EL&P talked with three experts on demand response in its August issue to trumpet the introduction of a new T&D section. To add to this article, EEI gives us an overview of demand response programs in the U.S.
By Keith Voight, EEI
August 21, 2002 — Electric companies have a long history of developing energy-management programs and incentives for their industrial, commercial, and residential customers. These programs encourage the wise use of energy and they help electric companies to use their generation and transmission assets more effectively. Because the programs affect retail electric service, electric companies work in partnership with their state regulatory commissions and their consumers to gain approval for them.
Types of electric company energy management programs include:
* Demand-exchange programs for large customers, accessed through the Internet, where the utility offers customers a “strike price” to voluntarily shed their load, with the customer receiving a percentage of the savings obtained by the utility for not purchasing power in the wholesale market. Customers can also bid on price and amount.
* Real-time and time-of-use metering and pricing options where customers can set their own strategies for controlling energy costs.
* Demand-management programs that pay large commercial and industrial customers to use less power during peak periods or shift power to non-peak periods.
* Direct load control programs for residential and small commercial customers to allow utilities to cycle off or shut down big energy-using appliances and equipment for certain periods of time. This program is especially useful in the summer months on air conditioners, heat pumps, water heaters, and pool pumps.
* Energy-efficiency rebates as incentives to commercial, industrial, and residential customers for purchasing or upgrading lighting, heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, ventilation, agricultural equipment, water heating systems, and motors.
For detailed information on demand response programs in the U.S., visit the EEI Summer of 2002 table on utility DSM programs: http://www.eei.org/efficiency. Click on “View EEI member and non-member efficiency and demand response programs.”