Demand response is the voluntary and temporary reduction in consumers' electricity use when the power system is stressed, and it's one of the ways the region can meet its peak electricity loads.
For Northwest utilities, income from power sales and the rates charged per kilowatt-hour grew by more than 3 percent per year over the last 10 years, but customer bills grew just 1 percent per year thanks largely to warm weather and energy efficiency, both of which reduce demand for power.
Demand response resources are the least-cost solution for providing new peaking capacity and could save the region billions of dollars
The utility industry, including within the Pacific Northwest, has a long history of using demand response to reduce electricity use when the grid is stressed. Now it can also be used to help the grid when wind and solar produce too much power.
The Northwest's demand response symposium was the first step toward meeting the Council's goal of developing at least 600 megawatts of DR. But it's just the beginning.
Demand response, the voluntary and temporary reduction in consumers’ use of electricity when the power system is stressed, is the least-cost solution for new peaking capacity. An upcoming symposium is bringing people together to make this solution a reality.