Aggregator / DRP FAQ
Information in this Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) FAQ may change, in whole or in part, subject to California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approval.
Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) is a flexible Demand Response (DR) program. When you participate in ELRP, not only do you conserve energy and help the environment, but you also receive financial incentives to use less energy during grid emergencies. While you’re relieving stress on the grid to help prevent power shortages in your community, you’ll earn $2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) reduced during ELRP events, with zero penalties if you can’t participate.
ELRP is unique in that it allows dual participation for non-residential customers with third-party DR providers (DRPs) as well as those enrolled in:
- Agricultural & Pumping Interruptible (AP-I)
- Summer Discount Plan for Commercial customers (SDP-C)
- Critical Peak Pricing (CPP)
- Real Time Pricing (RTP)
- Base Interruptible Program (BIP)*
- Capacity Bidding Program (CBP)**
* If you are enrolled in the Base Interruptible Program (BIP) through an aggregator and they choose to not enroll in ELRP, you will not be able to enroll in ELRP.
**If your CBP aggregator has enrolled in the ELRP, you will be eligible to participate through your CBP aggregator. If you are enrolled in CBP directly through SCE, you will not be able to participate in ELRP
Eligible Net Energy Metering (NEM) customers that can export energy and have behind-the-meter Rule 21 interconnected devices, with existing Rule 21 export permits, can be incentivized for exporting energy.
ELRP also allows limited dual participation for residential customers if they are enrolled in CPP or RTP. Residential customers cannot dual-participate if they are already enrolled in a Demand Response program through a third party DRP.
ELRP is divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. As listed below, Group A has six sub-groups, and Group B has two sub-groups.
Each sub-group has different eligibility criteria, giving customers different channels for ELRP participation; however, customers can only participate in one sub-group at a time.
Group A includes customers and aggregators not participating in Demand Response (DR) programs
- Non-residential customers (A.1)
- Non-residential aggregators (A.2)
- Rule 21 exporting DERs (A.3)
- Virtual Power Plant (VPP) aggregators (A.4)
- Vehicle Grid Integration (VGI) aggregators (A.5)
- Power Saver Rewards Program for Residential Customers (A.6)
Group B includes DR providers participating in market-integrated supply-side Demand Response (DR) programs
- Third-party DRPs (B.1)
- CBP aggregators (B.2)
Olivine, Inc. is a California-based company focused on helping the state meet its ambitious renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Olivine is the ELRP Program Implementer, providing the pilot’s infrastructure and program management. To learn more, visit olivineinc.com
Base Interruptible Program (BIP), Capacity Bidding Program (CBP) aggregators, and third-party demand response providers (DRPs) with market-integrated Proxy Demand Resources (PDRs) are eligible to participate in ELRP.
Virtual Power Plant (VPP) aggregators managing behind-the-meter storage paired with net energy metering solar and/or stand-alone storage deployed with bundled or unbundled residential or non-residential customers, whose virtual power plants meet the following criteria, are eligible participate in the program:
- The virtual power plant or any site within the aggregation is not simultaneously enrolled in a market-integrated demand response (DR) program.
- All sites in the aggregation are located in SCE’s service territory.
- The virtual power plant’s aggregated behind-the-meter storage capacity meets or exceeds 500 kW; virtual power plant size is determined by the summation of the Rule 21 interconnected capacity of the individual storage devices comprising the aggregation.
- Each site in the aggregation has a Rule 21 permit and operates in a manner compliant with existing rules and tariffs applicable to the site.
Vehicle-grid integration (VGI) aggregators consisting of any combination of electric vehicles and charging stations, including those capable of managed one-way charging (V1G) and bi-directional charging and discharging (V2G), deployed with bundled or unbundled residential and/or non-residential customers that meet the following criteria, are eligible to participate in the program:
- The aggregation, or any customer site within the aggregation, is not simultaneously enrolled in a market-integrated DR program.
- All sites in the aggregation are located in SCE’s service territory.
- The aggregation is able to contribute incremental load reduction (ILR) equal to or greater than 25 kW for a minimum of one hour during an ELRP event.
