand-response programs can reduce utilities' peak demand an average of 10 percent, complementing savings from energy efficiency programs.
As the power sector evolves to accommodate innovations such as renewables and efficiency, utilities and providers have not always embraced change.
However, conservation proponents won a national battle recently, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a regulation supporting demand-response programs.
In January 2014, a weather front known as a “polar vortex” descended from Canada’s arctic north and brought frigid temperatures and heavy snow and ice as far south as Texas and eastward to the Mid-Atlantic and New England.
Energy efficiency has become one of the building blocks of the larger effort to transform the way society consumes electricity. Within the realm of efficiency, demand-response programs have become one of most effective tools for utilities to cut back on consumers’ energy consumption.
With the ability to turn off lights during peak-demand periods, demand-response (DR) programs offer a number of advantages for larger commercial and industrial electric-utility customers. These benefits can include utility incentive payments and, of course, lower electricity bills.
Once known as demand-side management, the implementation of products and practices designed to modify electricity consumption are proven methods for electricity providers and consumers to control usage.
The average commercial building electric bill often features a consumption and demand component. The consumption component reflects the amount of electric energy (kilowatt-hours) used, and the demand component shows the maximum demand (kilowatts) during the billing period.
The use of demand response and advanced metering programs has risen significantly since 2008 to cover more consumers around the country, according to a new staff report issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).