Demand response (DR) is a way for customers to help California manage its electricity demand.  DR is: customers changing their electricity usage (typically reducing use or shifting use to other times in the day) at certain times in response to economic incentives, price signals, or other conditions. Future DR may involve customers increasing their electricity usage when the grid has too much electricity generation from renewable resources like the wind or sun.  Effective demand response programs provide California ratepayers with various economic and environmental benefits. These benefits include:

  •   Avoiding the construction of new power plants  
  •   Avoiding the purchase of high-priced energy   
  •   Providing greater reliability to the grid, which helps prevent blackouts  
  •   Avoiding the consumption of fossil fuels which can damage the environment

Currently, demand response programs are administered by California’s three regulated investor-owned utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. Independent commercial entities known as ‘aggregators’ or ‘Demand Response Providers’ may also approach customers to offer DR services.  Residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial customers can all participate in demand response programs and receive incentives for doing so.

Useful links: 

  • For information on Emergency Load Reduction Program, click here.
  • For a list of registered Demand Response Providers (DRPs)/Aggregators and FAQ, click here.
  • For information regarding aggregator/DR Provider registration, click here.
  • If you are a customer looking to learn more, click here.
  • For information on utility DR programs, click here
  • For information on Load Impact Protocols, click here.
  • If you would like the Load Impact Protocols (LIPs) filing guide, click here.
  • For information on Demand Response Evaluation and Research, including the recent Demand Response Potential Study, click here.
  • For information on the Demand Response Workshops, click here
  • For information on DR Cost-Effectiveness, click here.

An August 17, 2020 letter from CPUC Executive Director Alice Stebbins was issued to clarify the applicability of the CPUC's prohibited resource policy for DR programs, pursuant to Decision (D.)16-09-056, in response to extreme heat wave conditions and COVID-19 public safety considerations.