Several energy-conscious organizations are partnering with Nashville Electric Service (Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.) on Tennessee Valley Authority's (Knoxville, Tennessee) new demand response program for commercial customers. The program will help TVA reduce the growth in peak power demand by up to 1400 MW — about the amount of power it currently takes to serve all the homes in a city the size of Nashville — by the end of 2012.

The demand response program reduces non-essential power usage during peak times, typically 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. during the winter and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer. During a demand response event, participants agree to reduce their electric consumption through measures such as dimming lights, reducing air conditioning/heating and limiting the use of manufacturing equipment. Events usually occur during periods of high peak demand due to extreme temperatures outside. Commercial customers who choose to participate receive a “capacity payment” every month and an “energy payment” when an event occurs.

“Everyone benefits with demand response,” says Jim Purcell, NES energy services manager. “The customer saves energy and gets paid for participating, and TVA doesn't have to buy more power or build new plants.”

TVA partnered with EnerNOC to implement the demand response program.