In Electric Energy Supply
Many electric utilities throughout the United States offer programs for large users of electric energy that allow those users to respond to a request to curtail energy demand during periods of high electric energy use. In compensation for that curtailment, the ratepayer receives a credit for the energy not used.
These programs have several beneficial results: congestion on the grid is eased; wholesale energy costs are moderated; savings accrue to large energy users; potential service interruptions are rendered less likely.
Generally, such programs are available only to large electric energy consumers. Failure to reduce demand when requested typically results in financial penalties that can be appreciable. Therefore, before entering into such a curtailment program with a utility, the ratepayer should be confident that the specified level of curtailment, once committed, can be met every time.
Brice Associates, LLC can provide the ratepayer access to a similar program administered not by a utility, but through an Independent System Operator (ISO), or regional grid operator, such as the Pennsylvania Jersey Maryland (PJM) interconnect. Available to smaller electric energy users the ISO-based curtailment program is used by ratepayers able to curtail approximately one-half megawatt or more of demand. A major difference between the ISO-based and the utility-based programs is that failure to curtail does not result in penalties to the ratepayer. Current participation in a utility-based curtailment program does not preclude joining in this demand response program. This program will improve the bottom line and meet the desire to maintain reliability of the electric grid while applying downward pressure on wholesale energy costs.
Curtailment opportunities are not confined to historically high energy use periods, such as very hot or cold days, when electric energy use (and cost) is typically elevated. Electric energy savings prospects occur throughout the year. This program provides the ratepayer access to real time and day ahead energy costs through the PJM. Armed with this information, simultaneous with the ratepayerís calculated demand and near term historical demand for comparable hours, the ratepayer selects the preferred hourly choices that best accommodates their own operations. The bidding process is done in one hour blocks and can be performed at the start of the day or throughout the day. Bids can be changed up to the moment the bid hour starts and the entire bid process can be automated.
Settlement is completed within 24-hours and the absolute savings achieved, hour by hour, are available off a secure website the following day. This program is operative non-holiday weekdays throughout the year for ratepayers in the PJM region. Somewhat different conditions may apply for other ISO regions.
This innovative program serves to maximize efficiency and generate revenue to the smaller ratepayer by enabling voluntary participation in demand response for electric energy. There is no cost to participate and apart from the requirement for an interval meter (which likely is already in place), no structural changes are needed.
Contact Brice Associates, LLC to learn more about how this program could potentially reduce your organizationís energy expenditures.