Demand Response Push in Texas

A recent post on the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)’s Energy Exchange blog discussed legislation that would expand the role of demand response (DR) in Texas. EDF, in collaboration with the Advanced Energy Management Alliance, are promoting proposals that advance DR, such as Texas Senate Bill 1284 from Senator Kirk Watson and House Bill 3343 from Representative Sylvester Turner. Retail Energy Buyer reported previously on the details of Senate Bill 1284. To summarize, the legislation aims to address barriers to DR in the state by:

  • Eliminating the caps on how much DR capacity can be procured by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which oversees the majority of the state’s electricity market.
  • Removing technical requirements that favor power plants over demand-side resources.
  • Actively emphasizing the role of DR technologies.

The post notes that DR currently reduces peak demand in Texas by about 4 percent, but according to a 2012 study from Brattle Group that figure could reach 15 percent. Finally, EDF states that demand response is a more economically efficient way to achieve reliability goals than to build additional generation capacity.

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