The capacity of Constellation NewEnergy’s enrolled demand response customers is the equivalent of avoiding generation from a large 1,000 MW power plant when customers scale back usage or switch to alternative sources of power.

One Constellation NewEnergy customer utilizing demand response as part of its strategic energy portfolio is the office products company, Staples, Inc. (Staples).

Participants in demand response programs earn payments for reducing power consumption when called upon to do so. To qualify, commercial customers have to meet a minimum threshold for electricity usage, often 100 kilowatts or more, which is typical of big-box retailers, manufacturers, hospitals, office buildings, or an aggregate of smaller sites in the same region. The financial incentives can be significant. A megawatt of demand response capacity in the 13 state PJM regional grid, for instance, can result in nearly $80,000 in payments.

Demand response programs are critical to ensuring that our collective requirement for electricity on peak demand days doesn’t outpace the ability to generate and deliver power reliably, said Peter Kelly-Detwiler, senior vice president of customer supply for Constellation NewEnergy. At these high levels of participation, Constellation NewEnergy’s customers are helping to ensure that adequate power supplies will be available when needed most. They are also reaping significant financial incentives for taking part in demand response programs. This is particularly important during the current period of economic stress.

Staples is always looking for innovative partners to help us manage our energy costs. Constellation NewEnergy has helped make demand response a permanent strategic energy initiative at both the corporate and store levels, one that is environmentally-friendly, forward-thinking, and easy to manage, all while contributing to the bottom line, said Bob Valair, director of energy and environmental management for Staples.