Last week, Texas Senator Kirk Watson introduced SB 1284 to the state legislature, a bill designed to promote demand response (DR) to its maximum potential in Texas and remove unnecessary barriers to competing in ERCOT. The bill places emphasis on expanding DR capabilities across all customer classes. If adopted, it would require the Public Utility Commission to:
- Order ERCOT to submit a DR technical and economic potential analysis every other year.
- Promote DR participation across all customer classes.
- Eliminate barriers to participation for DR providers and for all customer classes.
- Ensure all customer classes can utilize a DR provider (including a retail electric provider), a scheduling entity qualified by ERCOT, or some combination thereof.
- Encourage DR for reliability and other purposes.
- Provide opportunities for DR providers and customers to participate in wholesale energy markets and ancillary service markets on a comparable basis with other resources, accommodating operational differences among rate classes.
RetailEnergyX notes that opening DR markets to entities besides retail energy providers could create cost and benefit allocation issues.