With demand response, customers reduce (or eliminate) their energy use during times when the electricity system is experiencing high demand. While large electricity customers play an important role in demand response, the opportunities for small and medium-sized customers are growing. Smart devices give customers more control over their energy use, while service providers can help businesses take more control of their energy use.
Demand Response in Action
Any step that individuals or businesses take to shift their electricity use to different times of the day is a form of demand response. Common examples include reducing the speed and power of equipment, rescheduling production to a different time of the day or waiting for low-demand periods to charge electric vehicles or use large equipment.
Demand Response and Your Business
The IESO's annual Capacity Auction secures the electricity supply needed to meet Ontario’s short-term needs. Businesses are eligible to compete in the auction, turning their demand response capabilities into revenue.
While demand response does not involve producing electricity in the usual sense, it does reduce overall demand, which lowers the amount of electricity the grid needs to produce. Many businesses offer their demand response capability to the IESO or their local hydro company in exchange for a reduction on their electricity bills.
The Industrial Conservation Initiative
The Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) is a demand response incentive for medium and large-sized businesses and facilities. Through ICI, participating customers are rewarded for shifting their energy use away from high demand periods. Combined, Ontario’s ICI participants can reduce their demand by as much as 1,500 MW.