In response to a report released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in June, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is advocating the use of the state-by-state study as a guide for achieving maximum cost-effective demand response.
The National Assessment of Demand Response Potential was authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The report finds that with
full demand-response participation, the U.S. can level out peak-capacity requirements through 2019, nearly eliminating the need for new power plants. The peak-shifting behavior is based primarily on the prevalence of central air conditioner controls along with the use of advanced meters and communicating thermostats.
In addition to existing technologies, this report identifies future technological trends that can continue to reduce peak load, including Smart Grid capable appliances, photovoltaic panels, and plug-in electric vehicles. Because these newer technologies have a short track record, their demand-response potential was not quantified. To speed adoption of current and future technologies, regulators can include demand-response technologies in building codes and increase the use of dynamic, as opposed to fixed, electricity rates. The report, however, does quantify the current status and future trends of demand response in each state.
To access the entire FERC report, go to http://www.ferc.gov/industries/electric/indus-act/demand-response/dr-potential.asp.