One of my friends a student of American university has received a letter, describing new policies of energy usage. The letter stated the new rules of lighting, some limitations and recommendations for students on using electricity. It was clear from the letter, that the university has signed an agreement with the utility about participating in one of the demand response programs, aimed to shave the peak. It was also clear, that the university is making all the possible to help the region to cope the load peak, slightly changing the lifestyle.
What is most interesting is the reaction of the students. Though it was clear for them that the utility and the university are trying to cut their costs, they were absolutely sure, that there were no economical benefits for them, and their own bill will not be reduced. An interesting observation is that nobody has shown the intention to participate, somehow changing their consumption patterns.
I see two conclusions here.
First, automatic demand response is the key to successful implementation of peak shaving through effective energy management systems. If there is a recommendation to turn off some of the unused or unnecessary devices , we make the consumer think about it, and make some actions, that he is not awarded for. If however, all the devices are managed remotely, the consumer has to make some actions to tune his consumption pattern, turning on devices he needs. This, for the same reason, will lead to turning on only the minimum amount of loads, the real one he needs to, resulting in an effective energy management system.
And second, it is clear for me, being connected to the energy market, that the demand response is a must, it helps us to save tremendous amounts of money, not plugging in ineffective, costly energy sources, making for a successful energy management system. But many of the consumers, even young one, technology-oriented, are unaware of the reasons, processes and benefits if such programs and we still need to pay a lot of attention in educating them if we want the SmartGrid to become the part of our life.