Demand Response: Green Energy’s Gateway Drug?

<p><a title=”NYAS: Data-Driven Built Environment” href=”″><img class=”alignright” src=”″ alt=”The Data-Driven Built Environment” width=”420″ height=”180″ /></a>I made my way to <span><a href=””>Boston</a></span> this afternoon for the <a href=””>EnergySMART 2012 Conference</a>, which kicks off tomorrow at the crack of dawn.</p>
<p><a href=””>EnerNOC</a>, a pioneer of data-driven demand response and <a href=””>energy efficiency</a> applications, is the perennial master of ceremonies for the three-day conference in <span>Boston</span>‘s Copley Square, which promises to provide attendees with “actionable, practical strategies” for strengthening the bottom line through energy savings.</p>
<p>“Demand response,” or DR, refers to a range of programs that pay customers for kilowatts – or, kilowatt-hours, depending on the program – NOT consumed when the grid is stressed or wholesale power prices rise above certain levels.</p>
<p>When I glanced over the agenda this evening, I was surprised to learn that the conference seems to focus more on <a href=””>energy management</a> than DR, especially given that EnerNOC has built such an impressive book of business in the DR space. Indeed, EnerNOC currently boasts about 7,100 megawatts of DR capacity across a customer base of about 4,900 accounts and 11,400 sites.</p>
<p>After stewing for a bit on this, I remembered a tongue-in-cheek comment my colleague, Peter Kelly-Detwiler, made about DR a couple of years ago.</p>
<p>“Demand response is a gateway drug,” said Kelly-Detwiler.</p>
<p>In other words, customers who make money by agreeing to avoid the use grid-supplied electricity are more likely to chase more challenging <a href=”″>energy savings opportunities</a> that those who are not.</p>
<p>What are those more challenging opportunities and, more importantly, how can they be captured? In other words, what are the drugs and where can I can get some?</p>
<p>Those are the questions I’m expecting to have answered in Beantown this week.</p>
<p>I’ll keep you posted.</p>

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