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Your Definitive Demand Response Dictionary: 11 Key Terms

June 5, 2014

This is a guest post from Liz Seleb, Sales Operations Associate at Enel X.


In June, many demand response (DR) programs across the United States kicked off their official summer season. Before getting into dispatch-ready mode, you'll need to understand a few aspects about demand response. Here’s a quick list of key terms to share with everyone on your team who’s on tap to help make your DR dispatches a success.


1. Curtailment: The act of reducing electricity consumption.


2. Energy Reduction Plan: A facility’s predetermined strategy for reducing electricity consumption during a demand response dispatch. Sample energy reduction measures for a commercial property facility may include dimming lights, adjusting HVAC set points, etc. For an industrial facility, measures may include temporarily halting production or cycling off certain energy-intensive pieces of equipment. Some facilities like hospitals or data centers can also curtail by relying on a back-up generator for a short period of time (in certain regions only).


3. Baseline The estimated amount of energy that a given facility would have consumed in the absence of a dispatch. Your energy reduction is your usage during the dispatch compared to your baseline. (Baseline methodologies vary by program administrator but are the primary means for calculating energy reductions during dispatches.)


4. Nominated Amount: The predetermined amount of energy a facility is expected to reduce during a dispatch from its baseline, i.e. the reduction “target.” Nominated amounts are determined by past dispatch performance, or in the case of new program participants, an Energy Reduction Test.


5. Test or Audit: A dispatch (scheduled in some markets) held in order to establish nomination amounts for participating facilities. They are usually called in the absence of an emergency dispatch.  Performance during tests and audits affect future demand response payments. (Audits and tests only occur for certain programs.)


6. Demand Response Dispatch: The period of time in which a grid operator or utility calls upon its participants to reduce electricity consumption.


7. Dispatch Notifications: The notifications sent to program participants (via phone/email/SMS) alerting them to the details of an upcoming demand response dispatch. 


8. Dispatch Performance: The amount of energy reduction (as measured by the baseline) compared to the nominated amount (see above).


9. Performance Dashboard: The real-time view of your overall performance during a demand response dispatch, as seen in Enel X’s software application. The Performance Dashboard provides granular, site-level information on real-time performance, contact information, and your energy reduction plans.


10. Capacity Payment: The payment received in exchange for being on call to reduce energy when needed. Capacity payment rates vary from program to program.


11. Energy Payment: The payment received in exchange for the actual amount of energy reduced during a dispatch. Energy payments are only available in certain programs.


Have questions or need support? Contact our Customer Support team.