Join the Tesla Virtual Power Plant
Participate in the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) pilot offered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and support the grid while also earning compensation and maintaining your energy security.
Become a part of the largest distributed battery in the world and help keep California’s energy clean and reliable. Opt-in to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP) with PG&E and your Powerwall will be dispatched when the grid needs emergency support. Through the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall delivers during an event. Adjust your Backup Reserve to set your contribution, while maintaining backup energy for outages. Learn more about program benefits, eligibility, compensation and more below.
California experienced an unprecedented heat wave starting Labor Day weekend that caused record levels of electricity demand and grid stress. Thanks to participating Powerwall owners, the Tesla Virtual Power Plant proved to be a growing and consistent resource for California during this time.
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Benefits of Participation
- Stabilize California’s Grid: The extra capacity your Powerwall provides could help avoid or reduce blackouts in a severe emergency. This way, Powerwall can keep the lights on for both you and your community.
- Clean the Grid: Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid is in critical need of additional power. That is when the least efficient generators would typically come online.
- Unite as a Tesla Community: Team up with other Powerwall owners who are accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy and help form the largest distributed battery in the world – potentially over 50,000 Powerwalls. As part of the VPP, your Powerwall will have an outsized positive impact on the grid over traditional demand response programs.
- Maintain Your Energy Security: Powerwall will discharge during VPP events but won’t discharge below your Backup Reserve. Adjust your Backup Reserve to control your contribution while maintaining backup energy for outages.
- Earn Compensation: Through the ELRP pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall provides during an event. You don’t have to change your energy usage behavior to participate.
Tesla Powerwall owners with or without solar are eligible to participate in PG&E’s ELRP pilot if they:
- Receive electric services from PG&E or are Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers located within the PG&E service territory.
- Have a residential service account.
- Are not enrolled in a conflicting PG&E or non-utility demand response program or another Virtual Power Plant.
- Have a valid Rule 21 interconnection agreement.
You may need to take additional actions if the app shows:
- “The information you provided could not be found.”
Re-enter your utility account information and make sure your name, phone number and account number match up with your bill. View more details in the FAQ section below.
- “You are not eligible to enroll at this time.”
This indicates that you do not meet the eligibility criteria above. You can contact PG&E to determine the reason and potentially take action to address the eligibility conflict so that you can re-apply.
The most common reason for ineligibility is due to participation in a conflicting demand response program. If you are still interested in enrolling in the Tesla VPP, you will first need to disenroll from the conflicting demand response program. Contact the conflicting program provider directly to disenroll and have them provide an effective disenrollment date.
If you require assistance identifying the program provider, log in to your PG&E account at pge.com and follow the “Share My Data” link. There, you will find a list of the program providers that you have authorized sharing your data with.
Note: Revoking authorization does not disenroll you from the demand response program – you still need to contact the provider directly.
Tesla and PG&E will call upon the Virtual Power Plant when the California grid operator, CAISO, declares an alert, warning or emergency in response to challenging grid conditions. Tesla and PG&E may also call events at other times to meet the program minimum of 20 hours of events. These additional events may include responses to CAISO Flex Alerts.
What to Expect
Before the Event
When an event is scheduled, you will receive a push notification informing you of event times. You can expect your Powerwall system to prioritize charging and preparing for an event after the event is scheduled. An event may be scheduled a day ahead, but circumstances may require much less notice.
During the Event
When the event begins, you will receive a push notification reminding you of the event end time, and your Powerwall will begin discharging to support the grid. Your Powerwall will discharge until the event ends, or when it discharges to your selected Backup Reserve level. Powerwall will export a safe amount of power, which may be similar to onsite solar export. This may not be the full power capacity of your Powerwall.
After the Event
At completion of the event, Powerwall will resume normal operation.
Powerwall will not dispatch to an energy level below your Backup Reserve. Setting your Backup Reserve is the best way to control how much energy you elect for participation and how much you maintain in case of an outage.
When an event is scheduled or active, Powerwall gives you the option to opt-out of the event through the Tesla app. When you opt-out, Powerwall will stop reacting to the event, and resume normal operation.
You have a VPP participation toggle in the ‘Settings’ menu of the Tesla app. If you turn this off, your Powerwall system will not react to events when they are scheduled, and you will not be notified of the events. You are still enrolled in the program, however, and can resume your participation at any time by toggling your participation back on.
Unenrolling from the program takes away your opportunity to earn money supporting the grid and is not necessary to stop unwanted use of your Powerwall. The Controlling Your Participation section above can help you achieve a level of participation that works for you.
