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Demand Response and Advanced Metering Gaining Ground, Report Finds
Demand response and advanced metering programs have made significant progress in serving more consumers across the country, according to a new report that charts the expansion of these energy-saving programs since 2006.
The report, 2008 Assessment of Demand Response and Advanced Metering, is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) third annual report on demand response issues.
While it notes progress on overcoming regulatory and financial hurdles over the past three years, the report also points to continuing obstacles — the limited number of retail customers on time-based rates, restrictions on customer access to meter data and the scale of financial investment necessary to deploy enabling technologies during an economic downturn — that could limit opportunities for continued growth in these programs.
The report’s conclusions are based on a survey that shows the ratio of advanced meters to all installed meters has reached 4.7 percent for the U.S., a significant jump from the less than 1 percent in 2006. Market penetration of advanced metering programs has risen substantially throughout the country, with the largest increase coming in Florida.
On the demand response side, 8 percent of energy consumers in the U.S. are in some kind of demand response program and the potential demand response resource contribution from all such U.S. programs is close to 41,000 megawatts, or 5.8 percent, of U.S. peak demand. This represents an increase of about 3,400 MW from the 2006 estimate.
The largest demand response resource contributions are from the Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern and Southeastern regions of the U.S.
The report also notes that in the past year, Colorado, Maryland, Ohio and other states promoted demand response through utility regulation legislation. Alabama and California led states in approving time-based rates for consumers. And multi-state groups from the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest are coordinating across jurisdictions to enhance demand response through research, education and planning.