National Grid launches its first commercial & industrial demand response program

Feb. 14, 2017

Dive Brief:

  • National Grid has launched a commercial demand response program for customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the utility’s first foray into load management credits for that segment.
  • Participating companies will reduce electric use for at least 20 hours over the summer, and are eligible to receive up to $3,500 in credits from the utility.
  • National Grid teamed up with CPower, Enernoc and IPKeys to run the program. The two-year program aims to save enough energy to power more than 20,000 homes.

Dive Insight:

Details on National Grid’s first commercial demand response program help illustrate just how expensive peak demand can be: the utility is offering credits of $35/kWh for curtailment.

Carlos Nouel, vice president of New Energy Solutions for National Grid, said the utility is hoping to show the program and others like it are “cost-effective game changers that will revolutionize how customers and business use and budget for their energy.”

While it is National Grid’s first commercial demand response program, the utility has long-running residential programs. The utility said it has been granted an interim extension by the Department of Public Utilities for its residential DR pilot, Smart Energy Solutions, targeting almost 15,000 customers in Worcester, Mass.

National Grid has set up a web site to provide more information about the program

“Large energy users who register to participate in this new incentivized program now have the opportunity to mitigate high capacity prices and reduce their electricity costs,” CPower Senior Vice President Glenn Bogarde said in a statement.

On the residential side, the utility installed 15,000 smart meters in its Worcester, Mass., service area, opening up a range of demand management opportunities including demand response.

“We have some really cool projects that get me really excited,” James Bell, an associate engineer in National Grid’s NES Customer Solutions Group, told Utility Dive last year.

The commercial program is the second demand response announcement in recent weeks to bring EnerNOC and CPower together.

Last month, FirstEnergy selected EnerNOC and CPower to fulfill a four-year demand response contract at three of its Pennsylvania utilities. Met-Ed, Penn Power and West Penn Power will provide financial incentives to commercial and industrial customers to cut their energy use when requested; the summertime program will operate from 2017 through 2020.