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Demand response for large businesses

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Shift your usage to earn financial rewards

Join our demand-response program for large businesses and you can earn financial rewards for shifting your electricity use during periods of peak demand on our system.

By helping us reduce peaks on our system, we can make our electrical grid operate more efficiently and reduce the need for costly new infrastructure.

The offer

Demand-response events are short periods of high demand on our system – lasting no more than four hours each. If you reduce your electricity use by at least 5% during a demand-response event, you'll earn a financial reward.

You can earn $50 per average kW demand reduction over the course of the season's events. The more you reduce, the more you can earn. 

How it works

  1. Apply for the program.
  2. We'll run a test event with in you in the first five days of each season you enrolled in (winter and/or summer) to ensure you're set up for success.
  3. We'll call up to 20 demand-response events per season during periods of high electrical demand.
  4. We'll notify you via email at least 12 hours before each event. This allows you to plan when and how you'll shift or reduce your energy use.
  5. Reduce your usage by at least 5% during the event.
  6. If you're successful, you'll earn a financial reward for that event.

Events last up to four hours each. You can opt out of any event and you'll always remain in full control of your operations and energy usage.


  • Your business must be on our large general service (LGS) rate.
  • You business must have operated at your current address for at least one year.
  • You'll need at least one dedicated person on staff who will receive and respond to events.
  • You can't use more of a carbon-intensive energy source (e.g. gas, diesel) as a way to reduce your BC Hydro electricity use.

How to apply

If you have questions about this program, contact your Key Account Manager, or send us an email.

When you're ready, log in to your business's MyHydro account to apply.

Apply now


For more information, see our Customer manual – Demand response for large businesses [PDF, 307].

Getting started

  • The winter season runs from October 1 to April 30.
  • The summer season runs from May 1 to September 30.

Summer season enrollment is only available for select areas where electricity use peaks in the summer:

  • Campbell Heights (Surrey and Langley)
  • Abbotsford
  • Coquitlam
  • Port Coquitlam
  • Westbank

If you're eligible for summer, you can enroll for summer, winter, or both.

AutoDR is an automated method to trigger and respond to demand-response events. If your equipment is OpenADR certified (an open standard communications protocol), we can send event signals directly to your equipment to adjust operation to a pre-set plan.

Not sure if your equipment is certified? Contact your equipment manufacturer to find out.

You can indicate that you'll use AutoDR when you apply.

Demand-response events are called based on the ever-changing conditions on our grid. There is no set schedule. However, the majority of peaks on our grid are related to cold winter days and hot summer afternoons.

During an event

We'll email your listed key contact at least 12 hours before an event starts with the event time. This allows you to prepare to implement your demand response plan. During the event, follow your plan to adjust the operation of equipment within your facility and reduce electricity use.

Many businesses have some flexibility in how they use electricity. This could be lowering or raising temperature setpoints on HVAC systems, delaying electric vehicle charging, or shifting specific processes in a plant to another time.

We also provide free coaching to help you identify opportunities so shift or reduce electricity use. Contact your Key Account Manager to access this resource.

You can opt out of an event by responding to the event notification you received by email at least two hours before the event is scheduled to start.

There are no direct penalties for opting out of an event. However, regularly opting out may affect your overall average performance for the season, and the incentive you could earn.

You need to successfully meet or exceed the 5% usage reduction target in at least 60% of events in a season in order to continue in the program the following season.

If you want to leave the program, contact your Key Account Manager or email us. Withdrawal mid-season will forfeit any incentives earned that season.

Rewards and measurement

To determine if you successfully reduced your usage by 5%, we'll compare your electricity usage during the event to your baseline usage. We calculate your baseline as your average electricity usage over the five eligible business days prior to the event.

At the end of each event season, your total rewards earned during the season will be applied as a rebate on your business' BC Hydro bill.