Demand response

Demand Response to reduce energy consumption

With Demand Response, companies get paid to use energy in flexible ways. This is how it works and how Enel X can help

Published on MARCH 22, 2021

What is Demand Response?

Many utilities and network operators offer demand management programs as a means of ensuring they have spare capacity to respond to peaks in supply or demand and are able to tackle a potential blackout brownout of the grid.
Known as Demand Response programs, these pay commercial and industrial users to modify their consumption when asked to do so, thereby helping to maintain network stability and a reliable power supply.

Why is Demand Response becoming more important?

The growing weight of inherently volatile renewable energy sources in the supply mix means these programs are of increasing importance. Until recently, grid operators could rely on traditional power stations to balance supply and demand.


However, the climate crisis and the resulting need to decarbonize the economy mean that by 2050 79% of energy produced is expected to come from renewables. On top of that, global demand for electricity will rise an estimated 60% by 2040.

Two businessmen speak

Demand Response is an opportunity

Demand Response programs represent an opportunity for companies to monetize their ability to vary their energy use. By taking part companies get paid for both participation and performance. From the network operator’s point of view, demand response brings greater flexibility and stability to the grid and offers a more efficient use of infrastructure and energy resources than alternatives such as firing up a so-called peaker power plant, if one is available, or buying costly electricity on the open market.
Moreover, by combining the flexibility of a number of customers, an aggregator such as Enel X can create a virtual power plant that can be deployed when a grid operator needs to use it.

How to take part in a DR program

Companies can take part in a Demand Response program via an aggregator, which has the benefit of allowing the process to be automated. As an established partner, we can ensure a business sets up a strategy that works best for the client and the facility in question.
We work with customers to identify ways to modulate energy without adversely affecting business operations, comfort, or product quality. Measures such as turning off lighting, air conditioning, pumps, and other non-essential equipment are customized for each facility and created on an individual basis.

How Demand Response works

Flexibility Solutions

Flexibility Solutions

Transforming energy from a cost into an opportunity

When the utility or grid operator anticipates the need for support, it sends a signal to its Demand Response providers and we then inform our clients when the dispatch will begin and how long it will last. This is typically anything between fifteen minutes and four hours. The facility involved then reduces its consumption in line with the pre-determined management plan, which can be implemented manually on-site or automatically, with the help of our Network Operations Center.


We stay in contact with customers before, during and after the dispatch to ensure they receive the highest payments, while our software also allows them to monitor events themselves.

Leading the way in Demand Response

Enel X is a global leader in Demand Response, with more than 6.3 GW of curtailable load worldwide and a market share of about 12%. We enable industrial and commercial businesses to monetize the flexibility of their energy assets and to use power in a highly efficient and remunerative way, while decarbonizing. Any facility that can reduce demand by at least 100 kW of electricity is a good candidate to take part in a program. 

We have invested more than $200 million in cutting-edge technology. Our state-of-the-art Network Operations Center in Dublin is our Demand Response command hub, and it’s available to support our customers “24/7” (i.e. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round).

We currently manage streaming data from more than 15,000 sites taking part in over 50 programs in 15 countries around the world. We also offer the solidity and reputation that comes with being part of the Enel Group, with more than 70 million end-users and over 50 years of experience in the energy industry.

A Demand Response partnership with Enel X means customers get paid for being flexible in their power consumption, while contributing to grid stability and decarbonizing. While we do the heavy lifting, clients get the cost savings and new revenue.