Week #6 – Working with multiple CSPs to maximize DR dollars

Nearly 140 demand response programs exist across North America. Many of these programs are offered exclusively by Voltus while others aren’t offered by Voltus at all. What’s that now?

Kelly Yazdani
Kelly Yazdani
April 9, 2020
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Week #6 – Working with multiple CSPs to maximize DR dollars

Potential Customer: Can my company work with more than one curtailment service provider (CSP) to stack multiple demand response (DR) programs and maximize earnings?

Voltus: Yes. Well … maybe.

Nearly 140 demand response programs exist across North America. Many of these programs are offered exclusively by Voltus while others aren’t offered by Voltus at all. What’s that now?

That’s right, in some cases a DR program is offered only by a utility or even a competing CSP. No matter, Voltus lays out all the options for monetizing your operational flexibility and supports your participation in every program with our technology and services.

Conversely, we often talk to customers who are currently under contract with a different CSP and are interested in contracting with Voltus to cash in on additional programs. Is that allowed?

From Voltus’s perspective, of course. The caveat here is that you need to make sure you are not prevented from doing so under your current CSP’s contract. We always advise customers to make sure that any new program they sign up for at a facility doesn’t preclude them from participating in other programs with other providers. We’ve run into many unfortunate situations where a customer signed up with a CSP and gave them exclusivity over not only a single facility’s ability to participate in DR, but exclusivity over DR for all of their facilities … unbeknownst to them.

So, let’s look at a real world example. Voltus works with a large commercial real estate company with properties throughout the United States. This customer is very sophisticated and wanted to take full advantage of every stackable DR program in the PJM service territory, specifically Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, a customer can take advantage of seven separate demand response programs simultaneously. Unfortunately, the company’s CSP at the time had exclusive rights to all DR programs at each of the company’s facilities under a contract that had been signed three years prior for a five year term. The larger problem was that the CSP only offered two of the seven programs and wouldn’t cooperate in allowing the customer to participate in the other five programs. In fact, the CSP claimed that by tapping into other programs the company was putting their current DR earnings at risk (fake news).

In this particular case, the CSP had enrolled the customer in PJM’s ELRP program and signed them up for economic DR to capture energy payments. As it turns out, the more lucrative option for the customer was a combination of Pennsylvania Act 129 DR, Voltus’s Peak Saver program, and PJM’s synchronized reserves program. We showed the customer that they would more than double their demand response dollars by enrolling in these additional programs. We also helped the customer negotiate away from exclusivity with their original CSP. Amazingly, participation in these additional programs actually increased the company’s earnings in the two original programs – a win-win-win for all parties involved!

Of course, every region is different and every CSP is different so it’s important to dig into the details.

1. Make sure you’re not limited by current terms and conditions in your DR agreements.

2. Make sure you’re taking advantage of every stackable DR program.

In the end, the best strategy for you business may be to use two (or more) CSPs. We’re indifferent as long as you’re maximizing your demand response dollars.

Interested in doubling your company’s DR dollars? Email us at info@voltus.co or chat with us below.

Kelly Yazdani
Kelly Yazdani

Vice President Of Marketing

I am excited to be a part of a high-speed gritty community of Voltans determined to affect the world in a positive way! Outside of work, you’ll find me hanging with my husband and three kids – driving carpool in my minivan, exploring children’s literature, cooking a semi-healthy meal, hiking, traveling, or volunteering. I love building new friendships and creating a positive community wherever I go.