Tuesday, November 14, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Partnering with Customers to Increase Load Flexibility in a Decarbonizing Future
Session ID
A5 - Lightning: Residential Programs
Behavior - based Programs
Essie Snell

Decarbonizing our energy system is poised to create a growing need for load flexibility. This is true both for electric utilities adding more renewable generation to their systems while facing larger peak loads from electrification, and for gas utilities innovating to support decarbonization efforts and clean heat initiatives while facing emerging policy-driven capacity constraints. Behavioral strategies represent an especially promising approach to equitably scaling up load flexibility while also bolstering existing demand response programs, but have been held back by concerns about actual benefits delivered, predictability of load reductions, and the possibility of customer disengagement over time. The good news is that, by accessing real-time data from existing meters and sharing that with both utilities and customers, many of these concerns can be directly resolved. In this session, we’ll share results from recent pilots with electric and gas utilities using real-time data to engage customers and expand behavioral load management, including a first-of-its kind program with National Grid where behavioral messaging led customers to reduce gas use by 18% over 4 hours in the middle of an extreme blizzard. We’ll compare behavioral demand management with automated approaches (like smart thermostat programs) on the basis of load reductions, customer experience, and scalability, and explain why the newest behavioral approaches may be uniquely able to help gas and electric utilities maintain affordability, resiliency, and energy equity in a rapidly decarbonizing future.

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