Managing Energy Use with Demand-Side Management

Demand-side management (DSM) strategies can help Green Businesses achieve their certification but sorting through the various DSM options can be overwhelming. Through its AutoDR workforce development project, the Center for Sustainable Energy is here to offer free technical support!

What is DSM?

DSM refers to reducing your current energy use through manual or automated means. Utilities typically offer programs and incentives for demand response (DR) and automated demand response (AutoDR) which are aimed at reducing energy consumption when demand is high. DR activities can be as simple as turning down excess lighting during a DR event. An AutoDR system can do this automatically when utilities request.

Benefits of DSM

Implementing DSM strategies can provide multiple benefits to customers and the grid including

  • Lower utility bills
  • Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Financial incentives
  • Reduced dependence on polluting peaker plants 
  • Increased grid reliability

DSM programs and incentives

Programs like Peak Day Pricing, Capacity Bidding Programs and Time of Use reward customers for using clean power when it is most plentiful and fro reducing their use during peak periods. PG&E and SCE customers may also be eligible for DR/AutoDR incentives to cover technology installation costs. These incentive programs include:

DSM for small businesses

DR?AutoDR technology may not be feasible for small and micro-businesses. However, there are low-cost DSM strategies that don’t involve installing technology such as 

  • Unplugging appliances when not in use 
  • Turning off unnecessary interior/exterior lighting, signage and equipment
  • Shifting energy usage to different times of the day where possible

Free support from the Center of Sustainability (CSE)

Through CSE’s AutoDR workforce development project, CSE and its partners provide support to small and medium businesses interested in participating in DSM programs by helping select the DSM strategy best suited to its size, energy demand, and operations.

Businesses: For businesses well-suited for AutoDR, CSE can work with the business to determine which program and incentives are best, connect the business to qualifies electrical contractors and provide assistance to the contractor during installation.

California Green Business Network (CAGBN): CSE also supports CAGBN coordinators and can help prepare for a DSM conversation, identify technical assistance opportunities and answer questions about DR and DSM strategies. 

Further resources and support  

CSE recently partnered with CAGBN to host a webinar that covers DR, AutoDR, and how these strategies can help green businesses achieve their Green Business certification from CAGBN. View webinar recording on YouTube 

For further questions and support contact Kelsey Albers Zitos (Senior Coordinator, CSE): kelsy.albers@energycenter.org