In a demand side response (DSR) scheme customers are incentivised financially to lower or shift their electricity use at peak times. This helps transmission and distribution network operators to manage or ‘balance’ the load (power output) on electricity networks to ensure supply meets demand.
DSR schemes can either call for additional capacity to be generated and supplied to the grid to meet demand, or call for consumers to reduce their demand.
Both of these aims can be achieved from assets used widely across the public sector. For example, combined heat and power (CHP) systems and back-up generators can be used to increase supply. Buildings management systems can be used to reduce demand during peak hours by varying demand from non-essential equipment such as air conditioning.
In addition to these DSR network schemes there are opportunities for customers to derive savings from the reduction of electricity consumption from the grid during peak times which incur fixed transmission and distribution costs. These can be accessed by contacting your electricity supplier.
Many public sector organisations already participate in demand side response schemes to generate additional revenue and reduce energy costs, including hospitals, universities, the Ministry of Defence and local authorities.