Residential demand response could open door for savingsWhile better appliances and habits have worked to decrease the amount of money that residents spend on electricity, technology that could better manage the amount of power that flows into a home may be the next step in improving power consumption.

Residents in the United States are becoming smarter about how they use their energy. Now, more people than ever know about many of the basic steps that they can employ in order to improve the amount of electricity that is wasted in the home.

However, as more energy customers come online, and strain on the electric grid continues to grow, both power consumers and providers face some challenges in the road ahead. Many utilities need to invest in technology that can increase transmissions and distribution efficiency, which in turn can lead to more expensive electricity rates. Fortunately, this kind of technology could also lead to better service for residents and create better financing models as a result.

Residential demand response

Demand response programs are agreements that can reward energy customers for avoiding using electricity during times of peak demand. In the past, these kinds of programs have typically been reserved for commercial and industrial operations given their scale when it comes to the amount of power that they consume. However, as technologies both in the home and along the electric grid improve, the capability for these kinds of agreements could become more prominent in the U.S. residential energy sector.

The Environmental Defense Fund reported that figures from the Energy Information Administration indicate that the residential sector makes up about 20 percent of the country’s total energy demand. However, in certain parts of the country, the sector can make up over 50 percent of the peak energy load, meaning that the residential sector stands to see huge improvements.

On top of this, the San Diego Union Tribune reported that technologies in the home are making it easier for residents to abide with these kinds of reduction requests. According to the news source, the area utility – San Diego Gas and Electric – has called on residents with energy management systems installed within their homes to cut back on the amount of electricity they use through a billing program.

In doing so, the 500,000-plus customers who participated were able to earn credits to reduce their energy bills, while at the same time spend less on their electricity as a whole.

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