Demand Response in U.S. Electricity Markets: Empirical Evidence

Demand Response in U.S. Electricity Markets: Empirical Evidence

TitleDemand Response in U.S. Electricity Markets: Empirical Evidence
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsPeter Cappers, Charles A Goldman, David Kathan
Date Published06/2009
Keywordsdemand response, electricity markets and policy group, energy analysis and environmental impacts department, energy markets, program performance

Empirical evidence concerning demand response (DR) resources is needed in order to establish baseline conditions, develop standardized methods to assess DR availability and performance, and to build confidence among policymakers, utilities, system operators, and stakeholders that DR resources do offer a viable, cost-effective alternative to supplyside investments. This paper summarizes the existing contribution of DR resources in U.S. electric power markets. In 2008, customers enrolled in existing wholesale and retail DR programs were capable of providing ~38,000 MW of potential peak load reductions in the United States. Participants in organized wholesale market DR programs, though, have historically overestimated their likely performance during declared curtailments events, but appear to be getting better as they and their agents gain experience. In places with less developed organized wholesale market DR programs, utilities are learning how to create more flexible DR resources by adapting legacy load management programs to fit into existing wholesale market constructs. Overall, the development of open and organized wholesale markets coupled with direct policy support by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has facilitated new entry by curtailment service providers, which has likely expanded the demand response industry and led to product and service innovation.

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Refereed DesignationUnknown