Exploiting the benefits of demand-side response

‘Big Data’ has the potential to have a significant efficient on how much energy buildings use and how they use that energy. That was one of the messages from Chris Pountney, a principal engineer with AECOM, at this year’s BSRIA Briefing last month (November), which majored on the importance and impact of the data explosion.

He particularly focused on non-domestic demand-side response (DSR) and its ability to modify energy demand, particularly for electricity, at building level and deliver beneficial effects for electricity generation.

Benefits to customers of half-hourly tariffs include reduced costs, with little if any effect on the operation of their business.

Network operators also have the potential to reduce costs by using the most efficient plant, and reducing or deferring investment.

DSR has the potential to reduce demand at peak times, such as 16.30 h on a weekday evening.

However, in non-domestic buildings the people working in them are not necessarily those responsible for paying the bills, and there can be a complex interaction between building owners and tenants.

He described DSR as one example of a really data-intensive approach to building operation with the potential to reduce peak energy demand and total energy consumption, which will offer financial benefits to the various stakeholders.

He summarised, ‘If we are really going to solve this problem, we are going to need to understand the data we are collecting, We are going to need to identify the insights, highlight the possibilities and the potential — and communicate it effectively to those involved.

‘Until we can do that, using data to drive decisions will be really difficult.’

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