When it comes to ensuring the proper flexibility within the U.S.'s electricity system, the focus has traditionally been placed on the supply side. In recent years, though, the attention is being pulled away from the generation, transmission, and distribution capacities of the system and directed onto demand-side flexibility. Whereas customers of the past only had the options of either buying electricity from a utility company, generating their own electricity, or eliminating their electricity needs, demand flexibility introduces a whole new option for money savings and efficiency.
Through demand flexibility, customers have the ability to shift their electricity usage across the hours of a given day or night through the usage of simple automation technology. At the same time, utilities are offering increasingly sophisticated electricity rate structures based upon time variances and peak demand. The resulting flexiwatts have the potential to provide major economic benefits to customers and the grid. Are you as excited about the possibilities as we are? Read on to learn more about flexiwatts and demand flexibility.
1. It Can Reduce Grid Costs
The grid has a lot to gain from flexiwatts -- $13 billion in annual savings, in fact. Instead of giving into the forecasted grid investment needs, utilities can cut costs by making loads flexible and response-ready to time-varying rates. Demand flexibility can also significantly reduce expenses for electricity generation, transmission, and distribution. Finally, demand flexibility cuts down on individual consumer peak demands by as much as 48%, according to recent research.
2. It's a Significant Consumer Market
Consumers should definitely be interested in what flexiwatts have to offer, especially considering that demand flexibility can enable customers to save 10-40 percent on their utility bills each year. Those who opt into real-time pricing programs are empowered by the ability to shift large portions of their load from high-cost to lower-cost times.
3. It's Not Expensive
If you think flexiwatts are too good to be true, guess again. Although demand flexibility has the ability to perform important, efficiency-boosting functions, it does so at a fraction of the cost of traditional means, such as batteries. Demand flexibility can be viewed as a least-cost solution, and an affordable opportunity for savings and smart electricity consumption throughout the U.S.
4. It's Different from Demand Response
Don't mistake demand flexibility and flexiwatts for demand response. Although it's an excellent complement to demand response, the two are distinctly unique. While demand response is generally only called upon during a few extreme grid events throughout the year, demand flexibility works within real time, day in and day out. This makes it a powerful daily resource for both consumers and grid operators.
5. It can improve solar and PV grid integration
Demand flexibility is being viewed as a critical tool for solar PV because it has the potential to enhance on-site solar self-usage and consumption, smooth solar PV integration, support the PV value proposition regardless of the presence of net metering, and much more.
Would you like to learn more about demand flexibility or demand response? The professionals at NuEnergen can answer all of your questions and help you on your way to better energy efficiency.