Rally Utility Customers Towards Carbon Reduction Goals
We are facing a national energy crisis and electric utility companies are under intense pressure to reduce carbon emissions and entice customers to use energy when overall demand is low. While this isn’t going to be easy, utilities can make significant strides to achieve these goals through the transition to renewable energy sources and programs that shape customer behaviors.
The Potential of Energy Efficiency The potential of engaging customers in energy efficiency and electrification programs to help utilities reach their goals can’t be understated. According to the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, the energy intensity of the global economy will see a 35% reduction by 2030. “This is driven by energy efficiency combined with related measures such as electrification and behavioral change,” says IEA’s Energy Efficiency 2021 report. “This enables growth in clean energy sources, such as wind and solar generation, to outpace overall demand for energy services. In this scenario, the global economy grows by 40% by 2030, driven by higher populations and income levels, but uses 7% less energy.” Managing the Instability of Renewables The shift to renewables is imperative to reaching carbon reduction goals, but they may pose a threat to the reliability of short-term energy supply and load. Renewables like wind and solar are intermittent and unpredictable. Utility companies can manage their instability through:
Demand response programs to reduce consumption when less energy is available; and
Reverse demand response programs to increase consumption when there is an excess of renewable energy supply. This is important because overgeneration damages equipment connected to the grid and requires manual intervention of the market to maintain reliability.