Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced $3.5 million for two projects to develop natural gas demand response (NGDR) pilot programs. The primary goal of the programs is to reduce supply constraints by providing incentives for customers to reduce their natural gas consumption during periods of peak demand or periods of system strain. By shifting consumption away from peak demand periods, demand response programs can improve energy system efficiency and reliability and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in support of our nation’s climate goals.

The government, regulators, and the industry collectively are exploring demand response programs for natural gas systems to replicate successful electricity demand programs within the country. Advances in NGDR-related technology pathways will enable the United States to continue to mitigate emissions across the natural gas value chain, extract maximum economic value from an existing resource base, and lower energy consumption.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects:

Natural Gas Demand Response Program for Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Customers of SoCalGas Gas Technology Institute (Des Plaines, Illinois) will partner with Lumina Decision System and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to launch two NGDR pilot programs, including a residential thermostat and water heating controls program and a commercial and industrial NGDR pilot program. The project will develop best practices that address utility, customer, environmental, and societal needs. If successful, it will inform an important framework for future NGDR program implementation efforts across the United States.

DOE Funding: $2,500,000; Non-DOE Funding: $5,000,000; Total Value: $7,500,000

Future of Heating, Residential Gas Demand Response Pilot in Single-Family and Multifamily Use Cases National Grid USA (Buffalo, New York) will partner with Det Norske Veritas and Radiator Labs to implement a natural gas demand response pilot program using thermostat controls to reduce the consumption of natural gas for central heating in multifamily and single-family households in downstate New York. The pilot will explore hybrid heating (gas and electric) technologies to reduce gas system use during peak hours and peak cold weather periods to alleviate natural gas system constraints. If successful, the project could help free up constrained natural gas supplies and improve GHG emissions management during critical heating periods.

DOE Funding: $947,190; Non-DOE Funding: $947,191; Total Value: $1,894,381

FECM funds research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects to decarbonize power generation and industrial sources, to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and to mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use. Priority areas of technology work include point-source carbon capture, carbon dioxide conversion, carbon dioxide removal, dedicated and reliable carbon storage and transport, hydrogen with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, and critical mineral production. To learn more, visit the FECM websitesign up for FECM news announcements, and visit the NETL website.