Sometimes, the demand for energy outpaces the grid’s ability to supply it. Think about a lengthy mid-summer heat wave when everyone is running their air conditioning 24/7. Or when the polar vortex event in 2019 had everyone turning up their thermostats while generators struggled to keep up. Usage surges like these can cause blackouts or brownouts.
Power interruptions in the U.S. cost about $80 billion a year. You know the inconvenience and price tag attached to that loss of productivity and product spoilage. But did you know there’s a way you can help mitigate use during those high-demand periods – and generate a new revenue stream for your business?
Meet Demand Response. During usage surges, grid operators aim to reduce the amount of electricity being consumed. They do this by offering incentives including one you are likely already familiar with – time of use pricing. Another method is by offering a Demand Response program. Businesses can voluntarily participate, and earn rebates if they use less energy when the grid is stressed. Unlike energy efficiency practices, which tend to encourage lower use all the time, Demand Response’s goal is to lower energy use at very specific times when demand is unusually heavy.
Turn peak-time curtailing into cash with Demand Response. Most of the time, a grid operator will require a commitment that a customer will restrict electricity use to an agreed-upon point during critical peak times. Before participating, a customer must assess whether or not they have the capacity to make that commitment. There are some businesses that are very well-suited to participation. Manufacturers may have the ability to move their most energy-hungry processes from those peak time slots. The commercial real estate sector may be able to temporarily reduce energy consumption via HVAC and lighting – smart controls make this particularly easy. Other businesses may be able to rely on back-up generators – or better, stored renewable energy – to tide them over the Demand Response event. There are professionals – including at Energy CX – that can work with you to understand your processes, your energy needs and how Demand Response can fit into your operations while minimizing disruption.
Ready, set, go. Planning is everything when it comes to participating in Demand Response. A clear, tailored plan of action should be created and shared with everyone that would be involved in its execution. That way, when you do get notice that a Demand Response event is coming, there’s not as much hassle or disruption. You just put your plan into action – and reap the financial benefits.
Do you have questions about whether Demand Response is right for you, and the potential revenue you could see? Energy CX can help – just drop us a line.