Saving energy with demand response


Instead of building new power plants, what if we wasted less power? Demand response encourages energy-saving behaviors and returns savings to homeowners and businesses.

How demand response works

  • Slide 1Slide 1: During extreme temperatures customers use more energy.
  • Slide 2Slide 2: Using more energy can cause price spikes and possibly blackouts.
  • Slide 3Slide 3: Normally, utilities fire up another polluting power plant to meet demand...
  • Slide 4Slide 4: But with demand response, A/C units and appliances adjust to energy-efficient presets.
  • Slide 5Slide 5: Energy use drops and participants see lower electric bills.

Smart technologies make demand response easy

Demand response (DR) relies on people and technology, not just power plants, to meet electrical demand.

When energy demands are up, households and businesses with regular appliances are notified so that customers can choose to switch off non-essential appliances. Smart homes and programmable thermostats make demand response even easier.

During times of peak energy use, pre-approved appliances like swimming pool pumps, defrosters and water heaters automatically turn off. Thermostats can temporarily adjust to pre-approved temperatures. And some customers using smart technologies can modify their energy use at any time from a smartphone.

At the end of the month, many customers will get a rebate on their electricity bill, in addition to the amount they saved by using less energy.

Why home energy use matters

  • 20% Of total energy used in the US is by households 1
  • 60% Of peak energy is used by households 1

Why demand response can help

  • 14% Of peak US energy demand could be cut with demand response 2
  • 6 - 8% Lower energy prices are possible with 1% less peak demand 3
  1. U.S. Energy Information Administration
  2. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, A National Assessment of Demand Response Potential
  3. Statistics for Mid-Atlantic states. Brattle Group, Quantifying Demand Response Benefits in PJM (2007)