Who can participate in Demand Response programs?

Utilities Usually Determine Who Will and Won’t Participate

Electric utilities set up their Demand Response programs and determine who can participate. In some regions, only heavy users of electricity are asked to participate. In other areas, more widespread Demand Response programs may be offered. Customer types that are typically invited to participate in Demand Response programs include:

  • Agriculture
  • Convention Centers
  • Hotels / Resorts
  • Industrial
  • Large office buildings
  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers
  • Universities
  • Warehouses

In California agriculture, the Peak Energy Agriculture Rewards (PEAR) program is a Demand Response program being offered to PG&E and Southern California Edison (SCE) electricity customers who have electrical loads over 75 horsepower and the ability to reduce or shut down loads during peak demand events.

  • Irrigators
  • Cold storage
  • Processors

Requirements for Participating in Demand Response programs

Customers typically have to meet certain requirements in order to receive incentive payments in a Demand Response program:

  • Utility Service Territory:  Service points must be served by the utility. For PEAR, these utilities are PG&E or SCE at this time. Other utilities will be added in the future.
  • Actual Load Shedding Potential:  You must be able to greatly reduce or shut down electric loads for a few hours during peak demand events. This presupposes that the loads to be shut down would otherwise be running. For PEAR participants, incentives are calculated based upon a baseline of loads running 10 days prior to Demand Response events.
  • Minimum Loads:  In general, utilities are seeking reduction from larger loads. For PEAR, loads over 200 kW (250-280 hp) qualify for participation and those under 50 kW (75 hp) don’t.
  • Smart Metering:  Service points enrolled in the Demand Response program must have some type of smart metering capability that allows the utility to precisely measure the time and amount of electricity being used. For PEAR, Interval Meters or Smart Meters must be installed at service points to calculate baseline loads and Demand Response savings. Those with standard meters must to wait until Smart Meters are installed.
  • Communication Requirements:  Many Demand Response programs employ automated control systems that require 2-way communications so that response to the peak demand event can occur quickly. With PEAR, participants must have access to the Internet with e-mail capability as well as telephone service to receive voice and/or text messages.

Get expert advice from an energy specialist about how you can benefit from the Peak Energy Agriculture Rewards (PEAR) program from EnerNOC: