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Tight Reserve Margins in California Signal Need for Demand Response Participation


Grocers Seen as Leading Industry Helping to Prevent Blackouts

The California ISO (CAISO) summer 2005 forecast expects reserve capacity margins to fall precariously low during adverse events such as sustained hot weather or a series of unplanned plant outages. Low margin conditions greatly increase the probability of brownouts and blackouts, events not unfamiliar to Californians.
Businesses are not powerless to prevent these situations, however, as statewide programs exist that are designed to help support the grid through energy conservation and emergency demand response. During CAISO’s Summer Assessment press event earlier this year, the California Grocers Association (CGA) was commended for the leadership its membership has shown in these programs during past energy crises. This summer, the CAISO is again looking to CGA members for significant levels of demand reduction during electric capacity shortages.

CGA President Peter Larkin said, “The CGA is proud of our member organizations for the collaborative effort they have put toward relieving California’s electricity troubles through conservation and demand response initiatives. We encourage each member to continue their resourceful involvement in energy saving programs.”

The retail food industry may find it more challenging to make a sizeable impact this time around, however. As high electric prices in recent years significantly increased operating expenses, most grocers made substantial improvements in energy usage at stores to avoid passing costs onto customers, thereby lowering average demand. Today, new technologies must be employed to capture additional demand reduction.

Raley’s Family of Fine Stores is one company that has participated in emergency demand response before and looks forward to participating this summer to keep power flowing to the communities and customers it serves.

“Our stores are using less energy now than several years ago,” said Ed Estberg, Senior Director of Facilities at Raley’s. “This might mean fewer opportunities to participate in demand response, but technology improvements allow us to now curtail load from lighting, air conditioning, and other devices that was not possible previously. We are again enacting measures to secure the safety of our products and customers,” he added.

In order for Raley’s to participate across all of its facilities it must employ a centralized technology solution that allows it to rapidly curtail load in response to emergency events. EnerNOC, the provider of this solution, works with numerous supermarket chains nationwide offering no-risk, rapidly-deployable technology solutions for shedding electrical load to help keep the lights on across multiple facilities. The company provides no-cost, engineering-grade audits that define demand reduction opportunities and is prepared to enable hundreds of stores with its technology-based solutions to maximize grocer participation in California.

About the CGA:

The California Grocers Association is a non-profit, statewide trade association representing the food industry since 1898. CGA represents approximately 500 retail members operating over 6,000 food stores in California and Nevada, and approximately 300 grocery supplier companies. Retail membership includes chain and independent supermarkets, convenience stores and mass merchandisers.

About Raley’s:

Raley’s is a privately-owned supermarket chain with headquarters in West Sacramento, CA. The company is comprised of four chains -- Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source -- located in Northern California, Nevada and New Mexico.

About EnerNOC:

EnerNOC, Inc. is the leading provider of demand response, price response, and demand side management solutions to the commercial and industrial markets in the United States. EnerNOC delivers immediate, profitable results to customers by leveraging its deep experience in all aspects of energy management, commercial contracting, and embedded systems technology.


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