Should you want to unenroll from the program, contact PG&E or Tesla Customer Support.
The Tesla and PG&E ELRP pilot will compensate you $2 for every additional kWh that your Powerwall delivers during an event beyond typical behavior.
Your compensation depends on:
- The participating energy capacity of your system, which depends on the number of Powerwalls and your Backup Reserve. Lower your Backup Reserve to earn more.
- How fully charged your Powerwall is for the event. There may not be enough solar energy or time to fully charge the Powerwall before an event.
- How much your Powerwall would typically charge or discharge during the event time.
- Whether the Powerwall can export all available energy during the event. Powerwall may not have time to safely discharge all participating energy during the event. Powerwall may need to limit exports to safe levels, typically similar to solar export levels.
At the end of the season, which is typically towards the end of the year, PG&E will calculate your contribution and incentive payment from your Powerwall data. Your payment will come from Tesla and you can expect payment before the end of March 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
What information is needed to successfully enroll?
Many customers will be asked to provide some information so that PG&E can identify the right utility account and determine eligibility.
Where we have information, we will pre-populate the forms, but it is important that the information you provide is the same as the information in your PG&E account.
If you don’t know the right information, the best place to check is your PG&E bill. See the below example to locate information quickly on your bill:
- Account number
- Meter number
How do I ensure that I will have enough energy for backup power?
A push notification will inform you that there will be an ELRP event. You can adjust your Backup Reserve level then or at any time, based on your own risk of outage.
If rotating outages occur due to grid emergencies, and your home is in a curtailed block, an outage can last about one to one and a half hours. Other grid blackouts or Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events may be longer in duration. If outages are planned, check with your utility for the expected duration.
If an outage occurs during the event, your Powerwall will still provide you with energy security using its stored energy.
Will participation in this program impact my electric bill?
Tesla expects most events this summer to occur during typical peak hours for many Time-of-Use rate plans. Participating in the event will shift energy exports to periods that are later in the day compared to typical exports. If you are eligible for compensation under a Net Energy Metering (NEM) program, you may earn different credit for exporting at different times.
Emergency Load Reduction Program: PG&E & Tesla Virtual Power Plant Customer Participation Agreement
Thank you for your interest in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Emergency Load Reduction Program pilot – Virtual Power Plant Aggregation (ELRP A.4) in conjunction with Tesla, Inc. (Tesla). The ELRP A.4 is open to PG&E residential customers who have one or more Tesla Powerwall(s) (Device) Tesla can remotely control during Demand Response (DR) events (Event). Participation is subject to your agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions with PG&E and Tesla (Terms).
By clicking “Accept Enrollment” or “Accept Updated Terms,” you (“Participant”) acknowledge that you have read these Terms and agree to be legally bound by them.
PG&E in its sole discretion shall determine Participant’s eligibility to participate in the ELRP A.4 which includes:
i. Participant must receive electric service on a residential rate schedule.
ii. Participant must be located in PG&E’s service territory.
iii. Participant has a PG&E electric SmartMeter.
iv. Participant is not simultaneously enrolled in another supply-side demand response program or any other ELRP sub-group offered by PG&E, third-party DR provider or Community Choice Aggregator.
v. Participant has an active and valid PG&E Rule 21 interconnection permit.
Participant should not participate in the ELRP Sub-Group A.4 unless Participant has the authority to control the Device and is the Customer of Record for the PG&E utility account associated with the address at which the Device is installed. By accepting these Terms, Participant confirms that Participant has authority to control the Device and is the Customer of Record in that manner, and that Tesla and PG&E can rely on those confirmations in connection with the ELRP A.4.
- Participant Device Control Requirements
By accepting these Terms, Participant grants PG&E and Tesla remote access to control the enrolled Device to automatically charge and/or discharge the Device during a DR Event. Other than Participant’s own operation of the Device, PG&E and Tesla will have exclusive access to the Device. Participant will have the ability to set a minimum level of charge as a backup reserve (“Backup Reserve”). Tesla will not draw Participant Device’s state of charge below Participant’s designated Backup Reserve and will not discharge Participant’s Device when the state of charge is below the Backup Reserve. Except for honoring Participant’s Backup Reserve, Tesla may charge or discharge the Participant’s Device at any time and to any level.
- ELRP Term
The ELRP A.4 begins upon the Participant’s acceptance of these Terms and shall continue until at least December 31, 2023, unless expressly extended by PG&E or terminated sooner.
