The inefficient use of limited resources is a major issue to be addressed. The demand side management is concept that is devised primarily to address such problems. This phenomenal should be preached, practiced and encouraged by all key stakeholders of the Nigeria Power Sector.
Presently, the country’s power generation statistics is far below its power demand, hence the need arose for load shedding. Similarly, there is also the need for an efficient demand side management in efficient power distribution, utilization and conservation. A wise man once asked, “How would you feel if someone turns you on and then left”.
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Demand side management refers the actions taken by a utility, with the objective of improving the efficiency of various end users, conservation of energy and prevention of wastage, smoothen the load curve during day and seasonal variations, contributing to environmental concerns and claiming CDM (Clean Development Mechanism), altering the end-use of electricity, increasing demand or decreasing it, shifting it between high and low peak periods, or managing it when there are intermittent load demands.
In most civilized country, this is majorly done by the change of tariff with respect to peak and off peak periods. During peak periods the tariff is increased, this results to reduction in the amount of energy consumed by consumers because of the cost implications. On the other hand, the consumer is made to channel some of his energy needs to other times of the day preferably off-peak periods. This in turn would lead to a significant smoothening of the load curve and also reduce over-loading of distribution infrastructures such as transformers, cables etc.
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There seem to be endless benefits to the application of the demand side management concept on both the utility and consumers. In the case of the utility, it results in increased efficiency, reduced grid congestion, reduced peak power purchase, efficient use of generation, transmission and distribution facilities, etc. On the side of the consumers, it would lead to reduced power shortages, improved lifestyle and productivity, reduction in energy bills, satisfy electricity demand, amongst others.
In the actualization of this concept, the role of government or the regulator cannot be neglected. Similarly, the success of DSM measures largely depends on the role and the cooperation between different actors together with active participation of various agencies. Utility must insist on educating customers about the energy conservation methods and its advantages encourage the use of energy efficient gadgets and lighting systems.