February 16, 2011 - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s assessment on Demand Response and advanced metering has been published, and is available for downloading here.

The Executive summary states that Advanced metering penetration and potential peak load reductions from electric power demand response have increased significantly since 2008.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s 2010 Demand Response and Advanced Metering Survey (2010 FERC Survey, covering calendar year 2009) indicates that advanced metering penetration (i.e., the fraction of all installed meters that are advanced meters) reached approximately 8.7 percent in the United States, compared to approximately 4.7 percent in the 2008 FERC Survey (covering calendar year 2007). The upper Midwest, West and Texas have advanced meter penetrations exceeding 13 percent. As in previous surveys, electric cooperatives have the largest penetration, nearly 25 percent, among categories of organizations.

In response to the 2010 FERC Survey, more than 500 entities reported offering demand response programs in the United States. The potential demand response resource contribution from all U.S. demand response programs is estimated to be more than 58,000 megawatts (MW), or about 7.6 percent of U.S. peak demand. This is an increase of about 17,000 MW from the 2008 FERC Survey. The regions with the largest estimated demand response resources are the Midwest-to-Mid-Atlantic region, and also the Upper Midwest and the Southeast.

Demand Response Developments and Barriers
Demand response is facilitated through programs undertaken by electric utilities and demand response providers as well as through state and federal programs. For example, federal funding for advanced meters became available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued the National Action Plan on Demand Response in June 2010—a plan which sets out actions to achieve the demand response potential in the United States.

Activities to address regulatory barriers to demand response include state policy changes to reduce the financial effects of demand response on utilities, efforts to improve and standardize methods for measuring baseline electric use, the revision of wholesale market rules to remove barriers to participation by demand response resources, industry efforts to assess the cost-effectiveness of demand response, the FERC-NARUC smart response collaborative, and the development of interoperability standards for smart meters.