PLMA Recognizes Leading Electric Utility Industry Demand Response Initiatives

TUCSON, AZ--(Marketwired - Apr 28, 2015) -  PLMA (Peak Load Management Alliance) announced five winners of its 12th Annual PLMA Awards. The Awards were presented during the 16th PLMA Spring Conference in Tucson, Arizona. Those recognized as the best demand response programs, initiatives and achievements from calendar year 2014 are:

  • Program Pacesetter - Regional Transmission Operator: Amprion Secondary Reserve Program. This program brought -- for the first time ever in Germany -- an aggregated pool of industrial loads to participate in a secondary reserve program originally intended for participation of generation assets. Program requirements included; Full capacity within 5 minutes, with 1MW minimum after 30 seconds in the called direction (positive, i.e. load reduction; negative, i.e. load increase), five-second interval communication of real-time pool capacity & forecasted capacity, and ability to follow a dynamic, modulated signal. 
  • Program Pacesetter - Utility: Baltimore Gas & Electric PeakRewards. This program has demonstrated the ability for a residential demand response program to thrive over a period of years, make effective use of rapidly evolving technology, and do so while achieving a 92% customer satisfaction rate. The program currently serves 320,000 customer homes providing 417 MW of direct load control, has been successfully integrated into BGE's behavioral demand response program and continues to engage customers with new features including PeakRewards mobile applications & Wi-Fi thermostats.
  • Program Pacesetter - Utility: Pepco Holdings, Inc. Energy Wise Rewards and Peak Energy Savings Credit Energy Wise Rewards (EWR) is a residential and small commercial demand response Direct Load Control program established in 2009. In 2013, PHI introduced the Peak Energy Savings Credit (PESC) as a behavioral demand response alternative for customers who prefer to reduce their energy use themselves. To avoid customer confusion over the two very similar demand response programs, Pepco markets the programs together as "Two ways to save. With PESC, you control your own energy reduction; with EWR, we will automatically reduce your air conditioner energy use for you." Together, the two programs deliver more than 520 MW of load reduction and have achieved participation rates in excess of 50% in several markets, including Pepco Maryland, demonstrating that utilities can gain strong market acceptance through excellent program design and communication.
  • Technology Pioneer - Solutions Provider: Greenlots Sky Smart Charging. Greenlots and Southern California Edison are currently conducting the largest Electric Vehicle (EV) demand response pilot in North America. It is noteworthy that the SCE/Greenlots pilot is the first large scale pilot to use de facto open standards protocols OpenADR 2.0b and OCPP in combination for electric vehicle charging. The pilot has deployed 80 Level-2 chargers as the basis for a consumer behavior study which will evaluate fee-based charging and demand response (DR) at various SCE work facilities. The year-long pilot will study and even influence charging behavior through dynamic pricing and Vehicle to Grid Integration (VGI). 
  • Thought Leader - Solutions Provider: Comverge Evolution of Communications for Demand Response eBook. The debate around communications methods for demand response has become increasingly vibrant amongst industry stakeholders. In speaking with its utility clients, Comverge observed the need for a straightforward way to compare the pros and cons of each communications technology and understand their evolution to date. As a result, Comverge launched its thought leadership campaign with the goal of helping electric utilities better evaluate the communication methods available for their demand response programs. The Comverge Evolution of Communications for Demand Response eBook tackles the topic of sorting out wide array of DR communications options, including paging, advanced metering infrastructure, ZigBee gateways, cellular, and Wi-Fi. The eBook has been downloaded more than 500 times, has been featured in numerous editorials, and has been described by utilities as insightful, unbiased and understandable.

Over the past 12 years, PLMA has presented over 50 awards to recipients that have included utilities, curtailment providers, end-users, and individuals responsible for demand response efforts targeted to the residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customer markets. To select the winners, PLMA sought nominations industry-wide for the following award categories:

  • Program Pacesetter: Recognizes outstanding programs that effectively support and deliver peak load management. 
  • Technology Pioneer: Recognizes innovative applications of technology with demonstrated potential to scale. 
  • Thought Leader: Recognizes the impact projects, outreach campaigns and individual contributions that have the potential to shape the industry's future. 

PLMA Awards Committee Co-Chair, Brian Solsbee, P.E. of Tennessee Valley Authority remarked, "Peak load management challenges continue to drive innovation through the energy utility industry. For example, due to a recent cold front moving through the TVA service area, peak demand of 12.3 megawatts on January 4th jumped to 32.7 megawatts by January 8th. The 20.4 megawatt increase represented the largest five-day peak demand swing in TVA history, previous high swings were in the 16.5 megawatt range." Solsbee went on to say, "New programs, technologies and solutions are needed to effectively manage this type of volatility. The PLMA Awards program showcases solutions that have potential to make major contributions to a smarter, more reliable grid." 

"Demand response has grown from simply reducing peak loads to balancing supply and demand while increasing the efficiency and reliability of a smarter grid. The PLMA Awards Program recognizes those energy industry leaders who create innovative methods to meet peak load needs, mitigate price risks and manage variable generation," noted PLMA Awards Co-Chair Raymond Pustinger of Alternative Energy Systems Consulting.

PLMA (Peak Load Management Alliance) is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 as the Voice of Demand Response Practitioners. It is a community of experts dedicated to sharing knowledge and resources to advance the demand response marketplace. PLMA's over 80 member organizations represent a broad range of energy professionals. Learn more at

Contact Information:

Media Contact:
Ed Thomas
Executive Director
(707) 652-5333