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PJM Demand Response

Get paid to reduce energy in PJM with Enel X

Demand response (DR) provides a no-risk, no-cost opportunity for commercial, institutional, and industrial businesses throughout PJM to earn money and drive energy savings while helping to maintain reliable electricity throughout the region.
map of PJM service region

Program Overviews

Emergency Load Response Program (ELRP)

Enel X helps thousands of organizations throughout PJM earn money, save on energy costs, and mitigate carbon emissions with demand response (DR). Our deep market expertise provides the guidance and tools businesses need to maximize their DR earnings. With Enel X, participating in demand response has never been easier.


Synchronized Reserve Market (SRM)

PJM’s Synchronized Reserve Market is an ancillary services program that supports the PJM electric grid during unexpected system disruptions that only last for a short period of time, such as unplanned generator outages or spikes in energy demand. These sudden disruptions to the grid require participating sites reduce their demand from the grid within minutes of being notified—either by shifting load to an on-site generator, or by curtailing energy use. In return, participants can earn significant payments for helping to stabilize the grid during these critical periods.


Economic Demand Response

Earn Additional Revenue by Responding to Price Signals in the Energy Market.

PJM’s Economic Demand Response Program pays you to reduce electricity demand during high-priced hours. Demand can be reduced by curtailing load or switching to permitted on-site generation. As a participant in the program, you earn the same rate for capacity delivered as traditional generators, and also realize savings on your electricity bills for using less energy when prices are at their highest. Unlike other forms of DR where dispatches are initiated by the utility or grid operator, in economic markets you control if and when you participate—think of it as “schedule your own DR.”


Program FAQs


How does it work?

When PJM Interconnection determines there is not enough supply to meet demand and there is a risk of a blackout, a dispatch is transmitted to Enel X’s DR network and participating businesses reduce their energy usage for a short period of time. Participants earn recurring capacity payments for agreeing to curtail electricity consumption in response to abnormally high demand and additional energy payments based on their performance during dispatches.

How does my business benefit?

  • Maximize payments to your bottom line: Enel X manages your participation from start to finish, ensuring you earn the highest possible financial reward. Since 2003, our customers have earned more than $1B in payments.

  • Protect your operations: DR is one of the last lines of defense when brownouts or blackouts are imminent. The advanced notice you receive from DR provides a window to prepare and prevent costly damage to your processes and equipment.

  • Support your community: Your participation helps maintain reliable electricity throughout PJM and provides a clean, cost-effective alternative to building new power plants in the community.

What is the DR opportunity in PJM?

As those who were impacted by 2014’s extreme weather event known as the Polar Vortex experienced firsthand, grid-related emergencies are not isolated to summer months. PJM has since implemented measures to ensure greater reliability of generation resources during winter months, but also recognizes the need to have a more dynamic resource in their energy supply stack throughout the year. DR offers clean, reliable, and direct relief to the grid that would otherwise require the use of high investment resources (e.g., peaking power plants). Participation in DR not only prevents rolling blackouts, but keeps consumers informed of important grid conditions and reduces energy costs for ratepayers.


As of June 2020, Capacity Performance (CP) will be the one year-round product offered in the Emergency Load Response Program (ELRP).


How do I participate?

Enel X makes participation easy. We take care of the complex details so you can stay focused on running your business.

  1. 1. Our local experts work with you to identify your energy reduction potential and create a strategy that delivers maximum value with minimum impact on your operations. We outline these measures in a detailed dispatch participation plan.

  2. 2. We may install necessary metering devices at your facility to establish communication with our Network Operations Center (NOC), so we can monitor your energy consumption levels in real-time.

  3. 3. Your site is then enrolled and ready to respond if and when a dispatch begins. At any time during a dispatch, you can log in to view your performance in real-time. Throughout the process, we fully manage enrollment, measurement, verification, and payments on your behalf.

What can I expect during a dispatch?

