Saving Power at Peak Hours

California needs new, responsive, demand-side energy technologies to ensure that periods of tight electricity supply on the grid don't turn into power outages. Led by Berkeley Lab's Mary Ann Piette, the California Energy Commission (through its Public Interest Energy Research Program) has established a Demand Response Research Center that addresses two motivations for adopting demand responsiveness: reducing average electricity prices and preventing future electricity crises. The research seeks to understand factors that influence "what works" in Demand Response. Piette's team is investigating the two types of demand response — load response and price response — that may influence and reduce the use of peak electric power through automated controls, peak pricing, advanced communications, and other strategies. Her talk was presented March 10, 2008.