Demand responseFlexible and efficient energy solutions for our customers

Demand response (DR) is a strategy designed to decrease load on the grid during times of peak use. It involves modifying the way customers use energy – particularly when they use it. For instance, businesses might work with PSE to voluntarily adjust their operations during a specified range of time. Residential customers might automate their usage with smart thermostats or water heaters. While there are often financial incentives to participate in DR pilots and programs, it’s also a way for both PSE and customers to increase efficiency and reduce their carbon footprints.

How it works

Demand Response programs are voluntarily and, once enrolled, customers usually receive notifications in advance of forecasted peak usage times. Depending on the program, this might mean that their thermostat automatically warms their home/building earlier than usual. Because of the remote function of Demand Response, no action is required from customers to initiate their reduction in load, and they can always choose to opt out of an event.

How we’re deploying it

PSE recently piloted a Demand Response program for commercial customers to reduce system peaks during cold winter mornings and evenings. PSE also recently tested DR with Nest thermostats to evaluate their ability to pre-heat homes and minimize gas use during peak hours. Moving forward, on Bainbridge Island and in Duvall, PSE will use smart thermostats to evaluate the savings potential for these capacity-constrained areas. These pilots will initially focus on residential customers, but could eventually expand to include commercial buildings.