Two federal agencies plan to use their exhortatory power to persuade states, utilities, and grid operators to advance demand-response programs to save energy. The Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are planning a national conference, publishing papers, and providing technical assistance to help carry out the national demand-response action plan FERC issued last year. Federal regulators\u2019 action plan calls for greater use of demand-response programs in which customers adjust their electricity use by responding to price signals, reliability concerns, or signals from the grid operator. Cutting peak demand reduces the need to fire up peaker power plants on hot, polluted days. The agencies outlined their implementation strategy in a joint report issued July 5. National Action Plan Coalition executive director Dan DeLeury hailed the move, saying it\u2019s time for \u201ca public-private partnership\u201d to modernize the nation\u2019s grid and take advantage of the benefits of demand-response.