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Demand Side Grid Support (DSGS)

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The California Energy Commission (CEC) Demand Side Grid Support (DSGS) Program is part of California’s Strategic Reliability Reserve, a suite of programs to alleviate tight energy supplies on the grid caused by heatwaves, wildfires, and other ongoing impacts of climate change. DSGS offers incentives to electric customers that provide load reduction and backup generation to support the state’s electrical grid during extreme events from May to October, reducing the risk of rotating power outages. The DSGS Program is open to eligible DSGS providers and participants and has three incentive structure options to choose from.

How DSGS Works


  • DSGS providers (retail suppliers, Federal Power Marketing Administrations, and aggregators) register with the California Energy Commission (CEC)
  • Customers enroll with DSGS providers (or directly with the CEC in limited circumstances) to participate
  • DSGS providers report participation to the CEC


  • DSGS providers submit claims to CEC for administrative costs (Option 1) and incentives
  • CEC validates claims and pays DSGS providers incentives and administrative costs
  • DSGS providers pay incentives to their participants

Eligibility Requirements

DSGS Provider

Providers are entities that manage groups of participants in the DSGS Program. Eligible DSGS providers include:

Additional DSGS Provider eligibility requirements apply for Incentive Options 2 and 3. For more information about DSGS provider responsibilities and additional requirements, reference the FAQ.

DSGS Participant

Participants are customers enrolled in DSGS through a provider, or in limited circumstances, directly with the CEC. Eligible DSGS participants include:

  • A customer of a Publicly Owned Utility (POU) or a FPMA
  • A customer of a tribal utility
  • A customer of a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA), energy service provider, or electrical corporation AND
    • Participating with backup generator(s), or
    • Participating through Incentive Option 2 or Option 3, or
    • A water agency, which includes water utilities, wastewater facilities, and irrigation districts.

Additionally, participants are not eligible to enroll in DSGS and receive incentives if their load reduction resource is:

  • Enrolled in the Emergency Load Reduction Program or Base Interruptible Program
  • Receiving payment or accounting for the same reduction in use of electricity, including energy export, through any other utility, CCA, or state program, except critical peak pricing rate plans
  • A cogeneration facility with a power purchase agreement*

Refer to the FAQ for additional eligibility requirements that apply to each Incentive Option. DSGS providers may include additional eligibility requirements for their participants.

Participants can enroll in DSGS through a Provider in any eligible option. Alternatively, non-residential participants can enroll directly with the CEC, but only under Incentive Option 1 and only if enrollment through the participant’s load serving entity (LSE) is not possible, such as if the LSE is not enrolled as a DSGS provider or is not offering DSGS Program participation for that type of customer or load reduction resource.

* If a participant has a power purchase agreement for a renewable generator at the same site as a cogeneration facility, but not one for the cogeneration facility, this does not make the participant ineligible to participate.
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Incentive Options

The DSGS Program has three incentive structure options. DSGS providers may limit which incentive structure options are available to their participants. Participants may select a different incentive structure option for each load reduction resource enrolled, as long as each load reduction resource has fully separate metering. All load reductions that would not have occurred in the absence of the DSGS Program, including those that result in negative load at the meter that is, exports, are eligible for incentives.

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