During the last few years, the Phoenix Coyotes have adopted a diverse set of initiatives, practices and building management policies to become a more sustainable organization.
Perhaps the most innovative and effective environmental effort at Jobing.com Arena, home of the Coyotes, is the facility's energy-saving demand response program.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, demand response is the voluntary reduction in electricity demand in response to an electric grid emergency.
Practically speaking, electricity cannot be easily stored on a large scale. As a result, supply and demand must remain in balance in real time. Traditionally, utilities have leveraged carbon-emitting peaking power plants to increase power generation to meet demand. In some circumstances, utilities have built new power plants to meet that end.
Demand response works from the other side of the equation. Instead of adding more generation to the system, a portfolio of users come together to shed portions of their power load during peak periods.
To participate, the Coyotes first identified curtailment measures -- such as scaling back lighting usage and air conditioning. When the electric grid is constrained, the organization voluntarily implements those measures without affecting game operations.
In the last year, Jobing.com Arena participated in five "events" -- curtailing the arena's energy consumption during an electric grid emergency. Through this initiative, the facility reduced their carbon emissions and added stability back to the electric grid, helping to prevent blackouts.
The Coyotes have taken lessons learned from such demand response events and used the acquired knowledge and data to scale back non-essential equipment, lighting and other systems throughout the year. By implementing these measures into day-to-day operations, the organization has eliminated much of its energy usage in between games and events, significantly lessening the arena's impact on the environment.
To learn more about demand response and how you, as an energy consumer, can participate, visit: http://energy.gov/