Demand Response: Generate Revenue for Your Multifamily Property

Posted on Tuesday June 09, 2015 |

How can you earn incentive payments for your building? By enrolling in an electricity load curtailment program such as demand response. Eligible building owners and operators who enroll commit to temporarily reduce electricity use during periods of high demand – such as on a hot summer day – to help prevent widespread blackouts.
 
Here are some frequently asked questions about demand response for multifamily properties:
 
How are buildings compensated?
Buildings receive compensation for reducing their electricity consumption when the reliability of the grid is threatened. Payments are made year round on a monthly basis for being on standby (pre-committing a load), plus additional payments based on actual reductions during a dispatch.
 
What curtailment strategies can a building employ to temporarily reduce electricity usage?
Primary curtailment strategies include pre-cooling your building, use of fewer elevators, turning off non-essential lighting, or not using laundry rooms during an event. Once a customer chooses to enroll, a representative from the demand response service provider will conduct a site visit to devise a tailored curtailment plan best suited for the building.
 
How often is a building asked to reduce electricity use?
The number of events varies from year to year. Summer seasons typically average five events. To date, no events have occurred during the winter season.
 
Which buildings are eligible to participate?
Buildings must have a minimum curtailment volume of 40kW in order to participate. If your building has a central cooling system, peak demand of at least 250kW, and areas where power can be shut down temporarily without significant impact, it is worth exploring whether it is a good candidate for demand response.
 
What programs are available to multifamily properties?
There are several programs available to customers in New York City. Con Edison offers two programs through which customers are paid to shed load or activate a generator. The Distribution Load Relief Program provides 2 hours’ notice; the Commercial System Relief Program provides 21-hours’ notice. Click here for details.
 
Customers enrolled in NYISO’s ICAP Special Cases Resources program receive monthly payments regardless of whether an event occurred as well as an "energy" payment [based on performance] for actual event participation. Click here for details.
 
Will participation impact residents’ quality of life?
Building specific curtailment plans are designed to consider how much curtailment residents can tolerate. Most curtailment approaches have minimal impact on a resident’s quality of life.

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