November 1, 2022

How behavioural demand response can help energy businesses thrive

Want to engage your customers and reduce load through peak events with simple, intuitive demand response tools? Here’s how.

A loyal customer is a rare and precious thing, especially in the digital age when allegiances can shift at the touch of a button. According to the PwC Customer Loyalty Survey 2022, customers are more discerning and more likely to take their business elsewhere if they’re disappointed by poor service or lack of perceived value.  

One way to engage customers in a volatile energy market is to get them more involved in understanding how when – and how – they use energy. Our award-winning Business Demand Response product is built to help businesses engage their customers and reduce load through peak events with simple and intuitive demand response tools. Here’s how it works.


An image of a phone screen showing a demand response result screen, showing a customer what their energy use has been so far.

Behavioural Demand Response (BDR) enables energy users to play an active role in managing energy resources by reducing or changing their use during peak times. In a time of increasingly unstable energy supply and pricing, BDR can be a key tool in balancing supply and demand, as well as cost.

While demand response first appeared in the 1960s, it’s taken on new life (and importance) thanks to the massive uptake of smart metering and digitisation. BDR programmes now exist in the space between energy user activity, market design and grid restrictions. Since they usually offer financial incentives or time-based rates in return for reduced or altered energy use, BDR products can be tailored to suit your customer base and reward their loyalty accordingly.  

BDR helps customers understand how their habits have an impact on electricity use and pricing. By offering lower prices or incentive payments to alter how and when they use electricity, BDR tools can motivate them to change.


Everyone wants to keep the lights on – literally – and keep their customers happy. BDR is a useful tool that enables both by helping shore up grid stability.

By encouraging energy use at off-peak times, BDR programmes help to balance supply and demand. BDR can avert the need for high-cost energy during peak periods, therefore dampening down production costs and prices overall. Over time, sustained demand response results in more secure supply, meaning reduced risk of forced outages or other operational challenges.

Less demand at peak times means reduced need for fossil fuels. Crucially, it also makes it easier to integrate distributed energy resources (DER) into the grid as demand can be managed to match renewable generation. This is particularly important when it comes to managing wind and solar output affected by unpredictable climate events. In turn, less reliance on inefficient or more expensive sources of energy, which lowers overall costs.  


For energy users, the most immediate and tangible benefit of BDR is financial and personal. Who doesn’t want a lower electricity bill or other monetary incentive?

More broadly, BDR helps to educate users about how their energy use habits can have an impact on the greater good. A 2021 study by researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany found that financial incentives weren’t the only motivation for taking part in BDR programmes. According to the research, people were more likely to take part if they believed BDR had environmental benefits and out of ‘an intrinsic moral concern, based on their environmental self-identity and personal norm’.  However, a Swiss study found mixed evidence as to whether energy users were more likely to change their behaviour because of personal gains or for ‘the greater good’. The same study also found that financial ‘punishments’ (such as higher energy prices) were as successful in creating behavioral change as incentives.

Whether customers actively take part in demand response schemes for intrinsic or extrinsic reasons is still up for debate. Either way, increasingly sophisticated smart meter infrastructure and data collection is further expanding its reach all the time. In-home displays or networks make it easier for consumers to check their consumption in peak periods and change their behaviour. Retailers can offer their customers a growing range of time-based rate programmes to suit their needs and use, enabling them to save money and energy.


Our cloud-native BDR product is designed to flex around client and customer needs. It’s API-ready and mobile-responsive. Users can trigger an event within days, with automated communications and personalised performance feedback.

We have successfully created a range of different schemes – including financial, community, or points-based rewards – to suit our customers. We supply end-to-end multi-channel support for these schemes and leverage weekly data to provide highly personalised insights and enable up-sell or cross-sell offers.

Tally BDR offers the following benefits:

Not surprisingly, people love it. Tally BDR users report consistently high customer feedback (NPS scores of more than +65). Satisfied customers are loyal customers. And loyal customers are great for your business.

Tally Group’s BDR product enables you to engage customers and reduce load through peak events with simple and intuitive demand response tools. If you want to find out how our scalable, software-driven approach can help your business, talk to us.