San Antonio, Texas – (July 21, 2020) – CPS Energy is proud to be recognized as a “Thought Leader for Public Engagement” by the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) in the 17th Peak Load Management Alliance Awards. The awards recognize industry leaders who created innovative ideas, methods, programs and technologies during the calendar year 2019, that manage end use loads to meet peak load needs and support successful grid integration of distributed energy resources.
“CPS Energy takes great pride in receiving the Thought Leader for Public Engagement Award from the Peak Load Management Alliance,” said Rudy Garza, Chief Customer Engagement Officer for CPS Energy. “Our team of over 3,100 employees are committed to bringing innovative solutions to our customers and community while continuing to provide them with the resilient service they have come to expect from CPS Energy. Our team continues to act as thought leaders in how we can help our customers save energy and money and look forward to the work we get to do on a daily basis.”
Prompting the award, CPS Energy’s Demand Response (DR) Team took a proactive approach in protecting customers from a potential increase in energy costs, resulting from peak load demands and megawatt availability in the ERCOT market. The team created a plan to grow through behavioral DR, WiFi thermostats, and both commercial and public customer engagement. Multiple new program options were created or expanded, including DR Coaching for commercial customers and an expanded behavioral DR program to 300,000 residential customers. They also created a public engagement campaign that engaged local news stations and their weather teams. When a high energy demand day was anticipated, the weather team would encourage viewers to lower energy usage throughout the day. This campaign resulted in adding over 40 MWs of DR to the portfolio. Accordingly, its total DR program savings reached 268 MW at its height. To promote friendly competition, customers in the program were able to see their kwh reduction versus their neighbors and where they ranked in energy savings.
CPS Energy’s Demand Response effort compliments the utilities successful Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP). STEP was launched in 2009 and was designed to empower customers to manage their energy consumption through efforts like energy efficiency, conservation and adoption of renewable energy (i.e. rooftop solar). The goal of the program was for savings of up to 771 MW, roughly the equivalent of a power plant, over the course of 12 years. The goal was reached early – in August of 2019- a year ahead of schedule and came in below its total budget, which saved CPS Energy’s customers and community money. CPS Energy is now in the one-year STEP Bridge program that keeps the best components of STEP available to its customers while management prepares to present a new long-term version of STEP, called FlexSTEP. FlexSTEP will be designed to meet the changing needs of our customers and new energy efficiency technologies.
CPS Energy continues to search for innovative ways to help customers. This summer, they have expanded their summer savings awareness campaign across all local broadcast stations and are utilizing multiple forms of communications to ensure their customers remain informed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the utility suspended energy disconnects and is waiving late fees on unpaid balances for customers who participate in a CPS Energy payment plan. The utility is also continuing to raise funds for their Residential Energy Assistance Program (REAP) to help customers pay their energy bills during these challenging and unprecedented times. For more information on REAP along with other customer assistance programs, visit https://www.cpsenergy.com/assistance.
About CPS Energy
Established in 1860, CPS Energy is the nation’s largest public power, natural gas, and electric company, providing safe, reliable, and competitively-priced service to 860,934 electric and 358,495 natural gas customers in San Antonio and portions of seven adjoining counties. Our customers’ combined energy bills rank among the lowest of the nation’s 20 largest cities – while generating $8 billion in revenue for the City of San Antonio for more than seven decades. As a trusted and strong community partner, we continuously focus on job creation, economic development, and educational investment. True to our People First philosophy, we are powered by our skilled workforce, whose commitment to the community is demonstrated through our employees’ volunteerism in giving back to our city and programs aimed at bringing value to our customers. CPS Energy is among the top public power wind energy buyers in the nation and number one in Texas for solar generation.