  • Notification: When PJM anticipates the need for support, it dispatches the Enel X network into action. Enel X notifies you via email and SMS informing you when the dispatch will begin.

  • Response: At the start of the dispatch, your facility reduces its electricity usage according to your pre-determined dispatch participation plan—either manually, or automatically through the NOC.

  • Support: Before, during, and after a dispatch, the NOC remains in communication with your facility. Our team is available to answer questions and help ensure that you achieve the highest possible levels of performance and payments.

What types of reductions can I make?

Enel X has extensive experience creating reduction strategies that work within the operational limitations of a wide variety of unique facilities, including cold storage, manufacturers, food processors, universities, malls, office buildings and more. Common reduction examples include:

  • Reduce non-essential lighting
  • Modify manufacturing processes
  • Adjust HVAC equipment
  • Dial back pumps
  • Change settings in industrial freezers


Our customers find that many energy-intensive processes can simply be shifted by a few hours to facilitate dispatch participation. And if you have a generator set, we can help ensure its compliance for use in DR. Ask us about our experience working with customers like you.


What triggers an emergency dispatch?

Emergency dispatches occur when demand for electricity threatens to outstrip supply, creating a reliability issue. This situation often occurs on extremely hot days in the summer when increased HVAC usage causes demand to reach unusually high levels, typically resulting in transmission congestion. In other cases, DR dispatches can be caused by a reduction in available supply from, for example, a generator or power plant tripping offline or running out of fuel. In either case, very specific reliability conditions have to be met in order for PJM to dispatch its DR network. When dispatched, you are responding to a very real grid emergency. Your participation is critical for ensuring that the lights stay on in your community.

How often will I be dispatched?

Your PJM zone, seasonal weather, grid congestion and other local factors will influence how often you are dispatched. Historically, PJM has called 1–2 dispatches per year in any given zone. If an emergency dispatch is not called, PJM will schedule a two-hour audit for demand response participants to demonstrate performance capabilities.

When were recent emergencies declared?

Since 2007, PJM has called a total of 17 emergency dispatches on summer afternoons during times of unseasonably warm weather and 7 in the winter, all during the 2014 Polar Vortex. There have been no emergency dispatches since 2015, which is largely attributable to PJM’s healthy reserve margin and stricter non-performance penalties for traditional generators.

How are capacity and energy baselines calculated?

PJM uses different methodologies to calculate capacity and energy baselines for participants. Enel X’s software includes individual performance targets based on the PJM-defined baselines.

  • Summer baseline for capacity payments: equal to the Peak Load Contribution (PLC). The PLC value is determined based on the participant’s average demand during the 5 highest peak hours of the 5 highest peak days on the entire PJM grid during the previous summer.

  • Winter baseline for capacity payments: equal to the Winter Peak Load (WPL). The WPL value is similar to the PLC, however it is based on an individual participant’s peak demand between the hours of 6am and 9pm EST on the 5 highest peak days from the previous winter.

  • Baseline for energy payments (all seasons): based on a participant’s average demand during the dispatch hours on the preceding days. Participants are compensated for any real-time reductions below the energy baseline.

How do I participate in the program?

  1. 1. Enel X works with you to develop a dispatch participation plan tailored to your operating schedules and financial objectives.

  2. 2. You specify parameters such as reduction quantity, timing, price, and maximum/minimum response durations.

  3. 3. Enel X submits your offers into the energy market just like generators do. If your offers clear, you reduce demand and receive the hourly clearing price.

Is Economic Demand Response right for my business?

Ideal participants in the program have large (greater than 1 MW) processes that can be reduced frequently or shifted to off-peak hours. Pumps, chillers, grinders, melters and other energy-intensive machinery are often well-suited for participation, as are sites with onsite generation.

How much advanced notice do I receive?

PJM offers two market options in the Economic Demand Response Program:

  1. 1. Day-Ahead Market: Offers are submitted by 10:30 a.m. the day before; clearing results posted approximately 1:30 p.m. the day before.

