In a nutshell, demand response is a programmatic approach to energy curtailment during peak hours. Peak hours are normally established by each local electric utility, and during those hours the cost of energy is traditionally much higher than off-peak hours. Peak charges are a supply and demand game to help utilities balance power production with consumer demand.
How do demand response programs fit into the equation? Demand response can help dramatically reduce the energy bills for commercial and industrial facilities (C&I). For example, by over-heating or over-cooling a facility prior to peak hours, and then reducing the systems to level out during peak hours (consuming less energy), companies can dramatically reduce their peak energy fees from the utility company.
There are many ways to put together a programmatic demand response plan for your facility, but the end game is to reduce your consumption during peak hours which can sometimes double the energy cost to operate the facility.
Demand Response Implementation
The first step in implementing a strategic demand response is to understand what energy consumption looks like within the built environment. After you have a baseline understanding of your typical consumption, creativity can help determine what areas of the facility can provide a meaningful contribution to your curtailment program. Those ideas could be:
- Dimming lights between the hours of 7am-9am and 5-7pm when occupancy is low
- Scheduling the reduction of HVAC supply air and ventilation during peak times
- Eliminating the use of parking garage fans during peak hours
- Moving production to different hours of the day
Every facility is different when it comes to the opportunities that are available for a demand response program. What is not different, is that understanding your baseline is the start of something beautiful.
Demand Response Solutions from SolBright
At SolBright, we help our clients achieve significant savings through demand response programs through BrightAI, our IoT platform. BrightAI blends traditional consumption and mechanical information with environmental data to identify the opportunities that exist to slash peak energy fees.
An example would be, measuring Co2 throughout the building and fine-tuning the mechanical automation systems to adhere closer to the EPA and local municipalities guidelines as most buildings are over-ventilated. In essence, most facilities are cooling or heating a tremendous amount of unnecessary outside air as a result. This would be impossible without the historical benchmarks and real-time data provided by a platform like BrightAI to enable this type of automation.
For additional information on demand response, check out this Wikipedia article. If you’d like to learn more about implementing a demand response program at your facility to reduce costs, let’s connect!