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Demand Response: An Overview of Enabling Technologies

Oak Ridge National Laboratory engineers say residential and commercial customers must bear the true price of power, through new technologies, for electric competition to work.
Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 2001
  • tool such as Excel for the customer to do his own analysis.

Customer Responses to Opportunities: How They May React

Customers can approach information-based action in different ways. Based on the information, they can invest in equipment and modifications to their facilities that reduce their energy cost. They can take immediate manual action, automatic action, or a combination of the two based on current conditions. They can invest in equipment and modifications to their facilities that give them flexibility to respond to future events in real-time. The immediate manual response requires little capital investment and can be effective if the number of events is not too great. The automatic response accommodates numerous events but involves greater cost. Equipping for future real-time responses may have the greatest initial cost but will provide the greatest life-cycle profitability.

As a result of these new technologies, the small customer will soon be able to pursue attractive opportunities in the open electricity market just as large customers do. Strong evidence of this arriving opportunity is evident by new metering, communications, and control technologies/products that are appearing on the market. The small customer of electricity services needs to use these tools to become "enabled" with improved metering, load control, and real-time pricing data. The enabled customer will be able to not only manage load in response to notices/requests from the electricity provider but also provide load control and other important ancillary services in response to real-time prices.

  1. J. D. Kueck, B. J. Kirby et al, "Load as a Reliability Resource in Restructured Electricity Markets," ORNL/TM2001/97, LBNL-47983, available at the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) Website, ( http://certs.lb
  2. Electrical World, Vancouver, WA (July/August 2000)
  3. "MainStreet Internet Gateway," MainStreet Networks, Morgan Hill, CA, description found at www.mainstreetnetworks.com, (December 2000)
  4. 4 articles: F. Harvey, "The Internet in Your Hands," K. Bannan, "The Promise and Perils of WAP," D. Wilson, "The Future Is Here. Or Is It?," L. Kahney, The Third-Generation Gap, (October 2000)
  5. The Wireless Revolu, Washington, DC (October 13, 2000)

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