Demand Side Management and Programs

Demand Side Energy Management

Managing peak energy demand is one of the main technical challenges for utility companies. Power grids must be capable of delivering electricity to homes and businesses 24/7, and there are times when this capacity is taken to the limit. Generally, the hottest days of summer are the most critical, since thousands of homes and businesses are using their air conditioners at full capacity simultaneously. The grid must have enough generation capacity to prevent blackouts, and also enough transmission and distribution capacity to deliver electricity at the point of use.

Upgrading the grid to keep up with demand is expensive for utility companies, and for this reason many of them have created demand side management energy programs. Commercial and industrial consumers are rewarded for reducing their consumption at times of peak demand. The ability to control peak demand also provides ongoing savings, since companies can reduce the monthly capacity charged on their power bills.

Commercial and industrial buildings have access to several demand reduction measures. The following are some examples:

  • Using automatic controls to switch off building systems that are not critical during peak demand hours.
  • Using onsite battery systems at times of high consumption, reducing the net demand that must be covered by the grid. For example, a building with a peak demand of 200 kW can use a 100 kW battery, and the net demand measured by the grid drops by half.
  • Ice storage systems can reduce the peak demand contribution of air conditioning. For example, a building can use its chiller plant to make ice after midnight, when demand is low. This ice is used the next day for air conditioning, during peak demand hours, and the chiller can be ramped down or switched off.

Our partner, ProStar Energy Solutions, can specify a suitable demand response system for your building, reducing the capacity charges on your power bill. They can also help you qualify for demand response programs from your utility company, which means you can claim financial incentives on top of your normal savings.

Contact us to discuss your project.