There are a raft of resources to help commercial building owners and managers to cut energy and water consumption while maintaining and improving comfort. SPEER now offers training for building operators. You can sing up for the national Commercial Building Energy Alliance, and receive technical assistance and peer support. With the help of a curtailment service provider, you can sign up to receive payments for reducing your loads during and ERCOT system-wide emergency, or as part of a utility peak load reduction program.
Building Operator Certification Program: Building Operator Certification (BOC) is a national professional development and credential program offering job skills in energy efficient building operation and maintenance practices. Certification is competency-based with an emphasis on energy efficient building maintenance practices. This program is currently offered in 25 other states, and now in Texas and Oklahoma through SPEER. Many prominent organizations accredit the BOC as an approved means of continuing education, including the U.S. Green Building Council, which approved the Level 1 BOC courses as continuing education for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in 2010.
Energy Efficiency Opportunities
The U.S. Department of Energy supports a national initiative called the Better Buildings Alliance, which asks building owners to make a commitment to monitor their energy usage, to set goals for improvement, and share information and experience with other members. In return the program provides technical assistance, and connections to peers with whom you can share information and experience, and links to financial allies. They also sponsor events or collaborative initiatives such as the High Performance Rooftop Unit Challenge.
Demand Response Opportunities
If your commercial building is in a region of Texas open to retail competition, or Austin, you can work with a knowledgeable curtailment services provider (CSP), to get paid for your willingness to reduce your power demand temporarily during an ERCOT grid system emergency condition. That is, before the lights go out from a controlled rolling outage, the system operators call on voluntarily participating customers like you, to reduce their facility load on the system. ERCOT offers payments to participating customers under their Load Resources Program (for customers over 1 Megawatt of curtailable load), and their Emergency Resource Service (for customer with over 100 kilowatts of curtailable load). Payments are made whether you are ever called to curtail or not. The Load Resources Program is designed for larger customers who must bid regularly to participate, and must accept the installation of an under-frequency relay that will curtail loads when frequency drops below a certain level. The Emergency Resource Service, which is designed for smaller commercial and industrial customers, or aggregations of customers, provides 10 or 30 minutes advance notice of curtailment and limits the number of hours customers must be available to 8 hours per 4 month contract period. Both programs require special capabilities to communicate directly with the ERCOT system operations center, but CSP’s, also called demand response aggregators, have evolved to offer customers the assistance they need to participate. Although there are not yet any recognized standards or certifications for CSP companies or staff, the following is a list of the CSP members of the National Peak Load Management Association (PLMA), many of which offer services in Texas. This is not an endorsement and is provided as information to help you find a qualified provider (if you are a provider not listed here, please contact us). We recommend you interview multiple providers who should have experience in ERCOT or other markets, professional staff, and get a list of references for other commercial customers served.
ERCOT Demand Response Providers List
|EDF Trading North American|
|EdgePoint Power Solutions|
|Enerwise Global Technologies Inc|
|MP2 Energy, LLC.|
|North America Power Partners LLC|
|THG Energy Solutions|