Controlling demand for electricity more effectively

Achieving energy transition means improving buildings' performance and controlling energy demand more effectively. This involves developing approaches and solutions that reduce energy bills without compromising user comfort. Such solutions must also create the flexibility needed in a building to improve management of the power grid load curve. Recognized as an impartial stakeholder in this area, the CSTB contributes its expertise through projects such as Smart Electric Lyon, the EDF-coordinated program that studies electrical power usage, and the load shedding study conducted for ADEME.

Smart Grid demonstrator

The installation of a Smart Grid demonstrator in Lyon (Smart Electric Lyon) is designed to increase understanding of consumer behavior (domestic, business and local authority). The role of the CSTB in this project is to observe the degree to which voluntary adjustment of electricity use enables consumers to lower their bills while helping to reduce consumption peaks.

Specifically, 2014 saw the large-scale rollout of interactive energy consumption management solutions (energy management systems, displays, electric heating controls, etc.) to 2,500 homes and around 100 office buildings and businesses. To promote building flexibility, occupants were also offered variable pricing designed to encourage lower consumption at particular times. The CSTB is tasked with developing the method for assessing the various "rate/technical solution" combinations based on four criteria: energy savings, thermal comfort, CO2 emissions and load curve control. This work and the deployment of solutions will continue in 2015.

Study on load shedding

Load shedding is a technique consisting of temporarily reducing the consumption of several domestic consumers; it is activated by a “load-shedding” operator at the request of *1 when required to maintain balance in the French power supply system. The study conducted by the CSTB for ADEME in 2013 demonstrated the potential of load shedding to deliver environmental, social and economic gains. For consumers, this technique can save electricity with no noticeable loss of comfort. Other studies are currently underway to develop this practice in ways that will optimize electricity management in France.

1. RTE: Réseau Transport Électricité (French Electricity Transmission system operator)