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The Boston Globe

Business

Conservation program eases power grid strain

‘Demand response’ aims to insure reliability in tough conditions

Last week’s heat wave drove near-record demand for electricity in New England, leading the power grid operator to invoke a rarely used energy conservation program to take pressure off the system.

The program, known as “demand response,” pays large commercial users to cut their electricity use when power consumption begins to approach the grid’s capacity. On Friday afternoon, when near-100-degree temperatures led to the fourth-highest electricity use on record, grid operator ISO New England triggered demand response.

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