Demand Side Response (DSR) is about intelligently and effectively moving the use of electricity from one time to another. In other words, DSR addresses how and when we use the electricity that we need so that we can reduce the need to generate more.
Peak energy usage periods benefit from DSR the most and occur when a high number of households need power at the same time. This might be evenings when more people are at home or when we all rush to put the kettle on during an ad break in the GOT series finale!
To manage these peaks in usage, energy providers put additional power stations into action which are more expensive and CO2 intensive to run. If the energy use during these periods can be better distributed, then we create what we call a virtual power plant. DSR achieves this by managing all electricity usage during a rush on the grid; such as turning off lights, delaying a dishwasher or turning down electric heaters.
Why has this not been done before?
DSR has been around for a long time and is widely used in energy intensive industries such as manufacturing as well as in your local supermarket. If you do your shopping at night and all of a sudden the lights dim or partly go off, that could be a DSR event in action.
Advances in the ‘smart home’/Internet of things (IoT) industry includes more and more devices being connected to the internet that can manage household energy usage. That means the 27 million households in the UK are a more and more realistic candidate for DSR and that is exactly what Equiwatt is delivering.