The information provided in this ELRP customer FAQ can change in whole or in part subject to California Public Utilities Commission approval.
The Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) is a 5-year pilot administered by PG&E that offers participants financial incentives to reduce energy usage or export energy during times of high grid stress and emergencies.
The ELRP was ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission in rulemaking 20-11-003, Order Instituting Rulemaking to Establish Policies, Processes, and Rules to Ensure Reliable Electric Service in California in the Event of an Extreme Weather Event in 2021. Specifically, Decision 21-03-056 laid out the requirements for PG&E to implement the ELRP by May 1, 2021. Subsequent Decisions 21-06-027 and 21-12-015 made modifications to the ELRP.
Unlike other demand response programs, ELRP allows for dual participation for customers enrolled in SmartAC, Peak Day Pricing, Base Interruptible Program, Capacity Bidding Program, and with third-party demand response providers. In addition, this program is unique in its voluntary nature as there are no penalties for non-performance. For customers capable of export, the program incentivizes the export of energy for participants with a behind-the-meter Rule 21-interconnected device with an existing Rule 21 export permit.
Eligible participants for the ELRP are divided into two groups, each with multiple subgroups. Group A includes directly-enrolled customers and aggregators. Group B includes market-integrated proxy demand resources.
Group A is comprised of:
- Non-residential, non-demand response customers (A.1), including BIP and non-BIP enrollees
- Non-residential aggregators (A.2), including PG&E’s Base Interruptible Program aggregators
- Rule 21 exporting distributed energy resources (A.3)
- Virtual power plant aggregators (A.4)
- Electric vehicle and vehicle-grid-integration aggregators (A.5)
- Residential customers (A.6) – Power Saver Rewards. For more information about Power Saver Rewards, go to powersaver.pge.com.
Group B is comprised of:
- Third-party demand response providers (B.1)
- PG&E’s Capacity Bidding Program aggregators (B.2)
Olivine, Inc. is the Program Implementer for PG&E’s ELRP and provides the infrastructure and program management for the pilot. Olivine is a California-based company focused on helping the state meet its ambitious renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Olivine has a proven track record in undertaking complex utility programs. To learn more about Olivine, please visit www.olivineinc.com
Non-residential (commercial, industrial, agricultural, and small and medium business) individual PG&E bundled-service customers, Community Choice Aggregation Service customers, and Direct Access customers who meet the following criteria are eligible to enroll directly in the ELRP:
- Able to reduce load by at least 1 kW during an ELRP event
- Not currently enrolled in any other demand response program with the exception of PG&E’s Base Interruptible Program
- May be enrolled in the Peak Day Pricing rate plan
Aggregators and third-party demand response providers can enroll in the program. If you are enrolled with an aggregator or third-party demand response provider, please contact them for information about the program. Note that if you are enrolled in the Base Interruptible Program through an aggregator, your aggregator has the first option to enroll you in the program. If they choose not to enroll in the program, you may enroll directly.
Participants in the ELRP will reduce energy usage during times of high grid stress and emergencies, with the goal of avoiding rotating power outages while minimizing costs to customers. The ELRP is to be utilized for system-wide California Independent System Operator grid reliability needs and will not be used for localized grid needs (i.e., transmission and distribution) by PG&E.
The ELRP duration will be five years (2021-2025).
If the service agreement is in a disadvantaged community, a participant may not use back-up generation to achieve incremental load reduction if the back-up generation is designated as a prohibited resource per California Public Utilities Commission Resolution E-4906*. If the service agreement is not located in a disadvantaged community, the participant may only utilize the prohibited resource to achieve incremental load reduction during an ELRP event when permitted by a Governor’s Executive Order and in compliance with Rule 21 and other applicable regulations and permits, including those imposed by the local air district.
Participants dually enrolled in another demand response program may use prohibited resources during an overlapping event period but only for achieving incremental load reduction below any existing commitments when permitted by a Governor’s Executive Order and only if they are not in a disadvantaged community*.
The following list of resources are defined as prohibited in either topping cycle Combined Heat and Power or non-Combined Heat and Power configuration:
- Distributed generation technologies using diesel
- Natural gas
- Liquefied petroleum gas
Review the CalEnviroScreen Disadvantaged Communities Map to see the areas classified as disadvantaged communities.
The use of prohibited resources during a test event is not permitted and will not be compensated.
* If a Governor’s Executive Order explicitly permits the use of prohibited resources in disadvantaged communities, then participants in disadvantaged communities may utilize prohibited resources to achieve incremental load reduction during an ELRP event in compliance with Rule 21 and other applicable regulations and permits, including those imposed by the local air district.
If a site has a behind-the-meter Rule 21 interconnected device with export capability and permit and the participant specifies they want to be compensated for exports, exported energy will be counted in the load reduction.
