1.4 million firms ‘will take up energy demand response’

There will be nearly one and half million commercial buildings with systems handling their energy demand or ‘demand response’ (DR) technology in the next six years. So-called demand response is […]

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By Vicky Ellis

There will be nearly one and half million commercial buildings with systems handling their energy demand or ‘demand response’ (DR) technology in the next six years.

So-called demand response is when firms sign up with the grid operator and agree to lower their energy usage when electricity demand in the region outstrips generation, often in exchange for cash. It is increasingly being chosen by energy managers looking to trim their bottom line.

Now a new report predicts the number of commercial facilities taking part in such programmes worldwide will more than double, from fewer than 600,000 in 2012 to more than 1.4 million sites by 2018.

Marianne Hedin, senior research analyst at Pike Research said: “Although DR programmes are offered to a broad range of customers, the commercial sector offers a significant opportunity for growth in the DR market. With a huge number of buildings and facilities accounting for a substantial amount of electricity consumption, the commercial sector represents a major underserved market.”

The report, called “Demand Response for Commercial Buildings” found a growing popularity for automated DR (ADR) among utilities, grid operators and curtailment service providers (CSPs) or aggregators.

The rise of smart meters – which accurately show energy use and send information between the user and supplier – in small and medium sized firms will make it easier for them to get into the DR market, suggests the research.