On December 2, 2109, FERC staff (“Staff”) issued its annual report (“Report”) on demand response and advanced metering, a high-level review of demand response potential in the retail and wholesale markets. In the Report, Staff highlights that (i) advanced meters account for more than half of all meters in operation in the United States, (ii) multiple states have received approval for, or proposed, advanced meter deployment programs, (iii) many state regulators appear to support advanced meter investments, and (iv) from 2017 to 2018, there was an almost 8% increase in the overall demand response participation in wholesale markets.

In the Report, Staff detailed overall national and regional trends related to demand response and advanced metering, presenting data on participation and savings as well providing details on actions being taken by or impacting state regulators or utilities. Some of the key sections are summarized below:

  1. Staff notes that, as of December 2017 there are approximately 78.9 million advanced meters operating in the United States, accounting for more than half of all meters in operation. The Report also presents data showing significant fluctuation between the percentages of advanced meters installed between different regions and customer classes (residential, commercial, or industrial). The Report also laid out actions taken by state regulators related to advanced meters, with FERC stating that such state regulators appear to support advanced meter investments.
  2. The Report also presents data on the annual resource contribution from retail and wholesale demand response programs. Staff found that from 2017 to 2018, total potential peak demand savings from retail demand response programs decreased by 12% nationally, with Southwest Power Pool Regional Entity (“SPP RE”) and Western Electricity Coordinating Council (“WECC”) being the regions with the largest percentage decreases. However, the Report also shows that on a national basis, in 2018 there was an 8% overall increase, in demand resource participation in the wholesale markets, with California Independent System Operator and Midcontinent Independent System Operator being the regions with the largest increase and ISO New England being the region with the largest decrease.
  3. Staff’s Report provides detailed information on retail demand response and time-based rate programs in 2016 and 2017. Specifically, in 2017, there was a decrease of 4% in the number of retail customers enrolled in demand response programs nationwide, with the largest percentage decreases occurring in the regions of Northeast Power Coordinating Council, WECC, and Hawaii, and the largest increase in SPP RE.

FERC Staff’s 2019 Assessment of Demand Response and Advanced Metering can be found here.