Competitive Suppliers Keep the Lights On (EPSA Press Release)


CONTACT: John E. Shelk / (202) 628-8200

July 25, 2013

Reports that Demand Response Saved the Day Are Overblown

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Electric Power Supply Association President and CEO John E. Shelk issued the following statement today in light of media reports and blog postings suggesting that “demand response” deserves the credit for meeting customer needs during the recent heat wave in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic:

“Make no mistake about it, the lights stayed on and air conditioners kept running for tens of millions of customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic because of the hard work and dedication of the plant employees at competitively-owned power plants and at the grid operators in ISO New England, the New York Independent System Operator, and the PJM Interconnection.

“Recent media reports and blog postings vastly overstate the role played by demand response programs. Preliminary data indicate that demand response was at best only one percent of peak load in PJM and between one and three percent in New York and New England. While demand response is only called on infrequently, competitive power suppliers meet customer needs day in and day out all year long.

“EPSA has always made it clear that demand response has a role to play, provided it is comparably regulated and properly compensated. Demand response should also result in actual reductions in net demand, as advertised, not merely shifts of demand from cleaner on-grid power to much dirtier back-up diesel generators.
“The next several years will be critical to shaping the future of electricity, from where it is generated to how it is used and who supplies consumers. Public policies, whether federal or state, must be based on the simple fact that reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible power supplies are critical to building that future.

“Understandably when temperatures are high and power demand peaks on hot summer days, attention turns to electricity issues. EPSA welcomes that attention because competitive power suppliers have again proven that independently-operated regional power grids are best able to meet customer needs reliably and at least cost. In addition, those states with retail choice markets served by competitive wholesale power providers offer greater options and services to customers, including energy management products to address both peak and on-going power use.”


EPSA is the national trade association representing competitive power suppliers, including generators and marketers. Competitive suppliers, which collectively account for 40 percent of the installed generating capacity in the United States, provide reliable and competitively priced electricity from environmentally responsible facilities serving power markets. EPSA seeks to bring the benefits of competition to all power customers. For more information, please visit

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