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

Michael Saltzman

July 19, 2005


NEW YORK—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) activated its Peak Load Management (PLM) program Tuesday, with participating government and business customers in New York City asked to reduce their power use.

The purpose of the program is to help NYPA manage available electricity supplies during the hottest days of the summer, to ensure it meets reliability requirements for 80 percent of the peak load in the city to be met by in-city power plants.

“The Peak Load Management Program contributes to the overall efforts under Governor Pataki to make certain that New York City and New York State have sufficient power reserves during those days of the year when air conditioners are running flat out,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA president and chief executive officer. He noted that the program, now in its sixth year, reduces the amount of power carried over transmission lines from power plants outside the city.

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 NYPA customers are participating in the PLM program at 93 locations. Together, they’ve committed to cut back on their electricity use by a total of 61 megawatts (mw). (One mw is about the equivalent of the power for 1,000 homes.)

Among the participants 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. Under the program, it may make such requests for up to 15 weekdays, from June 1 through September 30. The duration of the reductions are 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. (Participants have been advised of the possibility of another PLM event for Wednesday, based on the latest weather forecast.)

The Power Authority supports similar load-reduction programs that include additional NYPA customers in other areas of the state. These initiatives, along with the PLM program, combine for a potential peak-load reduction of more than 122 mw linked to NYPA’s efforts.

NYPA 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 nearly $55 million annually, helping to eliminate about 440,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year.