How can India scale up electricity demand-side management? insights from a multi-state assessment of DSM regulations and Discom action

India’s wind and solar energy capacity is expected to increase from just over a quarter of the total installed electricity generation capacity in 2024 and to about half by 2030. Demand-side management (DSM) measures can help cost-effectively integrate such variable renewable energy (VRE) resources while maintaining supply reliability. DSM measures include energy efficiency, shifting load from peak to off-peak hours and influencing the load curve through technologies like distributed generation, energy storage and electric vehicles. However, DSM measures have not been implemented at scale in India so far. This study provides a comprehensive overview of DSM implementation in India by analysing the DSM Regulations that govern demand-side measures in India, and their effectiveness in eight states (Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh). Based on stakeholder consultations and global policy and regulatory innovations, the study recommends five steps to ensure that DSM caters to the power system’s evolving needs.