Demand Response

Demand Response FAQ

What is Demand Response?

When a customer changes their electricity usage (or demand) from their normal consumption patterns in response to requests from your utility. In return, the utility rewards customers who make their energy available for temporary reduction. The utility issues requests for demand response during periods of peak energy use, when power grid reliability is jeopardized or to assist in integrating (operating) renewable energy resources into the power grid (resource option for generation deferral and emergency power grid protection). When an event is called, the contact person(s) you have designated will receive notification of event initiation, so that customers can begin reducing their energy usage.

In addition, Demand Response may also be employed as a resource option for generation reserves, reducing the amount of online generation. So, in addition to helping prevent grid instability, Demand Response helps to keep your electricity costs low.

What is the Fast DR Pilot Program?

The Fast DR program is designed to enable load reduction (demand) in response to grid changes in near real time (changes such as unexpected spikes in energy use, or sudden drops in Wind or Solar generation) and which in turn would provide improved generation efficiency and service reliability. Fast DR participants must be able to curtail load with as little as ten minute notice, making manual curtailment difficult and inefficient. Participating customers may not rely on backup generation during load reductions. The Program offers Hawaiian Electric commercial and industrial customers the opportunity to provide the community with critical electric grid relief during demand peaks or renewable supply valleys.

Typical Loads to Be Reduced:

  • Turn off or adjust all non-essential process or other equipment
  • Reduce HVAC usage
  • Shut off non-essential indoor and outdoor lighting, signage, window displays
  • Shut off fountains, saunas, or pool or hot tub heating and pumps
  • Shut off excess elevator banks or escalators (as permitted)

While some level of automation is necessary for Fast DR, customers always maintain complete control of your building, and can opt out of an event at any time. Hawaiian Electric has requested an independent third party cyber security assessment to be performed to ensure the security readiness of the Fast DR infrastructure and implementation, focusing on its resilience against potential cyber-attacks.

The Program Offers Two Activation Methods:

Semi-Auto DR
Facility personnel receive a phone call, email, and/or page and respond to an event by shutting down devices and/or adjusting set points either manually or automatically via the Building Management System.

Auto DR
Hawaiian Electric sends signals to your building through the Demand Response Automation Server. The building receives the signal via the JACE and initiates the pre-defined routines to reduce demand. This is a "machine-to-machine" process, requiring no human intervention or effort. A phone call, email, or text is sent to designated facility representative upon event trigger.

Program Attributes:

  • Load reduction available between 7 am - 9pm on weekdays (not including holidays)
  • Load reductions events would last a maximum of 2 hours
  • Loads must be reduced within 10 minutes of event initiation
  • Maximum of 40 events per year for a total of 80 hours maximum of interruption (demand response)

What are the benefits to the customer of Fast DR?

Reduced Electric Bills
Customers receive monthly incentive payments applied directly to their electric bill.

Installation Assistance

  • Free Preliminary Audit and Technical Audit
  • A free, no-obligation evaluation will be performed to determine your facility's demand response opportunities. Meter Allowance ($3,000)
  • A five-minute interval meter is required to participate. $3,000 is provided to alleviate the expense of upgrade and installation.
  • Potential Building Management System upgrades available.
  • Depending on current level of automation, customers may be eligible for technology upgrades.

Controlled Demand Incentive
Earn $5 per kilowatt (kW) per month. For example, if you designate 50kW of load to the program, you will receive a $250 credit to your electric bill every month ($3,000 per year) whether or not a demand response event is triggered.

Energy Reduction Incentive
Energy reduction incentives are calculated for each demand response event. Incentive calculations are based on the amount of energy a customer would have used (the baseline) if the event had not been triggered and the actual energy reduction amount. For each hour that energy is not consumed, the customer will earn 50 cents per kW. Hawaiian Electric will use a methodology called the "10-Day Average Baseline" to calculate energy not consumed. Under this baseline methodology, each hour during the past 10 similar days prior to a day on which an event is triggered is averaged to establish an hourly average baseline for those 10 days. The past 10 similar days excludes Event Days, weekends and holidays.

Access via the Web
The program provides access to a secure website which provides energy usage data, demand response event history, and opt-out processing to temporarily withdraw from program participation, either before or during a demand response event.

How do you qualify?

Any commercial and industrial customer who can commit a minimum of 50 kW for load reduction (demand response) is eligible for the program. Customer enrollment will depend on results of Technical Audit. The Technical Audit includes evaluation of the energy profile of your facility and recommended demand response load reductions schemas.

Depending on the results of the Technical Audit, customers will have the opportunity to take advantage of either Fully Automated FastDR (AutoDR) or Semi-Automated FastDR (Semi-AutoDR). Each option comes with state-of-the-art software and interfaces, providing you with real-time monitoring and data analysis, as well as a direct, super-secure link to your grid operator. The implementation is turnkey and can be tailored to your facility's specific needs. Once Hawaiian Electric helps you define your load-reduction plan, you can "set it and forget it."

Hawaiian Electric will work with each company to develop the best demand response strategies for each business, customizing curtailment plans that maximize incentive payments while minimizing operational impact. Additionally, Hawaiian Electric will fund enabling technology to help automate curtailments and in effect, automate your energy savings.

Minimum requirements:

  • Able to commit at 50 kW for load reduction
  • Agree to installation of load reduction equipment at customer facility

How can customers participate?

  • Schedule a Fast DR presentation, a Preliminary Audit and/or Technical Audit
  • Assist Hawaiian Electric in performing the Preliminary Audit and/or Technical Audit
  • Review audit findings and decide if program benefits are worthwhile
  • Develop demand response load reduction schemas to be implemented
  • Determine equipment, software requirements, and upgrades
  • Sign Fast DR agreement with Hawaiian Electric
  • Arrange for installation of load reduction equipment, enablement, testing, and commissioning
  • Begin collecting monthly participation incentives

Why is Fast DR important?

As the Hawaiian Electric Companies move toward a grid comprised of higher levels of as-available intermittent renewable generation (PV, Wind), a Fast DR program can provide an additional resource to reduce demand until additional generating units are brought online. Conversely, a Fast DR program can provide load reduction to temporarily postpone the need to bring generating units online, helping to reduce overall energy costs to customers.

Fast DR may be able to "bridge" the time required to startup a generating unit, which would be needed to compensate for the fluctuation in the energy supplied by intermittent renewable resources. A need for this 10-minute bridge resource is particularly valuable at times when the power grid experiences a sustained ramp down of intermittent wind generation.

Why should your business or organization participate?

  • Manage energy costs
  • Help ensure reliable electric service