The term Demand Side Management refers to a group of actions designed to manage and optimize a site’s energy consumption and to cut costs, from grid charges to general system charges, including taxes.
The aim of Demand Side Management is to modify the overall consumption picture - consumption time profile, contractual supply parameters (contractual power and grid connection parameters) - in order to achieve savings in electricity charges.
As a result of the high penetration of renewable sources and the decentralization of production, grid managers in many countries are encountering increased instability on the grid and consequent disruptions to services. To limit these impacts and ensure a balance between energy consumption and the amount of power being fed into the grid, managers can now utilize generation and consumption systems that offer so-called “grid services” in return for payment, thus increasing the costs for the electrical system.
The first step in Demand Side Management is to carry out an in-depth analysis of on-site consumption: this clarifies the peculiarities of each individual site and whether consumption habits can be optimized without resorting to additional instruments. Whenever a change in habits is not feasible or simply not sufficient to achieve the desired cost reductions, the on-site (behind the meter) installation of the following solutions can be evaluated:
- Batteries (Battery Energy Storage Systems - BESS);
- Renewable energy sources (photovoltaic, wind);
- Cogeneration systems.
These solutions require an Energy Management System, which is a dedicated computer platform that will:
- Monitor all the assets involved (consumption sites, batteries, production systems);
- Optimize contributions from batteries and production systems in real time, cutting costs associated with intake from the grid and minimizing battery aging;
- Use the assets involved to supply services to the grid.