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Demand Response



Smart Meters

What is demand response?

Demand response tools help utilities level out the spikes of energy consumption during times of peak use, such as in the morning when people wake up and turn on lights and appliances. Demand response can also potentially help integrate large amounts of wind energy in the Pacific Northwest system.

Demand response tools allow electricity providers and consumers to better manage how and when they consume electricity and, in some cases, at what price. For example, customers can volunteer for a program in which they allow their utility to reduce the energy consumption of certain appliances at times of the day when the demand for electricity is high. In another pilot, participants' water heaters are equipped so they can automatically turn on when a wind generator is producing power.

What are the benefits of demand response?

Demand response tools can be money savers for many utilities and their consumers, because they reduce the amount of energy used during peak times, reducing fees consumers pay for their peak power demand. Flattening out electricity use during peak hours can help keep rates lower by reducing the need for utilities to purchase more costly market energy to meet periods of higher demand. Ongoing consumer participation in demand response projects also can reduce the likelihood of potential "brown outs" and other disruptions during periods of peak energy use.

For the region, demand response can ease strain on the federal hydro system. Electricity use is growing, as are operational demands to protect fish runs and to integrate variable resources such as wind.

What demand response projects does BPA have underway?

BPA has several demand response pilot projects in the agriculture, residential and commercial and industrial sectors, as well as some in both sectors combined.


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