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Get a Load of This! Bi-Weekly Digest of the Top Content Submitted to the Load Management Group in Energy Central- February 27, 2020

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In many ways, load management strategies are really only beginning to scratch the surface. As technologies improve, customers become more familiar with demand response or load shifting opportunities, and the energy sector embraces the value of a more deliberately balanced demand load rather than continually building out new generation, the utility sector will continue to evolve. There’s so much value being put in the idea of load management, and as the community of utility sector professionals working in this area come together, that value will only grow.

As a small piece towards that growth, I submit to you the latest issue of ‘Get a Load of This!’ which summarizes the most interesting and thought-provoking content submitted to Energy Central’s Load Management Group over the past two weeks.

Have a thought about stories that should be included in this digest next time? Let me know in the comments. Sharing insights and perspectives will only make us all stronger Load Management Advocates!

Matt Chester

Community Manager


Utilities Are Rolling Out TOU Plans in Droves, but Studies Show They Need to be Monitored

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An increasingly common load management tactic by utilities, which is relatively straightforward to implement, is time-of-use (TOU) pricing strategies. TOU naturally incentives customers to shift their energy-intensive activities to off peak hours so they can lower their power bills and is a common starting point for a utility load management strategy. Despite the function being easy to understand and not terribly intensive to implement (relative to other load management strategies), Peter Key explains in this post some of the important reasons that more study may be needed to truly understand the impacts of TOU rates before being deployed more widely.

How Can Small-Scale Stationary Battery Behind the Meter (BTM) Contribute to Power System Transformation?

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As far as technological advances that can and will enhance the ability of load management strategies, energy storage is among the most important developments these days. In particular, small-scale behind-the-meter (BTM) storage systems can allow customers to become more involved in the load management journey. As an exploration of this topic, Dr. Amal Khashab lays out the technological hurdles and possibilities that such battery systems bring.


41st PLMA Conference

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Last, but not least, I wanted to highlight the upcoming PLMA Conference for the Energy Central community. PLMA, or the Peak Load Management Alliance, is billed as the voice of load management professionals across the industry, and their conferences are always some of the most important gatherings of load management professionals across utilities, service providers, and other stakeholders. In addition, the Load Management Group of Energy Central is actually run in partnership with PLMA, so we would be remiss if we did not recommend this invaluable gathering of load management stakeholders in one place, with this conference taking place from April 20 to 22 in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Thanks for reading this issue of ‘Get a Load of This!’ See you in this spot in two weeks to go over the great content that will be coming between now and then! This spot can feature the insights from you or the major stories at your organization—so don’t be shy about sharing your content on the Load Management Group today!


Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 27, 2020 7:57 pm GMT

Matt, the smooth curves of consumer load have never been something requiring management before the introduction of wind and solar to the grid. So now we apparently have our wind/solar/gas cabal framing the unpredictable supply of renewables as the consumer's fault: "it's not that solar and wind don't provide enough reliable electricity at the right time, it's that consumers aren't using appliances at the right time."

Not unlike displaying renewables at the bottom of a grid mix, as if they can be counted on to provide a reliable supply of baseload electricity, we're supposed to accept load management as the new reality.

In fact it's not load, but supply management. And all the expensive devices used to manage intermittent supply, ones that have become cottage industries in their own right - efficiency, batteries, time-of-use pricing, etc. -  are unnecessary without renewables. So why are consumers, and not solar/wind developers, being forced to bear these costs?

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