As one of the areas larger users of electricity, John Carroll University has been approached by First Energy, our electric utility provider, to participate in its Peak Demand Response Program. The purpose of this program is to reduce energy load during peak demand periods (June 1–Sept. 30) so the Northeast Ohio area does not experience rolling brownouts or blackouts due to the inability of the utility to provide enough power to meet demand.
The Peak Demand Response Program is a last line of defense program to protect the electrical grid against a system-wide emergency. Should an emergency occur, First Energy will contact us and ask us to reduce our energy usage for one to six hours between the hours of noon and 8 p.m. When we evaluate such a request we need to weigh it against disruptions to our campus community. We are now in our third year and have an experience base we can draw from to establish our parameters around their requests.
1. We will not shed load until 3 p.m. Based on our past years of program participation, we find this timing acceptable.
2. The R25 calendar is used to determine if it is possible to participate in the Program based on the events of the day. Please be sure that your events are in the system. Buildings are excluded when there are major identifiable events.
3. Classrooms will be cooled for evening classes, even if the power emergency has not passed. However, we may be asking some classes to relocate to the Admin Building to increase our efficiency. (Most classes for the remainder of the summer are already in Admin.) As a general practice, the library will be excluded from program participation.
4. No emergency equipment, life-safety equipment or elevators are ever included in the program.
5. We receive only a two hour notice to reduce load. For those days when the temperature is predicted to be 90 degrees or above, we will explore an optional dress code for staff who are not interacting with the public and have supervisor approval. When such guidelines have been developed, they will be posted on the HR website and communicated.
Following these guidelines strikes a balance between our campus needs and our desire to be a conscientious consumer of energy. Thank you for helping us to be good regional citizens.
July 17, 2013, update.