All other non-residential aggregators with aggregated bundled or unbundled non-residential customer resources meeting the following criteria are eligible to participate in the program:
- The aggregated resource, or any site within the aggregation, is not simultaneously enrolled in a market-integrated DR program.
- All sites in the aggregation are located in SCE’s service territory.
- The aggregated resource capacity meets or exceeds 500 kW.
ELRP participants reduce energy when stress on the grid is at emergency levels. The program is designed to respond to system-wide California Independent System Operator (CAISO) grid reliability requirements – not to SCE’s local transmission and distribution grid needs.
The ELRP program duration is five years (2021-2025).
If a non-residential participating customer’s service account is located in a disadvantaged community, they may not, at any time, use prohibited resources (back-up generator) to achieve Incremental Load Reduction (ILR) as defined in California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Resolution E-4906.
If the non-residential service account is not located in a disadvantaged community, the participant may only use a prohibited resource to achieve ILR during an ELRP event when permitted by a Governor’s Executive Order and in compliance with Rule 21 and other applicable regulations and permits.
Non-residential ELRP participants who are dually enrolled in another DR program may use prohibited resources during overlapping events, but only to achieve ILR below any existing commitments when permitted by a Governor’s Executive Order, and if they are not located in a disadvantaged community.
These resources are defined as prohibited, in either topping cycle Combined Heat and Power (CHP) or non-CHP configuration:
- Distributed generation technologies using diesel
- Natural gas
- Liquefied petroleum gas
Although prohibited resources may be used by eligible non-residential participants to respond to ELRP events (when permitted by a Governor’s Executive Order and in compliance with Rule 21 and other applicable regulations and permits), it is important to note that stationary back-up generators are often subject to air district requirements, which vary by air district and may include permitting requirements, emission limits, and operational restrictions. ELRP participants are solely responsible for all environmental and other regulatory requirements associated with operating their prohibited resources.
Disadvantaged communities are defined as (1) areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and other hazards that may lead to negative public health effects, exposure, or environmental degradation; and (2) areas with concentrations of people who are of low income, high unemployment, low levels of homeownership, high rent burden, sensitive populations, or low levels of educational attainment. CalEnviroScreen, an analytical tool created by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), combines different types of census tract-specific information into a score to determine which communities are the most burdened or “disadvantaged.” The Disadvantaged Communities Map shows areas classified as such by CalEnviroScreen. Disadvantaged communities are defined as the top 25% scoring areas from CalEnviroScreen, along with other areas with high amounts of pollution and low populations.
Using prohibited resources during test events is not permitted and will not be compensated.
If a service account has a behind-the-meter Rule 21 interconnected device with export capability and permit, and the participant specifies they want to be compensated for exports, their exported energy will be counted in baselines and load reduction.
In addition to helping the grid when needed, aggregators and third-party demand response providers (DRPs) may earn $2 per kWh of incremental load reduction below any existing commitments during ELRP events. Base Interruptible Program (BIP) aggregators are only eligible to be compensated for overlapping ELRP/BIP events, and only the incremental reduction below the BIP pre-committed Firm Service Level (FSL) during the overlapping event window is compensated.
Aggregators and third-party demand response providers must remain enrolled in ELRP for the duration of the season (May through October).
What is the difference between direct enrollment and enrollment through an aggregator or third-party demand response provider (DRP)?
Direct enrollment refers to customers who initiate and complete the ELRP enrollment process with SCE directly. The General Questions section of the Customer FAQ covers direct enrollment eligibility requirements. Direct-enrolled customers receive notifications and any payments directly from the program. Aggregators and third-party demand response providers (DRPs) may also enroll their aggregations in ELRP. If you are enrolled with an aggregator or third-party DRP, please contact them for information about the program. If you are enrolled in the Base Interruptible Program (BIP) through an aggregator and they choose to not enroll in ELRP, you will not be able to directly enroll.
