Statewide BIP Evaluation

Jun 1, 2012

Each of California’s three major investor-owned utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), offer the Base Interruptible Program (BIP). Although minor differences in the tariffs exist across the three utilities, for all three, BIP is a tariff based, emergency-triggered demand response (DR) program that the utilities can dispatch for California Independent System Operator (CAISO) system emergencies and local emergencies. Customers enrolled in BIP receive incentive payments in exchange for committing to reduce their electrical usage to a contractually-established level referred to as the Firm Service Level (FSL). Participants who fail to reduce load down to or below their FSL are subject to a substantial financial penalty assessed on a kWh basis. As of May 2012, enrollment in BIP equaled 656 accounts for SCE, 230 accounts for PG&E and 17 accounts for SDG&E. One of the most important issues facing the statewide BIP program is the cap on emergency DR programs that was adopted in 2010 by the utilities, CAISO and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).1 This cap limits the growth of emergency DR programs to a certain percentage of the recorded all-time coincident CAISO peak load.