ATLANTA, April 2, 2001 An Internet auction for electricity demand will soon help boost California’s peak power supply and generate substantial savings for commercial electric customers.
Developed by Apogee Interactive Inc., The Demand ExchangeSM enables customers to offer critical peak demand reductions in exchange for significant shared savings with their energy providers. This trading of “negawatts” occurs on the Internet and is currently saving millions of dollars for customers and thousands of megawatt-hours for utilities around the country.
The California Energy Commission has approved The Demand Exchange as one of six key components in its Peak Load Reduction Program, which is designed to shave 161 megawatts of peak demand by June 1 of this year. The CEC program is funded by Assembly Bill 970 and is expected to cut the state’s overall electricity consumption by more than 220 megawatts. (A megawatt is roughly enough electricity to light up 1,000 homes.)
“California faces a serious energy challenge this summer. Governor Davis has asked consumers and businesses to ‘Flex Your Power.’ Programs like The Demand Exchange are helping businesses find creative ways to cut electricity use during peak hours,” said Claudia Chandler, spokesperson for the CEC.
“The Demand Exchange brings the customer directly into the energy equation, enabling them to respond to price signals and become active trading partners in energy markets,” said Joel Gilbert, chief executive officer of Apogee Interactive. “Until now, customers saw prices on their bills, but not in time to affect their bills. Now, we can let them know what they can save in advance, and in time for them to participate with ease.”
Unlike traditional load curtailment programs where customers can receive as little as a half-hour’s notice of an upcoming power interruption, the Exchange allows customers to select when they want to cut their usage and plan ahead for those reductions sometimes as quickly as four hours ahead or on up to several days or several weeks ahead. The Internet enables the energy suppliers to “aggregate” these pledged demand reductions and incorporate them into their power supply planning activities. The utilities can then reduce their high-priced peak power purchases and share the savings with customers.
More than a dozen utilities nationwide are actively trading “negawatts” on the exchange, including several Northwest energy providers such as PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric and the Bonneville Power Administration. Portland GE and BPA together have achieved peak reductions in excess of 80,000 megawatt-hours, and one Portland GE customer saved more than a half million dollars the very first month it participated.
First tested in 1999 by Select Energy in Connecticut and Coweta Fayette Electric Membership Cooperative in Georgia, The Demand Exchange grew to operate more than a dozen utility exchanges in 2000. By the end of this year, more than 200,000 megawatt-hours are expected to be traded on the Exchange.
In addition to pioneering The Demand Exchange web-based transaction platform and settlement software, Apogee has developed and conducted a series of deregulation and trading simulations which have trained more than 25,000 participants in the energy industry to date. Apogee also operates one of the energy industry’s most comprehensive e-learning systems for employee and customer education through its e-training division Study-Center.com. For more information, visit www.apogee.net .
SOURCE: Apogee Interactive Inc.