I continue to receive great feedback on my recent paper that explores the concept of Victoria leveraging its investment in its advanced metering infrastructure to become a Smart State.  

One piece of feedback, with quite a few ‘likes’ from our community, challenged my view that we have no standards for DER or DR. The feedback correctly highlighted all the great work by the likes of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

On reflection, I can see that my paper did not articulate what I meant very clearly, but I still stand by this assertion.   

When I think about standards, I think about it from the energy consumer’s perspective.

Picture an energy consumer who has purchased rooftop solar, maybe even a local battery. The energy consumer should be able to sign-up to a demand response service provider and have that service provider be able to remotely connect to the consumer’s equipment. There should be no need for a technician to come around and install a device to create the connection between the in-home equipment and the service providers back-office platform. Should the consumer switch service providers it should be remotely managed.

If this is too much of a stretch, the next best thing is to have someone install a device that works with all major demand response solutions. That way, if a consumer wanted to switch demand response providers, they are not locked in.

In my experience and based on my research to date I have not come across such a capability. To my knowledge, every time a service provider sets up the ability to remotely connect to a consumer’s behind-the-meter equipment, that service provider has had to install some form of ‘smart device’ at the consumer’s home.  If the consumer decides to move service providers, the old devices would need to be replaced with devices that can talk to the new service providers back-office systems.

I am serious when I say I hope I am wrong. The way I understand it, the current model creates consumer lock-in to the service provider that sold them their first automated demand response solution.

In the area of remote demand management, do solutions exist that enable consumers to easily switch service providers?

 

Coming soon: Receive immediate insights into areas of focus and recommended improvements to your Demand Response Program with the the Demand Response Scorecard. Complete the free online diagnostic in the coming weeks – watch this space for details.

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