Revenue and Sustainability Support with Member-Exclusive Energy Reduction Program

This article appeared in the Jan/Feb 2024 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

MMA members can now earn revenue by agreeing to reduce energy usage through a new partnership between CPower, Enstar Energy and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which operates the Midwest and South Central power grid.

Through the Demand Response program, members enter into an agreement that they will reduce energy usage when supply on the grid cannot meet demand or when the cost of electricity is particularly high. Even if no incidents occur, participating members still receive a check from CPower at the end of the fiscal year for being ready to help the grid. CPower is a national energy firm that’s leading the way on Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) to strengthen the grid where it’s needed the most.

MMA members are not obligated to pay anything out-of-pocket to participate in the program.

“This program allows MMA members to get paid to manage their load and help MISO meet the demands for electricity,” says Don Johns, President of Enstar, MMA’s longtime energy consultant. “If they’re called on to back their production down for a period of time, that’s certainly better than getting blacked out.”

CPower can help MMA members create an individual curtailment plan based on how often they are available, how quickly they can respond and how long they can contribute to load reduction. Based on these pre-determined curtailment plans, some businesses may only be required to power down by a small percentage, while others may be able to shut down completely.

Actual outage events are exceedingly rare, says Kellen Bollettino, Senior National Account Executive for CPower.

“There have been upwards of three events in the last 10 years within the Michigan market,” says Bollettino.

If an actual event occurs and participating members are asked to temporarily power down, they will earn additional compensation at the end of the year.

“By participating for a few hours, they may alleviate or avoid a significant blackout,” says Bollettino. “It’s better to be out for a few hours while curtailing the concern for the entire grid than to have everyone out for 12 hours, 18 hours or more.”

Participating organizations can potentially capture 30 to 40 percent of their energy costs back through these incentives.

As an added benefit of the program, MMA members can support corporate sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. Participating members are effectively reducing carbon footprint by helping the electric grid stay balanced without having to burn fossil fuels to produce electricity.

Businesses must complete a registration process for the program every year. The deadline is 2/15/24 for new businesses and 2/1/24 for existing CPower customers.

For more information about programs through EnStar, CPower and MISO, see or contact MMA’s Brenda Nalett at or 517-487-8512. 6