This summer has been particularly steamy in certain parts of the country, unfortunately resulting in periodic blackouts as utilities struggle to get enough supply resource online to meet the extreme demand.

Demand response is a clean energy resource frequently used by utilities to keep the lights on during these periods of extreme heat. While demand response is used as a year-round resource, it’s during summer heat waves when residential customers test the limits of their air conditioners that it becomes increasingly important. Demand response programs provide financial incentives to customers who agree to allow the utility to curtail appliances in their homes, such as air conditioners, water heaters and pool pumps.

Itron has deployed more than 3 million energy management devices for residential and small business customers on a range of appliances—such as water heaters and pool pumps—with the vast majority on central air conditioners. Itron technology gives electric utilities the ability to aggregate and then remotely curtail these high-energy use appliances. Many of our utility clients have amassed more than 100 megawatts of load, which is a substantial operational resource they can leverage when the grid is most strained. This summer, Itron was busy curtailing load for our utility clients, executing 126 control events during June, July and August. These events provided more than 300 hours of reliable resources when our utility clients were experiencing severe constraints.

Itron provides a range of solutions to electric utilities that help them improve grid reliability, including our demand response solutions, which are the perfect option for combating the extreme temperatures we saw this summer. As the number one ranked demand response vendor in the industry, we lived up to our reputation and delivered grid relief when our electric utility customers needed it the most. As utilities look to strengthen customer relationships and increase J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores, there’s no better driver than keeping the power on.

Jason Cigarran