In addition to helping avoid rotating power outages, customers participating directly in the ELRP can earn $2/kilowatt-hour (kWh) for incremental load reduction during ELRP events.
If you have enrolled with an aggregator or third-party demand response provider, please contact them for information about the program benefits.
If you are enrolled directly into the ELRP, you may terminate your participation in the ELRP with a 30 day written notice to PG&E. The termination will become effective within 30 days after the written notice is received.
What is the difference between direct enrollment vs enrollment through an aggregator/third-party demand response provider?
Direct enrollment refers to customers that initiate and complete the ELRP enrollment process directly with PG&E. Reference the General Questions section of the Customer FAQ for direct enrollment eligibility requirements. Direct enrolled customers will receive notifications and any payments directly from the program. Customers enrolled through an aggregator or third-party demand response provider will receive notifications and payments from the aggregator or third-party demand response provider.
If you are enrolled with an aggregator or third-party demand response provider, please contact them for information about the program. Note that if you are enrolled in the Base Interruptible Program through an aggregator, your aggregator has the first option to enroll you in the program. If they choose not to enroll in the program, you may enroll directly.
Customers directly enrolling in the ELRP need:
- A billing account number or phone number associated with your account
- A meter ID associated with your account
- Contact information of the enrolling company representative (name, email, phone number)
- Load-reduction nominations for each site
- Email address for event notifications
- Specify if any of the sites you are enrolling have a Rule 21 export agreement and would like to be compensated for exports
- Specify if any sites you are enrolling have back-up generation. If you have back-up generation, customer support will follow up with you to collect additional information about any back-up generation after you enroll.
- Email address for authorized signer of Terms and Conditions (if you are not authorized)
It may take up to 2 weeks to verify enrollment for customers enrolling directly in the ELRP. If any of your sites are ineligible to participate in the ELRP, customer support will follow up with you and provide more details about why your sites are ineligible.
Directly enrolled customers will receive a confirmation email to the email address provided on the Contact Details page of the enrollment application once the enrollment has been verified.
If you have enrolled with an aggregator or a third-party demand response provider, please contact them for information on the status of their ELRP enrollment.
Customers already enrolled in the ELRP do not need to re-enroll in the program each year. Enrollments will carry over year to year unless the customer takes action to disenroll or no longer meets the eligibility criteria.
If you have enrolled with an aggregator or a third-party demand response provider, your aggregator or demand response provider may be eligible to enroll in the ELRP. Please contact your aggregator or demand response provider for information on the ELRP. Note that if you are enrolled in the Base Interruptible Program through an aggregator, your aggregator has the first option to enroll you in the ELRP. If they choose not to enroll in the ELRP, you may independently enroll.
A nomination is the estimated target load reduction quantity in kilowatts (kW) for an ELRP event. Nominations are required for customers directly enrolled in the ELRP. Each nomination for directly enrolled sites must be for at least 1 kW of load reduction. Participation in ELRP events is entirely voluntary and no financial penalties will result from not meeting or exceeding the nomination.
Nominations for Base Interruptible Program customers must be the incremental load reduction below their Firm Service Level.
If you specify you would like to be compensated for exports during enrollment and have a behind-the-meter Rule 21 interconnected device with export capability and permit, your load reduction nomination for the exporting site must include any exports. Nominations may be updated at any time through Olivine DER™, following the instructions provided in the enrollment confirmation email.
The use of a virtual aggregation may be elected by a customer at the time of enrollment. Only during ELRP dispatch hours, a customer with control over multiple electrically contiguous sites is permitted to virtually aggregate the load and generation to fully utilize the sum of the net export allowed by any Rule 21 permit(s) associated with the sites. Two sites are considered electrically contiguous when they have electric service derived from the same utility distribution transformer secondary and there are no devices on the utility distribution system that can interrupt power flow to only one site. Virtual aggregation applications will be reviewed and approved by PG&E on a case-by-case basis.
If you are interested in virtually aggregating electrically contiguous sites, please complete the PG&E Direct Customer Enrollment form and send an email to email@example.com to indicate that you are interested in virtually aggregating electrically contiguous sites. The ELRP team will follow up with you with more information.
The Terms and Conditions for directly enrolled customers are available here:
Questions about ELRP Events
ELRP events are triggered by the “Energy Emergency Alert (EEA)” defined by the California Independent System Operator Operating Procedure 4420.
Day-Ahead events are triggered by EEA Watch notices. Day-Of events are triggered by EEA Watch and EEA 1, 2 or 3 notices. Base Interruptible Program participants are only eligible for ELRP compensation for ELRP event periods that overlap with Base Interruptible Program event periods and only the incremental reduction below the Base Interruptible Program pre-committed Firm Service Level is compensated under the ELRP.
