When need for power is high, such as during a hot summer day, operators sometimes ask customers to lower their energy use to reduce stress on the grid. They pay the customers for doing so. These programs are called demand response.
Those with ABDR don’t have to cut back on operations to curb use of grid power. Instead, they switch to their on-site generators — likely natural gas — to continue their important work and at the same time receive a demand response payment.