2018 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot

Navigant partnered with the Smart Electric Power Alliance and the Peak Load Management Alliance to produce an in-depth report

Demand response (DR) is not only growing, but it’s being looked to as an increasingly valuable and flexible resource in today’s evolving energy landscape, according to a new report from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).

The 2018 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot, which was produced in partnership with Navigant and the Peak Load Management Alliance, shows that in 2017 an increasingly broad range of DR programs dispatched 10.7 GW of energy savings to the grid, while total enrolled capacity, or how much saved power was potentially available, was 18.3 GW.

“DR is not just an emergency resource anymore, but can be used for purposes like renewables integration, customer engagement, and offsetting constraints in natural gas supply,” said Brett Feldman, associate director at Navigant, who contributed to the report.

Additional key takeaways from the report:

  • C&I customers provided more than half of enrolled DR capacity in 2017 — about 12 GW. On the residential side, traditional air conditioning switch programs remain the most common form of DR, with 3.7 GW of enrolled capacity.
  • DR is helping utilities and grid operators absorb excess solar generation and adjust for changing seasonal loads through reverse DR and load shifting.
  • Utilities are also looking at locational DR and pairing DR with other distributed energy resources. A number of non-wire alternatives projects in the U.S. are leveraging DR to offset the growth of peak loads and defer investments in distribution systems.
  • Going forward, the DR market has a number of opportunities for expansion, including continuing participation in wholesale power markets, and the peak load standards being considered by a handful of states, including Arizona and Massachusetts.
  • The introduction of innovative time-of-use rates, often combined with DR programs, is widening among residential and small to medium business customers, allowing for a more dynamic approach to management of load curves.
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