Any interested aggregators and third-party DRPs may email email@example.com to start their enrollment. Aggregators interested in enrolling under A.2 (non-BIP), A.4, or A.5 sub-groups must review and electronically sign SCE’s aggregator agreement, execute add/delete forms for each customer they intend to enroll, complete the add/delete excel template, and acknowledge the applicable program Terms and Conditions. Existing BIP and CBP Aggregators and third-party DRPs are required to acknowledge program Terms and Conditions. Once aggregators or third-party demand response providers (DRPs) have signed the necessary agreement, they will be asked to provide at least one email address for event notifications.
Aggregators and third-party demand response providers (DRPs) must provide SCE with load reduction nominations (estimated incremental ELRP event load reduction quantities [kW]) for aggregations and when application individual customers. Base Interruptible Program nominations must be provided by sub-LAP for each BIP aggregated group, DRPs must provide aggregated load reduction nominations by CAISO Resource ID, and CBP aggregators may be required to provide load reduction nominations by service account.
Additionally, aggregators and third-party DRPs must provide information about any back-up generators for each site in their aggregations before they can receive compensation for event participation. This information will include the locations (addresses), types of fuel used, nameplate capacities, notice times, and ramp times for all prohibited resources in their aggregations.
SCE also offers a service provider option for virtual power plant and vehicle-grid-integration sub-groups. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A nomination is the estimated target load reduction quantity (kW) for an ELRP event. Participation in ELRP events is entirely voluntary, and no financial penalties will result from not meeting or exceeding the nomination. Starting in the 2022 ELRP season, compensation for an event is not impacted by the load-reduction nomination. Nominations are used to estimate the total expected load reduction. Base Interruptible Program (BIP) aggregators are required to provide load reduction nominations for each aggregated group. Nominations for BIP aggregators should be the aggregate estimated incremental load reduction below the aggregate Firm Service Level (FSL). Non-residential, Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and Vehicle-grid integration (VGI) aggregators are required to provide load reduction nominations at the aggregation level. Third party DRPs are required to provide nominations at the CAISO Resource ID and will be asked to provide courtesy nominations for each service account within their aggregation. CBP aggregators will be asked to provide nominations for each service account in the aggregation.
Aggregators and third-party demand response providers (DRPs) may send written notice to email@example.com asking to disenroll. The disenrollment will become effective within 30 days after the written notice is received.
The Terms and Conditions for Base Interruptible Program, virtual power plant, vehicle-grid-integration and other non-residential aggregators are available here:
The Terms and Conditions for Capacity Bidding Program aggregators and third-party demand response providers are available here:
Questions about ELRP Events
Events are triggered by the “Energy Emergency Alert (EEA)” process defined by the California Independent Service Operator Operating Procedure 4420.
Day-ahead events are triggered by CAISO EEA Watch notifications, and Day-of events are triggered by CAISO EEA Watch and EEA-1, EEA-2, or EEA-3 notifications. Base Interruptible Program participants are only eligible for compensation for ELRP events that overlap with BIP events, and only the incremental reduction below the BIP pre-committed Firm Service Level (FSL) during the overlapping event window is compensated under the ELRP.
Event notification emails list the service accounts you enrolled in ELRP, and the event date and time. The exact email message may differ based on the participant and their sub-group. For example, the email to direct-enrolled Base Interruptible Program (BIP) customers and aggregators reminds them they are only compensated for overlapping ELRP/BIP events, and the email to third-party demand response providers (DRPs) states it is a courtesy notification. Customers provide an email address at the time of enrollment for event notifications. For more convenience, download SCE’s free demand response (DR) Alerts application to receive event notifications.
Email event notifications are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participation in ELRP events is entirely voluntary and no financial penalties will result from not meeting or exceeding the nominated target.
The annual dispatch limit is up to 60 hours per year. The ELRP program availability is from May through October each year, seven days a week, from 4 p.m. 9 p.m. Events can last anywhere from one hour to five hours and may be called on consecutive days, dependent on grid conditions.
If an ELRP event or dispatch does not occur during the season, SCE will conduct one test event, with a two-hour duration, per year for direct-enrolled customers, who are required to participate in the tests, unless they rely exclusively on prohibited resources. Load reduced during test events is compensated, but using prohibited resources during tests is not allowed, and is not compensated.
