Eliminate Peak Demand Penalties with Power Meters

March 03, 2020

Submetering makes it easy to measure exact electrical usage for loads. These precise measurements mean the data of the actual electrical use can be read and analyzed. A power meter means no more inaccurate estimated bills. Submetering gives greater control over consumption and helps to eliminate energy inefficiency.

What is Peak Demand?Peak_Demand

Peak demand is the largest instance of power usage in a given time frame, most commonly a rolling fifteen minute window. Peak demand is measured in kilowatts (kW), not kilowatt hours (kWh) like energy use. Often, peak demand can represent a spike in power usage.

Cost of Peak Demand

Peak demand charges account for 30-70% of an electric bill. Rates can vary based on:

  • Region
  • Utility provider
  • Tariffs
  • Pricing structures

Staging power meters to shed building peak demand charges can reduce total overall energy consumption up to 5%.

Consider this: if a typical 200,000 square foot manufacturing facility spends $750k annually on a power bill, saving $37,500 annually would be a huge return on investment. A standard power meter costs less than $1500 and a building might utilize 6 or 7 power submeters to monitor chillers, main building loads, or individual pieces of equipment. Demand side management of large equipment as well as monitoring the building's main power source are easy ways to decrease peak demand charges on a utility bill.

Avoiding Peak Demand Charges

Invest in real time energy data

A power meter gives users access to consumption data on a more frequent basis than a monthly bill. Such granular data can be used to target usage during periods of low consumption. The ability to set real time alerts means quick response times to problems, enabling users to take a proactive approach to energy management.

Stagger equipment start times

If there is a pattern of peak consumption at specific times, during the day, spacing out equipment start times can help reduce the peak load.

Schedule work during off peak hours

Scheduling matters requiring higher energy consumption during off hours lowers the peak load. In many cases, it can be less expensive to use the same amount of energy over a longer period of time off peak than for less time on peak.

Work towards ideal energy curve

Avoiding peaks altogether and working towards a flat energy curve can decrease the high points of energy consumption, thus lowering the peak demand charge amount.

Setra's Power Meter Can Help3 and 12 meter-1

All versions of Setra's Power Meter come with data logging capabilities, and the web portal software provides access to said data for up to 62 days. In the web portal, users can utilize powerful data analytics and installation tools. Multi-load monitoring capabilities supply the granularity necessary to manage usage at a load level and therefore drive energy savings. Setra's Power Meter is ideal for real-time power monitoring in commercial, retail, and industrial spaces.

Topics: Power Meters, Power Monitoring