Two large Texas energy users recently shared how much revenue they have earned for improving grid reliability. In separate public events, CPower recently presented San Jacinto College and the Houston Independent School District (HISD) with more than $160,000 in demand response revenue.
“HISD and San Jacinto College exemplify how schools and educational institutions of all levels can make money while keeping the lights on for their communities by reducing loads when demand peaks on the grid,” said James Vasquez, Account Executive, Texas, for CPower.
Both customers participate in Texas grid services programs available through the state’s grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). HISD and San Jacinto College’s most recent earnings came from ERCOT’s Emergency Response Services (ESR) program, which pays customers for being available to curtail their electricity loads within 10 or 30 minutes.
San Jacinto College
CPower Account Executive James Vasquez, far left, presents a “big check” to representatives of San Jacinto College.
San Jacinto College received a “big check” for $48,000 for the ERS 2023 Summer Season. The college has five campuses in metropolitan Houston and has earned a total of $434,000 since it enrolled in demand response in February 2016.
The college began working with CPower in late 2022, after a turnover in key facility personnel, Vasquez said. At the time, the college was enrolled for 400 kW between two buildings. After several discussions, including a site visit by a CPower engineer, the college increased its demand response participation by 2,600 kW across nine more buildings.
Depending on the season, San Jacinto College now has 2-3 MW enrolled in demand response. Currently, it is enrolled in the ERS Winter Season (December 2023-March 2024) with a projected revenue payout of $75,000.
Houston Independent School District
From left: Stephanie Walker, HISD; Jeffrey Norman, CPower; Kirby Williams, HISD; and James Vasquez, CPower
CPower presented Houston Independent School District with a “big check” for $114,753, which reflected its combined earnings from enrollment in CenterPoint Energy and ERS Summer Season (June-September) demand response programs. “We were told that this check represented the salaries for two teachers—plus more,” Vasquez said.
With more than 189,934 students and 274 schools across 333 square miles within greater Houston, HISD is the largest public school system in Texas and the eighth largest in the nation. Fourteen percent of the district’s buildings are enrolled in ERS.
HISD has been paid approximately $200,000 since it started participating in demand response in October 2021. It is projected to receive another $44,000 in revenue for the ERS Winter Season that ends in March.
HISD and San Jacinto College are just two examples of large Texas energy users benefiting from helping the grid while ensuring the comfort and safety of their students and faculty. In addition to the ERS program, ERCOT offers a mix of other grid services opportunities for commercial, industrial and institutional customers in Texas, including different ways to reduce energy charges and earn revenue.
If you would like to learn more about how your Texas organization could save money, get paid and help the grid, visit our Texas demand response page.