A common myth among energy managers, operations engineers and process managers is that their operations are too small, specific or unique to be able to participate in demand-side response (DSR) programs.
Good news: as demand-side management technologies advance and stakeholders push to open up this new market, more players (including smaller ones) are able to participate. That means you don’t have to be a major power producer or heavy industrial user to participate in demand response anymore.
In this post we’ll focus on places you can look for demand response flexibility no matter what industry you’re working in. Read on to discover where you might unlock your company’s assets and open up new revenue streams for your business…
Finding Demand Response Flexibility In Your Business
Flexible demand-side resources are essential to making demand respond work for the entire grid system no matter how far advanced this technology is in your region.
When we refer to “flexible resources“, it means electrical loads capable of responding to market signals or direct load control in order to smooth out fluctuations in the grid.
The great thing about demand-side resources is that they are already built into the system – any connected generation or load has great potential to support grid reliability by leveraging modern distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS). What’s more, recent solutions focus on incorporating the unique needs of different systems.
Which sectors are best for demand response?
Theoretically, any organisation that consumes a considerable amount of energy could participate. According to the experience of NRG, the most successful participants typically include manufacturing facilities, hospitals and healthcare facilities, commercial properties, schools and universities, data centres, large hotels, and shopping centres.
How can I fit demand response into my operations?
If you decide that you want to participate, your in-house energy manager or energy services provider can conduct an energy audit that will identify flexibility opportunities and determine whether your facility is eligible for demand response.
Remember, every facility will have a different demand response action plan depending on the nature of their operations. Some successful methods include running on-site generators, reducing HVAC usage, and shutting off non-essential loads or large pieces of equipment.
Let’s look at a few specific examples of which assets are best to check for flexibility across different sectors:
How can I get started with demand response?
If you recognise some of the flexibility options listed above in your business, demand response might be a revenue-generating opportunity for you. Talk with an energy management professional or your local DR provider about how these programs can add to your bottom line with minimal disruption to your operations.
Be sure to ask specific questions like:
- Are there any initial costs to get started?
- How will payments be calculated and delivered?
- What level of customer service can we expect?
- Do I need to replace my fiscal meter?
- Will you provide technical support and hardware designed to automate a coordinated response?
- Do you offer energy audits specifically for demand response?
If you are an energy manager looking to add demand response to your suite of energy management services, be sure to join our upcoming free online training session: