"Cut Back California" Demand Response Program Launched

May 8, 2007
New program provides electricity consumers with significantly higher payments and a day-ahead notice prior to events, making it a more attractive option for the largest of consumers, including manufacturers.

Cut Back California is a customer-friendly demand response program which pays larger users to shift electric use during peak periods and conserve electricity during shortages. This action, which is requested typically only a few days per summer, levels off electric users' demand and brings stability back to the grid.

Such demand response programs are widely recognized as an effective and environmentally friendly way to increase the electric grid's reliability and lessen dangerous peaks of high electric demand.

"For years we've been advocating for demand response programs to allow customers to customize a program that is consistent with their business operations and ability to shift load," said Dorothy Rothrock, senior vice president of government relations at CMTA.

In addition to providing day-ahead notice, Cut Back California will involve significantly higher payments than past programs, a limitation on the number of hours in which participants can be called, in-period flexibility to allow participants to modify their energy reduction commitment, and most importantly, a "no out-of-pocket penalties" clause for failure to hit the commitment target.

"Larger electricity users are seriously interested in aiding the grid and the utility, but they need to know the dollars they receive are significant enough to justify participation, and that the program's rules are not too onerous," said Stephen Lynch, co-founder and principal of ECS.

With some minor exceptions, any large electricity user qualifies for funding as a demand response participant in Cut Back California. "We have an all-inclusive program that includes manufacturers, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, school districts, universities, commercial buildings, and just about anything else you can think of," said Lynch.

Demand for electricity in California continues to increase annually against a relatively stagnant supply.

To increase public awareness and educate business leaders about the benefits of Cut Back California, ECS is holding a "lunch and learn" seminar called "Cashing in on Demand Response" from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on May 30 at Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Central and on May 31 at Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown. For more information, visit http://www.ecscal.com/ or call 877-327-0032.

Guest speakers Joseph Semerad, program manager at San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), and Joseph Lyons, energy policy director at California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA), will present demand response history and issues. Paul Tyno, vice president and director of business development at ECS will discuss the specific benefits of the Cut Back California Program.

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