Energy Curtailment Specialists Expands Demand Response Program

Energy Curtailment Specialists has won a Pacific Gas and Electric contract to expand its PowerPay demand response program in California.

The contract is intended to growECS’ PowerPay customer participation in the PG&E service area by 60 percent. ECS says it has paid more than $150 million to program participants over the past 12 years, and anticipates an allocation of an additional $40 million to PowerPay participants this year.

The program works like this: ECS pays PowerPay participants for agreeing to voluntarily reduce their electricity consumption for a short period of time during critical periods of demand. Participants are typically asked to decrease their electricity usage only when the electric grid is strained and in the need of help to avoid blackouts.

ECS anticipates needing to limit the number of participants it adds to the program in 2013 and will treat interested participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested facilities in the PG&E area should contact ECS at 1-877-711-5453, or visit ECS’ website.

Last year Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) began a Fast Demand Response program, which rewards business customers for reducing their electric consumption during emergencies. Participants must reduce their energy use within 10 minutes of an emergency event initiation, with a maximum of 40 events per year and a maximum of 80 hours of interruption.

Building owners are becoming more interested in demand response programs, according to a January report from Pike Research. The number of commercial facilities participating in such programs worldwide will rise from about 564,000 in 2012 to more than 1.4 million sites by 2018, it says.


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