Enerwise has agreed to pay $1.3 million after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the energy management company directed the Maryland Stadium Authority to artificially inflate the electric load at Baltimore’s Camden Yards baseball stadium, according to Troutman Sanders LLP’s Washington Energy Report.
Witnesses say MSA turned on stadium lighting on a non-Orioles game day just after grid operator PJM declared that an emergency event would start two hours later. PJM alleged that the unnecessary energy use could have artificially increased MSA’s demand reduction, raising payments to both the authority and Enerwise. The energy management company also allegedly registered MSA as a type of demand response customer called a “guaranteed load drop,” despite problems with the authority’s generators. Under the FERC settlement, Enerwise has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $780,000, to disgorge $20,726 in unjust profits and interest, and spend $500,000 on demand response metering and automatic load control technology improvements for PJM customers this year.
The allegations are alarming. Companies registering in demand response programs aim not just to cut costs, but to find actual energy reductions that can reduce their operational carbon footprint. In this case, the energy service company – which should have served both financial and environmental aims – seems to have pursued one at the expense of the other.
Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.
Picture credit: Baltimore Orioles