See below for a sample email event notification. An email event notification will include the sites you have enrolled in the ELRP and the date and time of the event. Note that the exact email text may differ based on the participant and subgroup of which they are enrolled. For example, the event notification for directly enrolled Base Interruptible Program customers and aggregators will include a reminder that Base Interruptible Program participants are only compensated for ELRP events that overlap with Base Interruptible Program events. Additionally, event notifications for Capacity Bidding Program aggregators and third-party demand response providers will state they are courtesy notifications.
Email event notifications will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org.
See below for a sample text (SMS) event notification. A text event notification will include the date and time of the event. Note that the exact text may differ based on the participant and subgroup of which the participant is enrolled. For example, the event notification for directly enrolled Base Interruptible Program customers and aggregators will include a reminder that Base Interruptible Program participants are only compensated for ELRP events that overlap with Base Interruptible Program events. Additionally, event notifications for Capacity Bidding Program aggregators and third-party demand response providers will state they are courtesy notifications.
Text (SMS) event notifications will be sent from (341) 205-6395.
Participation in ELRP events is entirely voluntary and there are no financial penalties for not meeting or for exceeding the nomination.
The annual dispatch limit is 60 hours per year. The ELRP program availability is from May 1 through October 31 each year, seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Events can last anywhere from one hour to five hours and may be called on consecutive days, depending on grid conditions.
If an ELRP event or dispatch does not occur during the season, PG&E will conduct one test event, with a two-hour duration, per year for directly enrolled customers. Directly enrolled customers, except for those relying exclusively on prohibited resources, may participate in the test event. Use of prohibited resources during a test event is not permitted and will not be compensated. Load reduction delivered during an ELRP test event is eligible for ELRP compensation.
An ELRP event may be modified or cancelled in response to subsequent CAISO notices. Aggregators and third-party demand response providers (DRPs) will be notified of any event updates or cancellations by email and/or text message.
Third-party DRP and Capacity Bidding Program (CBP) aggregator notifications are courtesy notifications. Third-party DRPs and CBP aggregators are solely responsible for monitoring CAISO notices themselves if they plan to participate.
Directly enrolled customers will be notified of a Day-Ahead event generally by 5 p.m. the day before the event day via email and/or text. Day-Of event notifications will be sent to directly enrolled customers shortly after the California Independent System Operator issues a notice.
Questions about Payments
Customers directly enrolled in the ELRP can earn $2/kWh for incremental load reduction during ELRP events.
If you are participating in the ELRP through an aggregator or a third-party demand response provider, please contact them for information on the financial incentives for participating in the ELRP.
Performance payments for directly enrolled customers are calculated at the service agreement level by multiplying the event incremental load reduction (ILR) by $2/kWh. The interval ILR is the load reduction achieved during an ELRP event interval incremental to the non-event applicable baseline and any other existing commitment. The event ILR is the sum of the positive and negative interval ILR values across all intervals of a given event.
The ELRP baseline for directly enrolled customers is calculated with the following method:
- Calculate the Energy Baseline (EB) – The EB is calculated on an hourly basis using the average of the preceding similar days, excluding those days when the customer: (1) was subject to an ELRP event, or (2) an event for a dually-enrolled demand response program, if applicable, or (3) was subject to a Public Safety Power Shutoff. For weekday events, the 10 non-excluded weekdays will be selected; for weekend and holiday events, the 4 non-excluded weekend and holiday days will be selected. If the customer elects to count exports in their ILR, the baseline calculation is modified to include net of exports (net of forward and reverse meter channels). Peak Day Pricing event days will not be excluded from the similar days in order to capture incrementality for ILR.
- Calculate the Day-Of Adjustment Value (DOAV) – The DOAV is a ratio of (a) the average load of the first three hours of the four hours prior to the event to (b) the average load of the same hours from the days selected in accordance with Step 1 above. A DOAV shall not be less than 0.6 or greater than 1.40. If either (a) or (b) are negative, the DOAV is 1.0.
- Calculate the Adjusted Energy Baseline (AEB) – When the EB is greater than zero, the AEB is calculated by multiplying the EB by the DOAV. There is no AEB when the EB is less than zero.
The ILR for Base Interruptible Program participants is calculated by subtracting the load during the overlapping event window from the pre-committed Firm Service Level. Base Interruptible Program participants are only eligible for ELRP compensation for ELRP events that overlap with Base Interruptible Program events, and only the incremental reduction below the Base Interruptible Program pre-committed Firm Service Level during the overlapping event window is compensated under the ELRP.
Customers directly enrolled in the ELRP will be compensated in the form of a check. Customers will receive compensation for the season in the first quarter of the following year.
If you are participating in the ELRP through an aggregator or a third-party demand response provider, please contact your aggregator or demand response provider for information on the form of payments and on the timing of receiving payments for participating in the ELRP.