Preparing Distribution Utilities for the Future - Unlocking Demand-Side Management Potential: A Novel Analytical Framework

Killian McKenna, Kapil Duwadi, Shibani Ghosh, Adarsh Nagarajan, David Palchak, Abhishek Ranjan, Avinash Kumar, Jayanta Bora, Krushna Kaant Gupta

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The balance of supply and demand in the power systems has traditionally been served solely through generation and network capacity planning and operations. However, with increased requirements for flexibility due to the uptake in variable renewable generation sources such as wind and solar there is a need to increased demand-side flexibility. In addition, there are increased communications and flexibility capabilities emerging on the demand-side from the adoption of advanced metering infrastructures and smart meter deployment and intelligent loads such as smart thermostats and schedulable white goods (e.g. dishwashers and washing machines). Unlocking demand-side flexibility can bring system benefits from peak load reduction bringing about generation capacity and network upgrade deferral, to reducing demand and more efficient utilization of generation and network capacity. Unlocking demand-side flexibility is an evolving process for utilities and solutions must be tailored to each specific customer group. Demand-side management (DSM) is a broad set of tools that can include demand response (both dispatchable and non-dispatchable), energy efficiency and distributed energy resources and demand-side technologies. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in collaboration with BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. (BRPL) and Deloitte, examined the potential of DSM in BRPL’s service territory, developing detailed information on customer classes and willingness to participate in DSM. The study developed modeling frameworks for load analysis and the analysis tools to assess the potential of time-of-use tariffs in motivating customers to reduce their peak period energy consumption. The study shows that BRPL customers, specifically their domestic customers, are willing to participate in DSM programs and that time-of-use pricing can help BRPL reduce their peak demand and help unlock demand-side flexibility.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages86
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5C00-79375


  • demand-side management
  • distribution utilities
  • flexibility
  • Greening the Grid
  • India


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