- A summertime pilot program by customer engagement and analytics provider Opower turned up encouraging results for the grid: Even without extra economic incentive, many people will turn down the thermostat when asked. Fundamentally, the Washington Post reports, people want to conserve when utilities reach out to them.
- Virginia-based Opower worked with Green Mountain Power and Efficiency Vermont on the project, and found customers reduced electricity demand by up to 5% on the hottest days, simply because they were asked to do so.
- According to the company, the cloud based DR prompter was successful across multiple utility partners and 10 separate tests.
"In partnership with innovative utilities, we delivered reliable demand reduction through the use of behavioral science, big data analytics, and real-time communication," said Opower CEO Dan Yates. Behavioral demand response (BDR) "proves that customer behavior can play a significant role in helping to shave peak demand." Essentially, power users reduced demand simply by being asked.
Opower said it can use behavioral demand response to drive "measurable peak reduction without a price signal or device in the home."
If BDR were deployed nationally, associated peak load reduction could deliver 4,700 MW or 113% of the total capacity available today from existing residential demand response programs, Opower claims.
"Behavioral Demand Response is the biggest advancement in residential demand response programs in decades," the company said in a statement.