How Utilities Can Unlock the Full Potential of Residential Demand Response

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More and more, utilities are choosing demand response (DR) as a way to balance grid operations, lower energy prices for consumers, and integrate renewable resources like solar power. Utilities have traditionally relied on large commercial customers to achieve those results. Yet residential customers represent a huge, untapped DR resource.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) estimates that utilities can deliver 65 GW of peak reduction in the residential sector — equivalent to $3 billion worth of annual capacity. But, despite heavy investment, current residential DR programs engage less than 5 percent of homes and fall far short of FERC’s estimates of achievable potential.

How can utilities reach deeper into their service territories, engage the other 95 percent of homes, and unlock DR’s full potential? This new white paper from OPower shows how industry leaders are looking beyond existing models and employing solutions that take advantage of new customer-facing technologies, regulatory support for dynamic rates, and consumer adoption of connected devices. To reach deeper into their service territory and get the most out of their DR programs, utilities need to employ a comprehensive approach based on three key strategies:

1. Unlock the base through behavior: Engage up to 100 percent of customers through highly personalized, real-time communications
2. Keep dynamic pricing simple: Drive participation in dynamic pricing with simplified rate structures and engaging customer communications
3. Deepen customer relationships with connected devices: Encourage consumers to adopt connected thermostats through ongoing engagement and customer choice

Download the details of these finding from the Energy Efficiency Markets White Paper Library.

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