We've been hearing a lot about Demand Response in recent news. While it's certainly a hot topic, though, the concept is nothing new. In the most general sense, Demand Response has been around for decades. The difference is that we've moved beyond simply turning down the thermostat into comprehensive strategies that are predictable and revenue generating.
1. Expansion of the BDR Concept
Behavioral Demand Response (BDR) is gaining interest, as the idea is increasing in its perceived reliability and ability to provide predictable, scientific results. BDR provider Opower, for instance, has seen a consistent 3-5% utilities savings during peak demand throughout the past two summers. This is encouraging for those looking for steady improvement and change. BDR is also being empowered by a surge in energy usage data generated from smart meters. None of this has even scratched the surface for potential, though. There are so many ways to communicate with consumers and change their behaviors through BDR, and we'll see a lot more focus on this trend in 2016.
2. Big Data Management on the Rise
Because BDR is so reliant upon big data insights, it's really no wonder that the management of big data will be a rising concern in 2016. As more near real-time energy data is available, utilities, regulators, and other market participants will be taking all measures possible to harness that information to induce consumption changes and engage with customers.
3. More EVs on the Road
Sure, gas prices have been falling, but that doesn't mean that the trend toward driving electric vehicles (EVs) isn't expected to grow. In fact, the Department of Energy has predicted a 400% growth in annual sales of EVs by as early as 2023. This boom creates major opportunities for utilities as the demand for grid electricity will increase. More vehicle chargers will crop up, and utilities will need to get creative in their ability to support this growth. Consequently, testing is being done to see how fleets can be aggregated for demand response.
4. An Increase in Third Party Energy Services
With states like California and New York leading the nation in the trend towards allowing third parties to provide energy services, we may see a shift in how the utility industry operates and profits, with utilities acting as platform providers for outside service. As in the case of California, this may happen through leveraging data from smart meters as a means of turning demand management into a dependable and revenue generating resource. For consumers, this means the availability of new markets and products at affordable prices.
5. A Surge in HEMS
Home Energy management Systems (HEMS) are becoming increasingly popular as the consumer market is more educated about the benefits to using smart technology like responsive apps, customizable thermostats, etc. for automating both homes and places of business.
Keep an eye on more 2016 demand management trends by checking back regularly or learn more by teaming up with the experts at NuEnergen.