Guest Interview with Ward Camp of Landis+Gyr

   How long have you worked at Landis+Gyr?
    6 years

   What is your role at Landis+Gyr?
    I am in charge of regulatory matters for Canada and the United States.

    How long have you been involved in demand side activities?
    I became involved in advanced metering in 1998. Part and parcel of advanced metering was
   the promise of increasing energy efficiency and better management of demand response.

What challenges have you faced as a DR professional within your organization and within the industry?

Initially, DR was viewed as not integral part of either EE or  renewables. Although peaking was seen as an issue, the mindset still was to build more peaking plants even when on an annual basis we were using only 50% of our nation’s generating capacity.

What changes have you seen in the industry as it relates to DR and EE over the last few years?
Increasingly, the industry sees the need for sophisticated and robust DR programs if we are to really attack peaking and increase distributed generation, EVs, and renewables.

What do you expect to be the biggest challenge with implementing DR in the next decade?
Terminology is the first hurdle – DR is an insider term that is, at best, meaningless to most consumers and, at worst, confusing and threatening.

The second issue is showing meaningful dollar savings and convincing the consumers and consumer advocates that virtually everyone benefits by smoothing out the load curve. This means even if it is optional and only a minority of people opt to use demand responsive rates, advocates should encourage creation of these programs since people NOT opting in can still benefit from others reducing peak usage.

Finally, we must make it automated. “Set it and forget it” works best for US consumers leading hectic lives.

What advice or guidance would you give to young professionals who are considering a career in demand response and smart grid?
Do you want to change the world for the better  in systemic and significant ways? Energy is key to our lives and how we use it is key personally, nationally, and globally. Paradigm shifts of this magnitude are hard, but ultimately could be the most rewarding thing you have ever done. Personally, I am convinced that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will have a more sustainable, reliable, economical, and secure energy grid because of the work I and others in this exciting field do.

Ward Camp is Vice President, Regulatory and Environmental Policy at Landis+Gyr

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