Just like the important services Santa Rosa Water provides in keeping citizens safe and protecting our watershed, reliable energy is crucial to a community’s safety as well. By enrolling in demand response, Santa Rosa Water is making an important contribution to keeping their local energy grid sustainable and resilient.
For example, during California’s extreme heat events in September 2022, Santa Rosa Water was one of many electrical customers called upon to reduce energy usage as the heat waves caused extreme strain to the grid. For Christian, it was the first time he had experienced the fragility of the grid. “That crazy heat wave we got in September 2022 made me think a little bit more about how the grid works,” he said. “It was an eye-opening experience to see just how fragile the system can be at times and the heavy reliance on certain industries – and how to support that.”
Climate change has also helped spark Tasha Wright into thinking more about the benefits of demand response outside of just the financial incentive to offset increasing energy costs. “All in all, I think that it’s moved from not just feeling like, okay, we want to make some money off this to offset costs to our customers. But understanding a little bit better what we’re dealing with – climate change – and, from that perspective, wanting to do the right thing,” she said. “It’s very much part of our organization and our fundamental desire to mitigate our environmental impact and do what we can to make a difference.”
The need for a more sustainable and resilient grid is essential for both our planet and communities alike – and demand response is becoming more essential than ever for energy continuity and decarbonization. Demand response programs are playing a critical role in enabling the grid to avoid blackouts and brownouts and, in many cases, avoiding the need for the grid to fire up fossil-fuel powered peaker plants to meet demand requirements.