Demand Response and Commercial Electricity

Demand Response and Commercial Electricity

Photo by Andy Arthur

We’ve mentioned the idea of conservation several times over the course of the last few months, and for good reason. Not only is conservation good for your bottom line, it’s also good for the planet and good for alleviating strain on the power grid during peak times. In order to maintain a stable grid, production and demand have to match one another. When demand spikes higher than production capability, we end up with rolling blackouts. In other words, at those times there simply isn’t enough power to go around.

Currently, analysts predict that in the coming years Texas may have a tough time keeping up with its power demand, especially during the summer months when high temperatures cause our AC units to run around the clock. There are several possible solutions to this potential problem, including more generation plants to meet the growing demand. One thing you can do to help is make conservation a priority for your business.

A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the benefits of “demand response”, which refers to “the idea of reducing power demand when the electricity grid is strained…Energy experts call this concept ‘demand response,’ because the idea is to make power demand responsive to the real-time conditions of the grid.” You may recall a few times during the summer when ERCOT (the Electric Reliability Council of Texas) requested that both residential and commercial electricity customers reduce their energy use during midday hours. That was demand response.

The idea is to toggle down commercial electricity demand at times when the grid is on the verge of being over-taxed. Doing so can help us avoid rolling blackouts and often doesn’t require much from individual businesses. For example, the article quotes Seth Kaplan, vice president for policy and climate advocacy at the Conservation Law Foundation: “If you’re in a large room, with 20 light bulbs over your head, if five of them were turned off, you’d still be able to see pretty well.” Indeed, simple things like LED light bulbs, basic weatherizing and just turning off equipment (like computers and copy machines) when not in use has the potential to significantly lower business electricity demand.

The benefit to you is two-fold: one, you are helping ERCOT maintain a stable grid, which is good for everyone. No one is a fan of rolling blackouts. Two, you’re lowering your own business electricity costs, both during peak times and throughout the rest of the day and year. Good conservation habits make business sense.

Here at Live Energy, our goal is to help you develop and maintain a strong commercial electricity strategy that will make a noticeable difference in your energy costs. Because every business is different, we don’t apply a cookie-cutter mentality to our approach. Instead, we listen to our clients. We want to know about your goals, values, focus, financial considerations and future plans. Are you interested in ‘green’ business electricity products? Is lowering your overall costs your greatest concern? Do you have plans for future growth? We will find the right product, provider, contract and rate for your organization.

Conservation is just one of the ways you may be able to reduce your commercial electricity expense. If you’d like to learn more about how Live Energy can help you develop a complete business electricity strategy, please call us today at (817) 810-7770.


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