Test requirements do not apply to ELRP sub-group A.6 (Residential customers).
Aggregators and third-party demand response providers (DRPs) will typically be notified of Day-Ahead events by 5 p.m. the day prior, and of Day-Of events shortly after the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) notice is issued.
Virtual power plant, vehicle-grid-integration, and non-residential aggregations have minimum dispatch hours and may be notified day-ahead or day-of in response to other forecasted or anticipated grid stress conditions, such as high locational marginal prices in the CAISO markets and extreme heat waves, to achieve the minimum dispatch hours.
Third-party DRP notifications are courtesy notifications. Third-party DRPs and Capacity Bidding Program (CBP) aggregators are solely responsible for monitoring CAISO notices themselves if they plan to participate.
Aggregators and third-party demand response providers (DRPs) will be notified of events by email and/or text. Capacity Bidding Program (CBP) aggregator and third-party DRP notifications are courtesy notifications. After third-party DRPs have affirmed their intent to participate in ELRP by signing any required agreements and providing contact information for notifications, prior to the event, third-party DRPs will receive these courtesy notifications. Third-party DRPs and CBP aggregators are solely responsible for monitoring California Independent System Operator (CAISO) notifications themselves, if they plan to participate.
Aggregators and third-party DRPs are responsible for notifying their customers of events. Base Interruptible Program (BIP) aggregators may want to notify their customers only of overlapping ELRP/BIP events and may want to restrict any ELRP-specific dispatches to the overlapping event window.
If you are interested in receiving event notifications via OpenADR or any of Olivine’s other dispatch APIs, send a request to email@example.com.
Yes. For non-residential aggregators, Minimum Aggregation Dispatch Hours are set at 10 hours per season. For Virtual Power Plant (VPP) aggregators, Minimum Aggregation Dispatch Hours are set at 20 hours per season. For Vehicle-grid integration VGI aggregators, Minimum Aggregation Dispatch hours are set at 30 hours per season.
Questions about Payments
During ELRP events, aggregators may earn $2 per kWh of incremental load reduction beyond any existing commitments.
For Vehicle-grid integration (VGI) aggregators, baseline calculations may be used with sub-metered data once the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved submetering protocols. Otherwise, the use of sub-metered data will be approved by SCE on a case-by-case basis. Aggregators who elect to use sub-metered data for settlement purposes shall also comply with approved submetering services, as outlined in the Aggregator Participation Agreement. The election to use sub-metered data will apply to all locations in the aggregation.
Third-party demand response providers (DRPs) will be paid by check after the invoice is accepted and approved. SCE will issue payments within 60 days of the invoice date, absent the need for additional information, which would set the 60 days from the time all additional information is received, accepted, and approved, to process the invoice. In case of an audit, the 60-day period is frozen until there is resolution to SCE’s satisfaction.
Capacity Bidding Program (CBP) and Base Interruptible Program (BIP) aggregators will receive ELRP payments through the same process CBP and BIP payments are made, respectively. Virtual Power Plant (VPP), Vehicle-grid integration (VGI), and non-residential aggregators will be paid by check. Aggregators will receive compensation for the ELRP season on or before March 31 of the following year.
To receive ELRP compensation, the third-party demand response provider (DRP) shall submit an aggregate invoice for the Cumulative Portfolio Level Net Event Compensation of each Proxy Demand Resource (PDR) Portfolio for the May/June/July period by September 30, and for the August/September/October period by December 31 of the program year. To request the most recent version of the Third Party DRP Invoice Template and submission instructions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Cumulative Portfolio Level Net Event Compensation of a PDR Portfolio over one period is determined by summing the Portfolio Level Net Event Compensation across all ELRP events in that period.
The invoice shall be accompanied with the supporting data for each event, including (but not limited to) PDR-specific ELRP Event Performance, California Independent System Operator (CAISO) market event performance, Day Ahead Market (DAM) and Real Time Market (RTM) prices, incremental load reduction (ILR), applicable market awards during the event, applicable CAISO market payments for load reductions counted in the ILR, and ELRP event compensation.