Customer Energy Solutions
4815 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723-3573
Saving energy and money go hand-in-hand. We can all contribute to reducing Austin’s energy demand by making simple lifestyle changes and energy-efficient home improvements. When demand decreases, we all save. Austin Energy is committed to helping our customers achieve the greatest savings possible.
Austin Energy’s voluntary Commercial Demand Response (DR) program is for business customers who can reduce energy use during peak load periods for the electric grid. Austin Energy pays a financial incentive to those customers in exchange for helping us reduce overall load.
Call 512-482-5346 or email Customer Energy Solutions to become a participant.
How to Apply
If your business is able to control your electrical load, you can leverage that to contribute directly to the bottom line. Participating customers that reduce their energy usage during DR events earn an incentive of $45-60 per average kW curtailed, up to $66,000 annually per facility.
How It Works
Demand response programs are a way for Austin Energy to reduce strain on the electrical grid during peak times, usually hot summer afternoons. Your participation reduces the need for Austin Energy to acquire additional power generation, which keeps the overall cost of electricity as low as possible for our entire community.
Austin Energy will notify all participating customers of an upcoming DR event along with its start and stop times by text message, email, or both.
Simple demand reduction activities include:
- Turning off non-essential lighting, signage, and decorative features
- Raising temperature set-points
- Cycling refrigeration and HVAC systems
- Delaying non-essential production
If your business is unable to reduce demand during an individual event, you can opt out of that event by simply doing nothing.
Austin Energy will also perform a no-cost assessment to help interested customers determine if they are good candidates to participate.
To assist with planning your Commercial Demand Response participation and estimating your incentive, customers can use the free web-based Energy Profiler Online, which provides a detailed, accurate picture of your company’s energy use patterns.
For more information, visit Energy Profiler Online.
Your business can enroll in either the Standard DR or Fast DR programs.
Standard Demand Response is the best choice for your company if you need one hours’ advance notice in order to implement demand reduction measures.
Fast Demand Response maximizes your incentive if your business is able to curtail demand more quickly, with around 10 minutes’ advance notice. This option requires enrollment in Automated Demand Response (ADR), which automatically implements your pre-determined demand reduction strategy when events are announced.
|Standard DR||Fast DR*|
|4:00 – 7:00 p.m.||$45/avg kW||$55/avg kW|
|1:00 – 7:00 p.m.||$50/avg kW||$60/avg kW|
1:00 – 7:00 p.m
(summer weekdays + EEA Emergencies 24/7/365)
|$60/avg kW||$70/avg kW|
|*Enrollment in Fast DR requires Automated Demand Response (ADR) equipment. Austin Energy will assist with establishing the communication signal for the ADR equipment.|
After each event, Austin Energy will remotely read participating customers’ meters to determine incentive payments based on energy reduced. Incentives are paid at the end of the season, either by check or bill credit. Austin Energy will provide an annual performance report and additional technical coaching to help increase potential incentives earned.
Example: Company A is a manufacturing facility with a significant motor and pump load. They join Commercial Demand Response and participate in 12 out of 14 demand reduction events that occur between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. By shutting down the operation of their motors, they are able to reduce their power usage by 360 kW. With Standard Demand Response, they will receive a $16,200 incentive. If they are able to reduce usage more quickly and participate in Fast Demand Response, their incentive would increase to $19,800.
- Commercial Demand Response participants must be Austin Energy customers with commercial electric service. Austin Energy will assist customers to ensure all participating facilities are Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) compliant (unless exempt).
- Your facility must be able to reduce demand during curtailment events, which occur on weekdays, for up to two hours between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (or 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. June 1 through September 30, excluding the Independence and Labor Day holidays). Austin Energy will not call more than 20 events per year (customer should anticipate approximately 15 events per season).
- Customers participating in the ERCOT Emergency Alert (EEA) emergency option are subject to demand response events year-round and these may, in extreme conditions, exceed 20 events per year with no single event lasting longer than 2 hours.
- Ideal candidates are businesses that can reduce load by approximately 10% during curtailment events, where total curtailable load exceeds 20 kW across all participating facilities.
- Standby or emergency generators shall not be used to offset load. Only load reductions qualify.
- All participating facilities shall not contract with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Emergency Response Service program for participation in Time Period 4 (when opting into the 4:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m. option) or in Time Periods 3 and 4 (when opting into the 1:00 p.m.— 7:00 p.m. option) from June through September.
- For Standard Response participants, notifications are sent 30 minutes prior to the event start time. Notifications are sent via email and/or text messages.
- For Fast Response participants, notifications are sent 10 minutes prior to the event start time. In order to qualify for the 10-minute notification time, your facility must currently be setup for Automated Demand Response (ADR) or have a plan to install ADR equipment or software at your facility prior to May 31 of the year you enroll.
- If your facility does not currently have an advanced (AMI) meter, you must allow Austin Energy to install one. Austin Energy will install the necessary equipment at no additional cost to the customer, typically within 4 weeks of enrollment into the program. AMI meters are required to monitor customer load and ensure accurate estimates of load shed and incentives.
- The minimum annual incentive payment is $25. If a participating customer’s total curtailment incentive does not exceed this value, Austin Energy will provide coaching to determine whether continued participation is feasible. The maximum annual incentive payment cannot exceed $66,000 per customer facility.
- Customers may terminate their enrollment at any time. Austin Energy may terminate a customer’s enrollment for a lack of participation or if the program is discontinued.
- Austin Energy will not be liable for any indirect, special, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages, including but not limited to business interruption, loss of profits, or expenses incurred arising out of the customer’s curtailment of electric usage.
- Participants assign all rights to environmental attributes and credits resulting from energy savings to Austin Energy. This includes renewable energy and carbon offset credits.
- Contact your Key Accounts Representative.
- Determine your facility’s monthly, summer demand and how much you are able to reduce during a demand response
- Contact Austin Energy to perform a DR site assessment and to assist in the development of an energy reduction plan.
- You must complete an Austin Energy Commercial Demand Response Enrollment Form (pdf).
- Austin Energy will verify that the correct metering is in place.
- You reduce your electricity use when Austin Energy notifies you of a demand response event.
- Austin Energy will remotely read your meter to determine incentive payments based on your average demand reduction.
- At the end of the season, Austin Energy will pay for the demand you save (per average kW) either by check or credits to future monthly bills.
To learn more about this Austin Energy commercial rebate program, call us at 512-482-5346.
Funding is limited and available only to Austin Energy customers on a first-come, first-served basis. Offerings are subject to change without notice.