  2. 2. Real-Time Market: Offers are submitted up to 3 hours in advance; participants are dispatched with 2 hours advanced notice (or less, based on your preferences).

How much can I earn?

Earnings depend on several factors including frequency of response, MW reduced, and hourly energy prices. The more you participate, the more you can earn. Enel X can help optimize when to participate, so your earnings justify your efforts. As an estimate, businesses that reduce 10 MW of demand for 20 hours a year can earn $20,000 or more, based on energy prices. Enel X can provide detailed earnings estimates based on your specific response strategy.

Can I use my generator?

Yes, you can! Utilizing a generator may make it easier or your site to curtail more MW or to participate more frequently (or both). We also ensure you have the proper permits and can help upgrade a generator for compliant participation with $0 out-of-pocket costs.

How does my business benefit?

  • Increased DR Payments PJM’s Economic Demand Response Program allows you to earn even more from demand response while continuing to participate in other programs, such as PJM’s Emergency Load Response Program (ELRP).

  • Full Customization and Control You decide when, for how many MW, and at what price to take advantage of the opportunity. You participate only when it makes sense for your business.

  • Flexible Scheduling In the Real-Time Market you can modify or withdraw offers up to 3 hours in advance of the operating hour, giving you ample time to make adjustments based on your operational needs.

  • Reduced Utility Bills Not only get paid for reducing energy, but they also save on energy not consumed during response hours. This is particularly valuable if you are on a dynamic pricing tariff, as you can minimize your exposure to the highest-priced hours.

What is the Synchronized Reserve Market (SRM)?

PJM’s Synchronized Reserve Market is an ancillary services program that supports the PJM electric grid during unexpected system disruptions that only last for a short period of time, such as unplanned generator outages or spikes in energy demand.


These sudden disruptions to the grid require participating sites reduce their demand from the grid within minutes of being notified—either by shifting load to an on-site generator, or by curtailing energy use. In return, participants can earn significant payments for helping to stabilize the grid during these critical periods.


How much can I earn?

Earnings depend on several factors including your zone, hours enrolled in the program, and energy market conditions and prices. Program prices are expected to increase significantly in 2022, due to a change in PJM policy that increases the value of fast-responding resources like SRM.


SRM earnings are determined by hourly energy prices. Because some hours are more lucrative than others, Enel X will work with you to develop a bidding strategy to optimize earnings and hours enrolled.


How do I enroll?

PJM’s Synchronized Reserve Market operates 24x7x365, and as a participant in the program with Enel X, you have the flexibility to create a customized participation plan that fits your unique operating needs. Enrollment occurs on a rolling basis, so you can opt-in at any time.


Once you decide to participate, it takes approximately eight weeks to set up your site(s). Enel X energy engineers enable your site(s) with the technology and equipment necessary to ensure easy performance and reliable tracking.


What equipment is required to participate?

The program requires 1-minute interval metering. Enel X will work with your utility to install a pulse meter at no charge to you, if your site does not already have the required metering.


In many cases, Enel X can automate your participation with sophisticated remote control capabilities, at no upfront cost to you. We have the market expertise and leading-edge technology to make your participation as seamless as possible.


Is SRM right for my business?

SRM is best-suited for sites that have controls in place to automatically reduce energy use, or that can switch to on-site generation when dispatched.


Facilities with energy-intensive load running more than 12 hours per day (e.g. smelters, pumps, cold storage, and wood product processing) are excellent candidates.


Can I use my generator?

Yes, you can! Utilizing a generator often makes it easier for your site to participate, and helps optimize your bidding strategy. We ensure you have the proper permits and can upgrade a generator for compliant participation with $0 out-of-pocket costs.
Electricity pylon at sunrise

On-Demand Access to Real-Time Data

Enel X provides on-demand access to your real-time energy data—giving you the information you need to perform your best during demand response events and to better manage overall energy costs.