Capacity-Based Demand Response

The Capacity-Based Demand Response (CBDR) program is a transitional program, governed by the IESO Market Rules, which brings contracted demand response providers from the Demand Response 3 (DR3) program into the wholesale energy market. The program, which currently maintains 159 MW of demand response capacity, provides availability and utilization payments to both aggregated and individual loads who are capable of reducing their consumption at times of peak demand and when it is cost-effective for them to do so.

These resources are considered in the IESO economic dispatch process alongside bids and offers from other resources in the energy market and can be used on a province-wide basis or to meet more specific, locational needs.

Over time, the demand response capacity in the program will be reduced as the legacy contract dates for resources come due and their participation in the transitional program will end. As this capacity expires, these participants will have the opportunity to compete against other providers of demand response capacity through the IESO’s DR Auction. Eventually, they will have an opportunity to compete against other types of resources, such as generators and imports, in a capacity auction to meet Ontario's resource adequacy needs.

Program settlement processing timelines

Annual CBDR program settlement processing timelines provide the deadlines for demand response market participants and the IESO regarding measurement and verification plan review to data submission and processing. This document is also available in Market Calendars.

CBDR operations and rates

The CBDR operational information and rates document is used to operate and manage the existing CBDR resources. It provides notification timelines, hours of availability, rates, and participation zones for demand response market participants.

Summary of program resources

CBDR Resource

Designated Settlement Area(s)

Availability Window



Early Window 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. E.P.T. throughout the year


North East (Applicable to a single Direct Participant)

Late Window 1:
4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. E.P.T. (October 1 to May 31)

Late Window 2:
12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. E.P.T. (June 1 to September 30)




North East, North West


North West (Applicable to a single Direct Participant)




Georgian Bay, South Central, South West, Bruce


East, Essa, Toronto


Long Point, West