NYPA Activates Electricity Demand Reduction Program for Participating Customers in New York City

Michael Saltzman

June 8, 2005


NEW YORK—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) activated its Peak Load Management (PLM) program Wednesday, for the first time this year, with participating government and business customers in New York City asked to lower their power use in anticipation of higher demand due to the hot weather.

The purpose of the program is to help NYPA manage the electric load of those customers during the air-conditioning season, from June 1 through September 30. The goal is to ensure it meets reliability requirements for 80 percent of the peak load in the city to be met by in-city power plants.

“This is now the sixth year of the Peak Load Management program, an award-winning initiative for reducing the amount of power carried over transmission lines from power plants outside of the city,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, NYPA chairman. “The lowered demand contributes to the reliability of the city’s overall electric system during the hottest days of the year when power demand is at its highest.”

Participants achieve the power cutbacks through such measures as turning off nonessential lighting and computers, adjusting air-conditioner settings, running fewer elevators and shutting down decorative fountains.

A total of 14 customers are participating in the PLM program at 87 locations. Together, they’ve committed to cut back on their electricity use by a total of 60 megawatts (mw). (One mw is about the equivalent of the power for 1,000 homes.)

Among those participating are the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the City University of New York, and Citibank.

The Power Authority pays the participating customers $40 for each kilowatt of electricity they commit to reduce when called upon during the hot weather months. Under the program, it may make such requests for up to 15 weekdays, with the duration of the reductions limited to two to six hours, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Customers are given a day-ahead alert and a two-hour notice on the day of the event, confirming the program’s activation.

The Power Authority provides lower-cost power for thousands of public facilities in New York City saving them hundreds of millions of dollars a year on their electric bills. It has also invested in major energy efficiency measures for those customers that have lowered their utility bills by more than $54 million annually, helping to eliminate about 433,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year.