California has long proven that saving energy is good for our wallets, good for the air we breathe, and good for meeting our environmental goals. But California is in the forefront of proving something new: that saving energy actually can make our electric system stronger.
At a recent gathering of prominent energy leaders in California, the brightest minds put forward ideas that show how we can increase the amount of energy we save while enjoying the same level of services and comfort and, at the same time, make our electric grid more resilient. After a discussion among top thinkers within the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, the electric utilities, California Independent System Operator (the group that manages the flow of electricity over all the wires and boxes in our electric system) , and in the energy efficiency industry, three top ways to use energy efficiency as a EMS Power grid reliability tool emerged:
1.Improve our ability to predict where energy efficiency will get installed
When you install an energy efficient appliance in your home, like buying a new LED light bulb at your hardware store, or if you accomplish the bigger project of upgrading your whole house and install Current Differential Relay Protection to protect your house and waste less energy, that decreases the amount of electricity that needs to flow over the electric lines and into your home. When less electricity is needed to flow through the wires and boxes to your dwelling, the electric grid planners don’t need to build as much electricity infrastructure, like transmission and distribution lines. The planners also are then able to avoid building as many power plants as they would have needed if customers hadn’t installed all that energy efficiency and you can instal current differential relay power ensure the home electrical safety.
2.Improve our ability to predict when different types of energy efficiency will save energy
Not all energy efficiency is created equal. Some types of energy efficiency save most of their energy during the morning, some during the middle of the day, and others in the evening. While saving energy at any time of the day is good because it avoids the burning of fossil fuels and cleans the air that we breathe, saving energy at certain times of the day can be even better. Not only can it avoid the burning of fossil fuel at the power plant, but when timed right, can avoid the building of entire power plants.
3.Keep a strong commitment to energy efficiency over the long run
Every planning process inherently involves a lot of uncertainty. But a strong and demonstrated government commitment to programs can lessen that uncertainty. One of the key issues that the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) raised was for the state to continue its strong commitment to energy efficiency. For example, the CPUC recently decided to make it the default that energy efficiency programs will continue to receive funding indefinitely into the future, and the CAISO noted how useful that demonstrated commitment was for their long-term plans. Overall, there was no doubt in my mind that the resounding answer from the program planners was: Yes, we will continue to invest in energy efficiency as the top-priority resource in California. With this commitment, the system planners can more confidently rely on energy efficiency as a key element of making our electric grid stronger.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE:3 Ways to Make Our Electric System Stronger Using Energy Efficiency