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 that can reduce energy use during peak times. Austin Energy pays a financial incentive to those customers in exchange for helping us reduce overall load.
Call 512-482-5346 or email the Commercial DR team to become a participant.
How to Apply
Demand response (DR) programs help Austin Energy reduce strain on the electric grid and keep the overall cost of electricity as low as possible for the entire community. When a DR event occurs, participating businesses temporarily reduce their energy use AND earn incentives. These customers earn $50-80 per average kilowatt (kW) saved during DR events, up to $66,000 annually per facility.
How It Works
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. Customers then take simple actions to reduce their energy use, such as:
- Turning off non-essential lighting, signage, and decorative features
- Adjusting thermostat settings
- 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.
Automated Demand Response (ADR)
Business customers may choose to implement Automated Demand Response (ADR). With ADR, Austin Energy can remotely activate energy-saving measures that you approve in advance for your facility.
- ADR is convenient. Austin Energy will still notify you before a DR event, but these adjustments are automatic. You won't need to take any action. On-site staff will still be able to override the event, if needed.
- ADR can increase your benefit. Automatic participation can improve your facility's energy savings during DR events. Increased energy savings mean lower utility bills and higher incentive payouts for your business.
- Earn even more with Fast DR. When you implement ADR, you become eligible to enroll in Fast Demand Response. Fast DR participants get at least 10 minutes’ notice before a DR event starts and earn $5 to $10 more per average kW they save. Find more details under the Incentive tab above.
Interested? Follow the steps under How to Apply above. Austin Energy will perform a no-cost assessment to help you determine if the Commercial DR program is right for your business. You can also use the Energy Profiler Online tool to see a detailed picture of your business’s energy use patterns and estimate your incentive amount.
Your business can enroll in either the Standard DR or Fast DR programs.
Fast Demand Response is the best choice for businesses that have implemented Automated Demand Response (ADR) and can reduce their energy use quickly when a DR event occurs. Fast DR participants get at least 10 minutes' notice before an event starts and earn the highest incentives for the energy they save.
Standard Demand Response is for businesses that participate manually in DR events and need more time to reduce their energy use. Austin Energy notifies Standard DR participants at least 30 minutes' before a DR event starts.
|Commercial Demand Response Incentives|
|Standard DR||Fast DR*|
|4:00 – 7:00 p.m.||$50/avg kW||$65/avg kW|
|1:00 – 7:00 p.m.||$55/avg kW||$70/avg kW|
1:00 – 7:00 p.m
(summer weekdays + EEA Emergencies 24/7/365)
|$70/avg kW||$80/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 saved. Customers receive incentive payouts by your choice of 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 (DR) 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 energy use during DR events. Austin Energy will not call more than 25 events per year (20-25 is average). Events may occur between 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. from June 1 through September 30 and last up to two hours. Austin Energy will not call an event on Independence Day or Labor Day.
- Customers participating in the ERCOT Emergency Alerts (EEA) are subject to demand response events year-round and these may, in extreme conditions, exceed 25 events per year, with no single event lasting longer than two hours.
- Ideal candidates are businesses that can reduce energy use by approximately 10% during DR events, where the total energy savings exceeds 20 kW across all participating facilities.
- Participating businesses may not use standby or emergency generators to offset load. Only energy use reductions qualify.
- From June through September, participating facilities may not contract with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Emergency Response Service program for participation in at times that overlap with your Austin Energy DR event times.
- Standard Demand Response participants will receive notification emails and/or texts at least 30 minutes prior to the event start time.
- Fast Demand Response participants will receive notifications 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.
- To participate in an Austin Energy DR program and receive DR incentives, your facility must have an advanced (AMI) meter. If you want to participate and do not yet have an advanced meter, Austin Energy will install the necessary equipment at no additional cost to you, typically within four weeks of enrollment into the program. Austin Energy uses AMI meters to monitor participating customers’ energy usage during DR events and ensure accurate estimates of energy savings and incentives.
- The minimum annual incentive payment is $25. If a participating customer’s total energy savings incentive does not exceed this value, Austin Energy will provide coaching to determine whether continued participation is feasible. The maximum annual incentive payment can reach up to $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 reducing 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.
- Complete the Austin Energy Demand Response Enrollment Form (pdf) and email it to the Commercial DR team. Email or call us at 512-482-5346 with any questions.
- Use the Energy Profiler Online tool to determine your facility’s monthly, summer demand and how much you are able to reduce during a demand response event.
- Upon request, Austin Energy will perform a site assessment and help you develop an energy reduction plan.
- 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 kilowatt) either by check or credits to future monthly bills.
To learn more about this Austin Energy commercial rebate program, email the Commercial DR team or 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.