National action plan on demand response for U.S.


Jon Wellinghoff,
Chairman, FERC
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 18, 2010

A national action plan on demand response in the United States has been proposed, comprising strategies and activities to achieve the three objectives of technical assistance to states, a national communications program, and the development or identification of tools and materials for use by customers, states, and demand response providers.

Central to the plan, which was released yesterday, is the formation by public institutions and private sector organizations from across the country of a coalition to help states, localities and regions develop and deploy successful and cost effective electric demand response programs.

The plan, which has been released as a staff report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), was prepared as a requirement of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), and is based on input from a broad range of entities over the past 20 months.

The staff report says the proposed coalition would coordinate the efforts of stakeholders, including of state and local officials, utilities and demand response providers, regional wholesale power market operators, electricity consumers, the federal government and other interest groups, with respect to the strategies and activities described in the national action plan.

One or more federal agencies participating in the coalition (for example, the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE) could direct and fund implementation of certain activities of the plan. Activities identified in the plan that lend themselves to being accomplished by private entities would be accomplished using private funding. The work of these private entities would be coordinated with that of federal, state, and local agencies through the coalition. In addition, it also may be useful for an entity or a federal agency (for example, FERC and DOE) to chart the progress of efforts to complete the national action plan activities. 

“There is strength in numbers,” said FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff, of this proposed coalition. “Coalitions harness the combined energy of individual organizations, producing results that can go far beyond what can be accomplished on an individual basis. The success of this national action plan depends on all interested public and private supporters working to implement it.”

Actions proposed to make available technical assistance to states include identifying a panel of demand response experts to help inform on programs, products, and technologies, sponsoring or conducting research on practical aspects of demand response implementation, and sponsoring and participating in national and regional information forums.

The plan for a national communications program includes three elements, a communications umbrella, local implementation, and direct outreach to states, policymakers, and partners.

The plan for tools and materials involves two general categories of action, a web-based clearinghouse, and tools and methods for assessing the impacts, costs, benefits, and operation of demand response programs.

The plan must now be presented to the Congress for approval and the FERC will work with the DOE on a plan for presentation later this year.