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Energy Terms


A term used to describe a customers usage prior to taking action to reduce its usage as requested. The baseline is determined differently in different demand response programs. In New York, the baseline is defined as the Average Coincident Load ("ACL") and is calculated by taking the top 40 peak hours during the 4 middle months of a capability period and averaging the company's 20 highest usage hours. The 4 middle months for the summer capability period is June, July, August and Sept. The 4 middle months for the winter capability period is Dec, Jan, Feb and March. In other markets, a Customer Baseline (CBL) approach is used, which generally involves the highest 3 or 5 days from the prior 10 weekdays, with certain exclusions.


Period of complete electric power loss to a widespread area


Period of electric power loss to pockets of customers, caused by a state of "poor power quality", in which the utility company may reduce electric line voltage in efforts to deliver more electricity to meet increased demand; or the utility may even curtail electric power supply to blocks of customers to meet demand.  A reduction in voltage can compromise facility equipment that requires stable, non-fluctuating voltage supply.


California Independent System Operator

California Energy Commission (CEC)

California's primary energy policy and planning agency, responsible for forecasting energy needs, keeping records, licensing power plants, promoting efficiency, developing energy technologies and planning for / responding to emergencies

California Independent System Operator (California ISO)

Not-for-profit, public-benefit corporation responsible for operating the majority of California’s high-voltage wholesale power grid, balancing the demand for electricity with an equal supply of megawatts, and impartially linking the power plants and utilities that serve more than 30 million consumers

Capability Period

Six-month period for buying and selling electric capacity in NYISO's territory; Summer Capability Period is May through September, Winter Capability Period is October through April

Capacity Payment

Payment to customer for advance agreement to reduce a certain amount of electric demand upon activation by the market administrator or utility, through ECS

Carbon Footprint

The impact of an entity's activities on the environment, measured in terms of carbon dioxide emissions produced: e.g. burning fossil fuels for electric power, heat or transportation

Carbon Offset

Steps taken to compensate for carbon dioxide emissions produced: e.g. funding alternative energy or carbon reduction projects


California Energy Commission


Shutting off equipment to achieve a reduction in electric demand

Curtailable Load

Amount of electric demand that can be reduced

Demand Response

The act of responding to a set of electric market and/or reliability triggers by reducing demand for electricity; Relieves stress on the electric grid, helping utilities and grid operators provide electric supply to users

Demand Response Event

Period of time for which participants are called on to reduce their electric demand

Demand-Side Management (DSM)

The management of demand-side (as opposed to supply-side) measures of end-users; the process of shifting or reducing end-user electricity use in order to meet demand for supply and avoid costly investment in new generation


Demand-Side Management


Emergency Demand Response Program

Emergency Demand Response Program (EDRP)

Demand response programs in which response events are triggered by emergencies related to power supply or transmission/distribution. Participation is generally voluntary and payments are limited to energy payments only, which are typically based on the market price reached during the emergency event periods, subject to caps.

Electric Demand

Amount of electricity a system is using at a given point of time; measured in kW

Electric Power Grid

The network of systems that transmits and delivers power from producers to end-users

Energy Efficiency

Using less energy by means of a more efficient technology or process to achieve the same level of energy service

Energy Star

Joint program of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy which sets a level of energy efficiency standards for buildings, homes and electronic products


Installed Capacity

Installed Capacity (ICAP)

For an energy market: the amount of available electricity-generating and demand response assets; for an end-user: the amount of electric reduction committed to a demand response program either by way of actual load reduction or the operation of on-site generation


ISO New England

ISO New England (ISO-NE)

Helps protect the health of New England's economy and the well-being of its people by ensuring the constant availability of electricity; responsible for the continuous reliability of New England's power grid

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)

Full service energy provider and resource, serving customers in northwestern Missouri and eastern Kansas counties


Kansas City Power & Light

Kilowatt (kW)

Measurement of power; 1 kW = 1,000 watts or approximately 1 house; 1,000 kW = 1 megawatt (MW)

Kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Measurement of power consumption over time; e.g. use of 1 kW for 1 hour = 1 kWh; 1 kW for 5 hours = 5 kWh





Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

Provides building owners and operators with the tools to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' energy and environmental performance. The LEED Green Building Rating System is a third-party verification program and nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design


Amount of power delivered or required by a generator, motor or power system

Poor Power Quality

low or unstable voltage levels; can harm an electric motor or system

Megawatt (MW)

Measurement of power; 1 MW = 1,000 kW; 1 kW = 1,000 watts or approximately 1 house




The New England Power Pool


North American Electric Reliability Council

New England Power Pool (NEPOOL)

Formed in 1971 by private and municipal utilities in New England to foster cooperation and coordination throughout the electric supply and transmission system, currently includes more than 300 generating plants and 8,000 miles of interconnected transmission lines

New York Independent System Operator (NYISO)

A not-for-profit corporation that operates New York's bulk electricity grid, administers the state's wholesale electricity markets and provides comprehensive reliability planning for the state's bulk electricity system; began operating in 1999.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

A public benefit corporation focused on the environmental effects of energy consumption, development of renewable resources and advancement of innovative technologies in New York State

North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)

Organization of US electric grid operators that ensures the reliability of the bulk power system in North America


New York Independent System Operator


New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Ontario Power Authority (OPA)

Balances the short-term and long-term needs of electricity users while developing a reliable and sustainable electricity system for their benefit. In doing so, they plan for the long term and procure and coordinate conservation and electricity supply from diverse resources.


Ontario Power Authority

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)

Based in San Francisco and incorporated in 1905, it is one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. There are approximately 20,000 employees who carry out PG&E's primary business - the transmission and delivery of energy. The company provides natural gas and electric service to approximately 15 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in northern and central California. PG&E and other California utilities are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. ECS administers multiple programs in PG&E's territories, referenced as Cut Back California or PowerPay! California. ECS has a direct contract with PG&E through 2012.

Peak Demand

Highest level of electric demand requested on a system or by an end-user

Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA)

A diverse association of leading energy professionals dedicated to developing and promoting consumer participation in electricity markets around the world, using load management

Peaking Plant

Power generator that is turned on to supply an electric system only when triggered by a certain level of peak demand or market price


Pacific Gas & Electric

PJM Interconnection

Ensures the electric power supply reliability in 13 states and the District of Columbia, operates an efficient, effective wholesale electricity market and manages a long-term regional electric transmission planning process. PJM Interconnection coordinates the movement of electricity through all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. This service area has a population of about 51 million and a peak demand of 144,644 megawatts.


Peak Load Management Alliance

Poor Power Quality

Low or unstable voltage levels; can cause failure or damage to electrical motors, machinery and other equipment

PowerPay! Programs

ECS' risk-free, zero cost, customer-friendly demand response programs

Reduction Event

Period during which the electric grid is unstable and demand response program participants are called on to reduce their electricity use

Responsible Interface Party (RIP)

A demand response service provider, authorized by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO); also called Curtailment Service Provider (CSP) or Demand Response Provider (DRP).


Responsible Interface Party

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

A regulated public utility that provides energy service to consumers in San Diego and southern Orange counties. ECS administers multiple programs in SDG&E territory, referenced as Cut Back California or PowerPay! California.


Southern California Edison


Special Case Resource


San Diego Gas & Electric

Southern California Edison (SCE)

A regulated public utility that provides reliable electric service to central, coastal and southern California. ECS administers multiple programs in SCE's territories, referenced as Cut Back California or PowerPay! California. ECS has a direct contract with SCE through 2013, pending approval by the California Public Utility Commission.

Special Case Resource (SCR)

Demand response participant in NYISO's Installed Capacity market. ECS' PowerPay! New York programs are developed under the rules of the SCR program.


Amount of electricity you use over a period of time; measured in kWh

end faq

Notable Members

california demand response programs

About Demand Response

what is demand response