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UMass Lowell is one of the largest users of electricity in the region. As a big user, utility companies look to UMass Lowell to cut energy use when the electricity grid's systems need help running.
These events typically occur when electricity is in high-demand in the region, usually in the height of summer, on very hot days when everyone has their air conditioners running. When large users like UMass Lowell cut their electricity use they help prevent local power outages and ensure reliable electricity service.
Occasionally, utility companies will test how responsive large users can be to their requests. These are called demand response test events and can occur in the fall and winter. Performing well during these test events can generate significant electricity savings for the university.