3 Peak Energy Demand Reduction Strategies

In Canada where energy pricing is complex, it is not uncommon for two identical buildings to consume the same amount of energy but have significantly different hydro bills. Reducing peak demand for the largest industrial consumers, however, is a commonality among companies who are looking for ways to reduce costs and lower expensive utility bills.

Ontario’s Global Adjustment charge, which was implemented by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), remains one of the ways that clean energy initiatives are paid for.  Managing global adjustment charges has become a challenge for many Class A and Class B customers in the province, and why the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) enacted a program where participants are able to reduce their Global Adjustment costs, based on their ability to reduce their demand, during five top peak demand hours determined each year.

There are other energy reduction strategies to consider in addition to the ICI program. Here, we will take a look at 3 examples.

Don’t run HVAC systems simultaneously

The most common contributor to high peak demand is multiple HVAC systems operating at the same time. For example, when multiple rooftop cooling units power on all at once, peak demand rises.  The solution?  Power on and cycle cooling equipment for different times so they are never on together. With proper control, more cost effective means of cooling can be achieved.

Energy curtailment  

For medium to large scale businesses, reducing their building’s peak demand charge is a common goal.  For commercial customers, peak demand charges are usually charged based on the peak kW demand of the building or facility during a certain time (ex. 2-5 PM) of the day.    Using a peak notification service to help businesses examine usable options to help reduce the peak kW is a common way to lower costs.

Here, an alert notifies the business that a peak event is likely to occur within the next 24 to 48 hours. This gives building managers the insight, and the time they need to evaluate operations and take action to reduce consumption.

Upgrade equipment

Another way large industrial energy consumers can reduce peak demand is to install energy efficient equipment.  The upgrades will help to reduce the base load of energy used at all times, effectively shrinking the demand in a downward direction.

Building operators could consider replacing the existing and outdated fluorescent lighting system with a system of LED panels.  Not only will this reduce peak demand load,  installing energy efficient equipment is a key reduction strategy that saves both energy and power.

The bottom line: Evaluating all of these angles is the best way to reach significant savings on a building’s hydro bill.