Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Energy Demand Response... Taking Hold?

My dad, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, mentioned today that Georgia Power had installed a device on his air conditioner compressors at home. This will allow them to shut down the compressors during peak demand periods. They expect that during May-September the total number of shut downs will range between zero and ten.

Lots of energy companies are getting pretty smart this way.


Adobe, for example, participates in Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) demand response program. On days when it’s particularly hot and demand for cooling buildings goes up, PG&E can call Adobe’s facilities team and they will reduce the company’s use of energy by up to 10% if needed, both to help protect the grid and to hold down critical peak pricing. In exchange, Adobe’s overall rate is lowered. Most of the energy reduction is around lighting – in interior hallways and exterior-facing offices. According to Randy Knox, this initiative has particularly strong support from employees, who have been told that, “on a hot day you may notice lights will be diminished to save energy and save costs. Employees feel they are ‘doing their bit.”

Could this be the start of a "smart grid?"

1 comment:

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