I just finished reading a good article by Kate Rowland at Intelligent Utility about the future of Demand Response 2.0. Most agree that it is one of the keys to a smarter grid, but how to engage customers and drive adoption is still a work in progress.
As I have worked with clients and had discussions with others in the industry, this seems to be a question everyone is pondering. The answers are varied in approach and tone:
- Dynamic Pricing – Whether punitive or incentive-based, hitting the pocket book is almost always effective but can damage the relationship with consumers and make conversations with regulating bodies much more contentious.
- Conservation Programs – Educate the public on the high value of lower demand. Less fuel, less need for additional construction, less reliance on inefficient or dirty generation assets.
- Improved System Stability – DR can be used to avoid brown-outs and reduce the chance of over-capacity problems that plague many systems.
- Cost – Working with the utility to develop profiles that lower overall usage and reduce consumption at times of peak demand can reduce the $/kwh that utilities pass on.