Energy efficiency and demand response - two sides of the same coin?
To accommodate the increasing share of intermittent renewable energy, options need to be evaluated to maintain a profitable, secure and sustainable energy supply. Besides energy efficiency (EE) as ""first fuel"", adapting demand to meet the variable supply needs to be evaluated. We focus on concepts of energy efficiency and load flexibility (further: demand response; DR) and compare the two types of measures with respect to the diffusion of actions taken and possible drivers and barriers affecting uptake, we derive recommendations to promote the measures more effectively and synergistically. We analyse the results of a survey of more than 1500 service sector companies in Germany and supplement the results with research on German policies promoting energy efficiency and how these could also promote DR. We use logistic regression models to assess and compare influencing factors. Energy efficiency measures are much more prevalent than demand response measures, while most of the influencing factors for both are comparable. More information and standardisation will be needed to tap the demand response potential. We assume that the successful instruments and policies for energy efficiency could also be applied to foster demand response. Especially, instruments such as Energy Efficiency Networks could be redesigned to include demand response. The same holds for other established, effective regulatory instruments like energy audits, which could be enhanced by adding demand response. Although energy efficiency and demand response measures might counteract in specific cases, promoting DR measures can to a large extent built synergistically on existing energy efficiency policy.