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Two barriers to utility and customer savings with flexible loads and how regulators can help

January 6, 2021

Utilities’ ability to protect reliability in today’s rapid transition to variable, distributed generation faces two key barriers and regulators’ help is needed to overcome them.

Advanced demand response (DR) can use the flexibility of customer-owned technologies to meet the balancing challenges of the changing supply mix, regulators and utility executives agreed during an Oct. 20 symposium hosted by The Brattle Group. Utility pilots are revealing what works, but also showing how technology and incentive structures are keeping flexible loads, such as customer-owned solar and smart thermostats, from supporting reliability.

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