Small Business Brief


What Is Demand Response and How Can It Help Your Business

Are you looking for a way to save money and minimize energy usage at your business? Do you want to turn your office into a more eco-friendly place?

If so, you ought to consider making demand response a priority. 

If you’ve been wondering “what is demand response?” or “how can demand response benefit my business?” keep reading. We’re here to answer all your most pressing demand response questions.

What Is Demand Response?

A demand response program is a program designed to address the problem of high energy costs.

At certain times of day (and at certain times throughout the year), electricity becomes more expensive because more people are using it.

Demand response programs help to counteract rising electricity prices (and minimize the demand placed on the country’s electrical grid).

They do this by working with businesses to shift their energy consumption to off-peak hours. This, in turn, helps businesses to spend less on electricity and reduce the demand they place on the electrical grid with their day-to-day operations.

In addition to enjoying these savings, some demand response programs also allow businesses to earn additional revenue in exchange for shifting their demand for electricity to less busy times.

How Can It Benefit My Business?

There are lots of reasons why you might want to look into joining a demand response program for your business. Some of the greatest benefits these programs have to offer include the following:

Save Money

Of course, one of the main reasons that businesses enroll in demand response programs is to save money. You can enjoy significant long-term savings when you participate in these programs.

Over the last few years, businesses have saved billions of dollars and tens of thousands of megawatts of electricity by getting involved in demand response programs.

If you’re a business owner looking for a way to boost your bottom line and save money on utility bills, demand response is definitely worth investigating.

Decrease Risk of Power Outages

When you enroll in a demand response program, you’re also taking steps to minimize the demand placed on the energy grid.

By doing this, you help to reduce the likelihood that the grid will become overwhelmed and cause major power outages.

The idea of reducing your energy expenditure might seem like a non-starter at first. Which is worse, though? Using less energy or having no energy at all because of a power outage? 

Protect the Environment

Demand response programs also provide benefits to the environment.

By enrolling, you can reduce your business’s carbon footprint by minimizing your reliance on plants that run on fossil fuels.

When you reduce your energy usage, you also open the door for other alternative energy options, such as solar power, which will further “greenify” your company.

If you want people to associate your business with energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, a demand response program is a great place to start.

How Does It Work?

Once you sign up for a demand response program, it’s pretty easy for your business to start enjoying the benefits of the program.

First, you’ll work with an energy expert who will sit down with you to learn more about your business needs and current energy usage. They’ll also help you set goals for the kind of reduction in energy usage and the type of savings you want to see. Once they have this information, they’ll identify off-peak hours to which you can shift certain operations.

In many cases, demand response workers will set you up with tracking software to help you monitor patterns and gain insight for future changes. Once you’ve gone over all the details, you’ll receive alerts letting you know in advance when you need to curtail your energy usage.

In exchange for your compliance with the program, you may receive additional payments. In some cases, you’ll get paid even if you’re not called on to curtail your energy usage.

Who Should Use Demand Response?

There are some businesses that are better suited for demand response than others. The following businesses are most likely to see the greatest benefits of participating in a demand response program:

  • Supermarkets
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Commercial offices

If your business falls into any of these categories, you’re especially primed to enjoy the cost-saving and environmental benefits of demand response.

Getting Started with Demand Response

Are you ready to take energy management seriously and get involved in a demand response program? It’s quite easy to start participating in this type of program.

The easiest way to begin is to do some research and learn about programs in your area. Then, reach out to the companies running those programs and let them know you’re interested.

Meet with several energy experts from these companies. That way, you can figure out which one will offer you the greatest incentives and help you save the most money (while also causing the least amount of disruption to your business operations). 

It’s best to enroll in a demand response program before summer arrives. Because summer is the hottest time of the year, that’s when people are most likely to overdo it with their electricity use.

If you’re enrolled in a program before summer hits, you’ll have time to get prepared and make plans for your business operations. Being part of these programs during the summer also allows you to enjoy the greatest savings.

Start a Demand Response Program Today

Now that you have a clear answer to the question “what is demand response?” are you ready to give it a try?

Getting involved with a demand response program at your business can help you reduce your energy usage, reduce your spending, and reduce your carbon footprint. What could be better, especially if you want to make a name for yourself as a “green” business?

If you want to learn more about demand response or other steps you can take to make your business more eco-friendly, check out some of our other small business resources today.