This trinity of information creates a win-win situation for utilities and the consumer; utilities are increasingly able to accurately implement load management and closely match generation to energy requirement. This refined system enables the consumer to gain more control of their energy consumption; resulting in lower energy bills and utilities also benefit. There are several consumer energy regulating systems, which aid in cost reduction and utility efficiency.
Smart Meters: The New Communications Gateway
Specialists within the Energy industry are researching smart meters as a tool to regulate customer energy consumption. In America, smart meters in the form of Time of Use tariffs have been implemented as a communications gateway between utilities and customers. However, the disadvantage of this technology is that it requires an end user response. It has not been programmed to automatically adjust to an energy limit. This does not address the most important challenge utilities are facing; the unbalanced relationship between utilities and customers when it comes to regulating energy.
Demand Response Technology
The progression of the Smart evolution has produced Demand Response Technology. This new updated system has been installed with mechanisms, which address the faults of the Time of Use tariffs. Demand Response Technology regulates power supply automatically at appliance level. This eliminates the need of customer intervention. Also, this new technology has the potential to efficiently address demand exceeding supply. However there is room for improvement in this system; its mono directional and its demand response is limited to appliances, which can be switched off. Significantly, Demand Response shuts down appliances during supply shortages and it does not enable them once the energy supply has been maintained. This disruption to the consumer and the workload it generates for utilities makes it highly unlikely to be implemented on a wider scale.
The Answer: Dynamic Demand Technology
Dynamic Demand Technology addresses the faults of both, the Smart Meters and Demand Response Technology. This updated system has been installed with the solution for the most pressing issue of balancing energy supply. The grid frequency measures the continuously changing variable of the balance between supply and demand. The grid frequency is designed to decrease when demand exceeds supply. This mechanism and the energy storage installed in domestic and industrial appliances form the foundation for this technology.
Specifically, Dynamic Demand is installed in electrical appliances; most common are refrigeration and heating systems. This regulates the electricity consumption within the control parameters and it keeps it in line with the needs of the grid. Unlike, smart metering Dynamic Demand does not require human intervention to respond to grid imbalances. It automatically responds using a second-by-second basis mechanism. The most impactful function of Dynamic Demand is its ability to adjust to the grid without negatively affecting the appliances to which it is installed. Consequently, consumers are not affected and utilities are not overworked. Dynamic Demand encompasses several significant advantages; it enables the grid to run more efficiently. This substantially reduces costs for the grid.
Most importantly, Dynamic Demand enables the integration of renewable energy. This is in par with the new EU regulation on renewable energy. However, financial implications around implementing Dynamic Demand; National Grid has predicted a cost of £770 million; a fraction of which consumers have to pay. This is included in the Balancing Services Use of System (BSUoS) charge. Despite this Dynamic Demand is considered to be the most cost effective technology in regards to stabilising grids.