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Today in Cleantech

Looks like the demand response industry has federal regulators on its side once again. On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued yet another order putting the interests of demand response aggregators like EnerNOC, Comverge and others in front of the interests of power generators. FERC’s order put a stop to the attempt by mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM to change the way it accounts for demand response in a way that would reduce the overall payments to the companies that participate in reducing their power use during peak load times (click here for a more detailed explanation of the issue). In fact, FERC suspended PJM’s request for the maximum time allowable under law, keeping the market under its current rules for this year as well as 2012. EnerNOC’s shares saw a healthy jump on Monday as a result of the news, though they still haven’t regained the ground they lost since PJM accused the company of “double counting” its demand response reductions earlier this year. Looks like the prospects for demand response are getting better — FERC has also issued an order demanding a long-term shift that will require demand response “negawatts” to get paid on an equivalent basis as megawatts of generated electricity, which should put the industry on an entirely new footing in the coming years.