Examining Synergies between Energy Management and Demand Response: A Case Study at Two California Industrial Facilities

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This study was conducted to determine if the process of developing and maintaining an energy management system improves an industrial facility’s capabilities for demand response. An energy management system is a set of procedures, documents, and records designed to help an organization improve its energy performance over time. Organizations and facilities use energy management systems in an iterative process to plan, measure, monitor, and modify their energy use and consumption, with the goal of continual improvement. Continual improvement is based on comparing current performance to past performance, to ensure that energy performance improvements from capital projects and operational changes are sustained and that new opportunities for improvement continue to be identified and implemented.

Energy management can include actions not only to improve energy efficiency, but also for load management and demand response. Energy management in industrial facilities is generally more complex than in commercial buildings due to the range and type of industrial energy systems and processes. Demand response (DR) refers to a set of strategies and systems used by electricity consumers to temporarily reduce their electrical load in reaction to electrical grid or market conditions. There exist a wide range of DR programs offered to consumers and many ways for the consumer to achieve the desired demand reduction. Both DR and energy management have been seen to be effective tools in improving energy utilization, but the relationship between the two has not yet been demonstrated.

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