Power Partnerships: A new name in Demand Response
by Peter Rosegg | March 15, 2022
To help you understand how Power Partnerships work as a win-win for customers and Hawaiian Electric, we have a posted a new “explainer” at 202202_power_partnerships_programs.pdf (hawaiianelectric.com). Read it there or download a printable version.
Power Partnerships refer to what utilities traditionally call “demand response” or “load management.” DR is a tool used to balance the electricity available with customers’ constantly changing use. It means asking customers, in return for an incentive, to be more flexible in how they use electricity. Unlike obvious aspects of a modern electrical system — power plants, rooftop solar, batteries and so on — demand response is mostly invisible and less understood.
DR relies on and rewards customers who use less electricity during high or peak demand times — or emergencies — when power plants may be reaching their limits. It also encourages customers to shift electricity use to when demand is lower or renewable energy is abundant, like daytime hours. Generally, the “requests” to participating customers are handled with technology and do not require customer actions.
For the customer, these voluntary, temporary cuts or shifts in use can help cut their electricity bills, reduce carbon emissions and enhance grid reliability.
Hawaiian Electric works with Power Partners to increase participation in these programs, which are expanding and becoming more important with the addition of energy storage, “smart” electricity management devices and wireless communications.
Our explainer can help you decide if you have a part to play in Power Partnerships.
Peter Rosegg is a senior corporate relations specialist at Hawaiian Electric Company.