London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- July 23, 2012 - Smart demand response represents a significant opportunity and should have the potential to be available to benefit all customers in Britain, according to a new discussion paper from the Energy Networks Association (ENA) and Energy U.K.

And it also appears that there could be an evolutionary path that would allow wider use of demand response over time without leaping to solutions too early.

The paper, Smart Demand Response: A Discussion Paper, is intended to kickstart discussions on smart demand response in Britain. According to the paper there is currently no coordination of demand response schemes, with multiple and potentially conflicting schemes in use with industry parties not knowing the consequential impact on them.

Demand response is defined as relating to any program which encourages shift of (demand) of energy by end consumers, either through active behavioral changes or passive responses, through the use of automation. The “smart” reflects that demand response in the future will be invoked in a smart infrastructure.

Potential measures for shaping (either decreasing or increasing) demand include financial incentives, e.g. TOU tariffs, critical peak pricing and special rates/awards, cost reflective distribution use of system charging, notifications to consumers, products that incentivize microgeneration, and direct device control.

The report says that with these there is the opportunity to approach the implementation of smart demand response in a number of incremental steps. However, each of these must analyzed for cost-benefit and there must be a positive cost-benefits case to implementing any new demand response model.

This will also lead to an evolution of the market, moving from the current market framework to an enhanced supplier hub model with sharing of demand response information between the various parties. This in turn would evolve to a demand response market operator model in which the operator would have control over demand response and would facilitate the sharing of information.

The report also notes that the potential benefits of smart demand response are wide ranging and have both customer and technical networks advantages.

“Smart demand response has real potential to alleviate system stress, and to help the inclusion of cleaner generation, it should be a key electricity market product that is analyzed and considered through future market development.”