Power Pay NY

Conservation Program to Benefit Village Governments

The Executive Board of the NCVOA had the opportunity to learn about an energy conservation program, which provides monetary incentives for villages and facilities that are enrolled in the program, just for reducing electricity usage a few times a year.

During times of grid instability, usually occurring on the hottest days of the year and only encompassing a four hour maximum span during the mid-day period, Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc. (ECS), the largest privately held demand response provider in the United States, calls on their customers to reduce their electricity a few times a year in order to avoid blackouts and rolling brownouts.

Some ways in which a village or facility could reduce their electricity usage during an event include shifting production schedules, reducing HVAC and lighting, or shutting down elevators. The program also allows villages and municipalities to shift load to generator operation, where available.

Villages will also receive a software package that will not only monitor the activity of the generator operation, but will also allow a village to monitor all of its electrical usage, thereby achieving maximum efficiency of the village's electrical cost. This free metering software is available upon request.

And the best part is that the program is FREE.

Demand Response is a viable resource option for reducing peak electricity use, helping to stabilize the power grid. This much needed capability comes to New York at a time when additional capacity is necessary in the face of increasing demand for electricity and the likelihood of continued shortfalls.

ECS currently manages a portfolio of resources through the PowerPay NY program which represents over 75% of that state's demand response reserves, or approximately 850 MW of electricity. Participants come from a variety of industries including all areas of the manufacturing sector, school systems, hotels, healthcare facilities and various other commercial properties.

By participating in PowerPay NY, ECS pays you significant dollars for agreeing in advance to reduce some level of your power use on “peak usage” days. Notification takes place a day in advance, with participants being contacted via phone, fax, e-mail, pager, etc. Once this notice is received, the participant will typically prepare for the event on the following day by notifying staff, switching to secondary power sources, walking through to identify lighting and HVAC shut downs/reductions, etc.

However, long before a call for a reduction is ever made, ECS will provide you with insight as to what loads yield the most reduction. ECS will also provide a demand response audit at the facility as needed or requested by the participant.

A few other program highlights:

  • You are paid a minimum guaranteed amount per kilowatt annually based on the amount of the committed curtailable load or reduced electric (capacity payment). This "curtailment" results from load shedding (reduction) and/or the operation of on-site generation.
  • You also qualify for additional payments based on the amount actually reduced and the duration of that curtailment, during an energy emergency (energy payment). You are paid just as if you are a power plant selling electricity to the NYISO.
  • There is no cost to participate! You will never pay a dime for metering, enrolling, or anything else.
  • Historically, there has only been between 2 and 4 requests for reduction per year, from a minimum of 1 hour to a maximum of 4 hours on those days.
  • If you reduce electricity as requested you will be paid your capacity payment. If the call is for 3 hours and you only perform for 1 hour, you may be affected in future periods by being de-rated, but you will receive the capacity payment because you performed the 1 hour necessary.
  • No financial penalties for non-performance. If we call on you to curtail power and you don't, you will never be financially penalized by us. ECS does not impose financial penalties for non-performance. We shoulder all penalties that may be imposed so your enrollment is risk-free. You will never be billed or charged back for failing to meet your curtailment objective.
  • If you fail to perform, but do perform to some degree, you are still paid for how much you curtail. In other words, it is not all or nothing. The effect of failing to continually perform is that we may not ask you to remain in the program in later periods and you may be de-rated for the next seasonal periods.
  • There have been periods of time (though rare) when NYISO didn't call a test or event at all. If no emergency event or test is called by NYISO, you still receive payment without any action on your part!
  • We install interval metering at your facility free of charge. Also, there are no monthly service, data hosting or maintenance charges associated with the meter. This easily installed metering provides data you can utilize to more effectively manage your facility's energy usage. There is no interruption to your facility during installation of the meter.
  • Green Roots Initiative – ECS has partnered with the National Arbor Day Foundation. ECS will plant 10 trees in honor of each new enrollee in PowerPay NY. Additionally, the customer will receive a plaque to display in their place of business.

Also, when NCVOA members and their affiliates (fire, police, and school districts) enroll, the NCVOA will also benefit financially as a facilitator in this program.

Interested villages should contact NCVOA Executive Director Warren Tackenberg for more information on this interesting and beneficial program. Please call 516-437-1455 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For Villages without generators

Municipalities that do not have the luxury of a generator in operation may still be eligible to participate in this program. Below is a simple plan of action one may choose to follow in order to qualify for the benefits.

If you are interested, please have a copy of a recent winter and summer utility bill available which indicates the demand charge and call Brenda Brant at 877-711-5453 ext 321 for further details.

For more information about ECS please visit their website at www.ecsgrid.com

Reduction Action Plan

Day before event

Alert staff as to what time the Event will take place tomorrow.
Make sure staff is aware of what they need to do before and during the Event.
Contact an ECS representative @ 877.711.5453 with any questions.

Morning of Event

Identify all areas that will be vacant during the Event hour(s) and turn off all lighting, pumps, fans and other electrical appliances in vacant areas.
Shift daily activities or functions as necessary.
Review procedures with staff and make sure fully prepared.

2-3 Hours Before Event

Pre-cool with air conditioning (if summer period).
Window units: Run on highest / coldest setting until 15 minutes before event then turn off all window units throughout facility.
Central system or thermostat: Reduce thermostat setting to 60º - 63º until 15 min.before Event. Then turn off air conditioning system or set thermostat to 82º.
Continue turning off lights, pumps, fans & other electrical appliances in vacant areas.

10 Minutes Before Event

Offices / Production Areas:
Turn off all lights where possible. If not, turn off as many as possible.
Turn off fans and as many electrical appliances / processes as possible.
Turn off air conditioning (window units, central air system, or set thermostat to 82º).

If hallway is not in use, turn off as much lighting as possible.
Turn off air conditioning (window units, central air system, or set thermostat to 82º).

Kitchen/Dining Area:
Turn off or dim as many lights as possible in dining hall. Dim lights as much as possible.
Turn off air conditioning (window units, central system, or set thermostat to 82º).
Turn off all fans, pumps and motors.
Unplug freezers as long as possible throughout the event period.
Turn off as many electrical appliances as possible, including dishwasher, electric oven, etc.

If you have more than one elevator, take some offline. Check building codes.

Central Systems / Misc. Locations:
Turn off air conditioning (window units, central system, or set thermostat to 82º).
Turn off or reduce chiller motors.
Reduce ventilation motors.
Reduce any other motors or fans or pumps.

5 Minutes Before Event

Make an announcement to remind staff what time the Event will start and end.
Remember to reduce everything possible before Event begins.

During Event

Keep everything possible off during the entire Event period.

After Event

Wait until 5 minutes after the Event to begin turning things back on.

Congratulations! You have completed the Event!