Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management

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Note from the editor

While smart meter deployments are slowing in the U.S., demand response is rising, both at the retail level where it is managed by utilities and at the wholesale level where it is procured in organized markets.

And it is changing, with utilities increasingly harnessing distributed energy resources to manage their loads more effectively.

More broadly, utilities are using a variety of new resources and connected devices to balance the grid and meet demand, drawing on everything from smart thermostats to large-scale batteries.

This trendline looks at significant developments in energy efficiency and demand side management, including impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and California's efforts to avoid more weather-induced power outages.

Larry Pearl Senior Editor

Equity, security and load: FERC conference considers the challenges and potential of electrification

U.S. electricity load could double by 2050. The industry is focused on how to meet that need equitably and securely, panelists at a recent technical conference said.

• Published May 3, 2021

'A total mindshift': Utilities replace gas peakers, 'old school' demand response with flexible DERs

Utility-customer cooperation can balance renewables' variability with flexibility without using "blunt" demand response or natural gas.

• Published March 8, 2021

Two barriers to utility and customer savings with flexible loads and how regulators can help

Utilities, regulators and load flexibility authorities say better distribution system control technologies and compensation are needed to increase use of flexible customer-sited resources.

• Published Jan. 6, 2021

Tacoma Power's first foray into demand response could support green fuels production

Tacoma Power wants to attract green hydrogen producers to its territory with a discounted electricity rate. In exchange, the utility may curtail its service up to 1,300 hours annually.

• Published March 29, 2021

Demand response failed California 20 years ago; the state's recent outages may have redeemed it

State regulators may now see a need for more flexible demand response to address power supply shortages

• Published Sept. 28, 2020

Voltus vies to unleash thousands of MWs of demand response capacity in challenge to MISO restrictions

Clean energy advocates say allowing demand response participation in wholesale markets will increase competition, reduce customer costs and help regional transmission operators better manage the grid.

• Published Nov. 4, 2020

As smart meters proliferate, a new kind of demand response becomes entrenched

AMI penetration is slowing, but utilities are harnessing new resources to keep demand response growing.

• Published Nov. 14, 2018

Cities push ahead on Energy Efficiency as a Service as private sector plays catch up

Forms of EEaaS have existed for decades as alternative funding mechanisms in cities. Now, as technologies accelerate and COVID-19 continues, the private sector wants in.

• Published Oct. 5, 2020

SCE's novel energy efficiency deal with price 'premium' draws scrutiny, protest in Pacific Northwest

Southern California Edison wants to buy surplus hydropower. Although customers will pay a premium, NGOs say it may be a "groundbreaking" way to advance energy efficiency.

• Published Feb. 26, 2020

The latest in energy efficiency and demand side management

While smart meter deployments are slowing in the U.S., demand response is rising, both at the retail level and at the wholesale level. Utilities are now using a variety of new resources and connected devices to balance the grid and meet demand, drawing on everything from smart thermostats to large-scale batteries.

included in this trendline
  • Voltus vies to unleash thousands of MWs of demand response capacity
  • Could COVID-19 provide a windfall to utilities from shifting demand?
  • SCE's novel energy efficiency deal with price 'premium' draws scrutiny
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.