PJM goes to bat for "price responsible demand"


By Jesse Berst


It's good to see the industry beginning to stand up and talk to consumers about the value of the smart grid. Writing in an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette, PJM's Senior VP of Markets Andy Ott argues that fixed electricity prices "encourage the use of electricity when costs are the highest and the grid is most stressed."


"The smart grid can offer a more efficient pricing structure," he continued. Ott argues for "price responsible demand" as a more efficient pricing structure.


"Consumers can act on that information by turning to convenient automation technology that reduces electricity use when prices are high. So a smart thermostat might change air conditioning settings when prices reach a certain level."


There's a lot to applaud here. First, Ott is getting in direct dialog with consumers via an op-ed piece. Second, he is describing smart grid benefits in consumer terms. Third, he is not expecting consumers to do any heavy lifting. Instead, he suggests that thermostats and appliances can be programmed to take the right steps automatically.