- ELRP Customer Events
Events will be triggered the day-ahead or day-of based on Flex Alerts or CAISO Energy Emergency Alerts between May 1 and October 31 and the Event hours can be between 4 PM and 9 PM.
The ELRP A.4 will compensate the Participant $2 for every incremental kilowatt-hour that PG&E and/or Tesla discharges from Participant’s Device in response to an Event. Tesla will directly pay the Participant any compensation earned on an annual basis, or on a more frequent basis as determined by Tesla. Those payments, if any, are the only compensation that Participant will receive from Tesla and PG&E for their participation in the ELRP A.4. Participant is responsible for all other costs that may involve participating in the ELRP A.4, including but not limited to, the cost of electricity to charge Participant’s Device and the general use of Participant’s Device.
- Participant Device Data and Other Information
- No Warranty; Disclaimer
PG&E and Tesla expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind relating to the ELRP A.4, whether express, implied or statutory including but not limited to any implied warranties for conditions, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement or misappropriation of intellectual property rights.
- Limitation of Liability
In no event will Tesla or PG&E be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages, arising in connection with the ELRP A.4, including but not limited to Participant’s Device reduced charge during a power outage causing a loss of power or any other loss of power for whatever reason. If Participant is dissatisfied with the ELRP A.4, any of these Terms, or believes Tesla or PG&E has breached these Terms in any way, Participant’s sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue participation in the ELRP.
Termination By PG&E: PG&E has the sole discretion to terminate a Participant’s participation in the ELRP A.4, at any time without cause by providing Participant written notice.
Termination by Participant: Participant may terminate their enrollment in the ELRP A.4 at any time for any reason by contacting Tesla Customer Support.
Participant will receive compensation owed under Section 6 of the Terms for participation in the ELRP A.4 up until the date of termination.
i. Entire Agreement. These Terms are the entire agreement between PG&E, Tesla and Participant concerning the ELRP A.4’s eligibility and participation requirements.
ii. No Assignment. These Terms may not be assigned by Participant without PG&E’s prior written consent.
iii. Severability and Waiver. If any provision herein is invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect.
iv. Survival. Termination in the ELRP A.4 will not affect the obligations and rights under these Terms which are intended to survive such termination.
v. CPUC Jurisdiction. These terms shall be subject to all legal and regulatory requirements applicable to the ELRP (including, without limitation, any decisions, orders or rules of the CPUC).
vi. Governing Law. This Agreement is governed by California law.
vii. Amendments. These Terms may be changed by PG&E and Tesla from time to time upon 5 days’ notice to Participant, which will be sent to Participant. Any changes will also be published on the pilot support page which can be accessed through the Tesla app.
- Tesla Arbitration Requirement
Agreement to Arbitrate
Read this part carefully because it means you are agreeing that any unresolved dispute between you and Tesla will not be decided by a judge or jury in a public courtroom, but instead by a single arbitrator in a private arbitration.
If you have a dispute arising out of or relating to any aspect of the relationship between you and Tesla, Inc. or its affiliates (which we call “Tesla”), send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, describing your dispute and how you would like it resolved. If it is not resolved within 60 days from the date of your email, you agree that your dispute can only be resolved by a single arbitrator in an arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) under its Consumer Arbitration Rules. This includes claims arising before you ordered your System (such as claims related to statements Tesla made about our products). We will pay all AAA fees for any arbitration, which will be held in the city or county of your legal residence. To learn more about the Rules and how to begin an arbitration, you can call any AAA office or go to www.adr.org. The arbitrator can only resolve disputes between you and Tesla, and cannot consolidate claims from others without consent from you, Tesla, and the others. You can only bring claims in arbitration against Tesla in your individual capacity and not as a plaintiff or class member in any class or representative action (and the same is true for Tesla). If a court or arbitrator decides that any part of this agreement to arbitrate cannot be enforced as to a specific claim for relief or remedy (such as what lawyers call “injunctive” or “declaratory” relief), then that claim or remedy (and only that claim or remedy) will be carved out of the arbitration and can be filed in court; all other claims must be arbitrated. If you prefer, you can take your individual dispute to a small claims court instead. If you don’t want to agree to arbitration, you can "opt out” of arbitration by sending us a letter within 30 days after placing your initial order for your System. Send the letter to Tesla, Inc.; P.O. Box 15430; Fremont, CA 94539-7970 and include your name, your order number, the name of the product you ordered and a statement explaining your desire to opt out of arbitration. If you do not opt out, your agreement to arbitrate overrides any different arbitration agreement between us, including any arbitration agreement in a lease or finance contract.