Going through the archives of the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid (ADS), I came across an entry on their site from back in July that discusses some of the myths that revolve around demand response (DR) and smart grid technology. In this gullible technological age, the ADS deemed it appropriate to tackle many of the various false accusations with DR and smart meters. Listed below are a few of the myths answered.
One myth addressed in the article is about the negative health effects created by a smart meter, similar to the radio emissions released by a cell phone. This myth has been scientifically debunked by Chris King, chief regulatory officer at eMeter. He states, ‘radio frequency emissions from an advanced meter are one four thousandth of the emissions from a cell phone,’ Hard to argue the data presented there.
King also refutes another myth about the ability of hackers to cause damage and alter readings on smart meters, simply stating ‘they’re all secure.’
But arguably the biggest myth addressed in the article cannot be proven by scientific figures. The myth is ‘the notion that customers will not respond, either to prices or energy usage information in an effort to trim demand.’ In other words, this is the belief that most individuals are not concerned with helping out the environment or the energy grid for whatever reason. By having to either cut back on their energy usage or install the proper technology to regulate it, the general public becomes disinterested in the hassle.
This is simply not true. The truth of the matter is that executives like Ahmad Faruqui, principal of the Brattle Group, say ‘there is a ‘great wall of evidence’ from 109 different utility efforts around the world showing that consumers respond to several incentives as part of demand response efforts, with more than half of those 109 reducing peak demand more than 10% and several showing peak reductions of 40% or more.’ Based on this statistic alone, people are indeed willing to make substantial reductions when they are asked to do so.
In my opinion, the real challenge isn’t that people will respond once they are educated, but rather addressing the challenge of getting the information out in the first place. Therefore, the public has the appropriate opportunity to respond. Simply put, the public needs to understand that this is a cause that is as noble as it is vital for the electric grid as well as the environment. Energy is a finite resource and our need to minimize our usage is very important for the future. With that in mind, I believe the public will respond accordingly after understanding the necessity of DR.
Demand response programs are necessary to keep the grid stable. Read more abour DR on this page and learn about our energy education workshops. Energy reduction is key to the success of the smart grid. Contact us to find our how your business can benefit.