Energy Management is Like Shooting the Rapids for Class A Customers. Do You Know Where to Steer?
How Do Nature’s Highs and Lows Affect My Energy Costs and What Can I Do About It?
Statistically, Ontario’s hottest days occur in July, which also means the highest electricity demands of the year happen this month. We’ve already seen two of the year’s highest demand hours occur on July 13th and 22nd. For Class A Customers, anticipating these hours is like whitewater rafters anticipating rocks in a river. You know they’re in there, but if you haven’t mapped your route in the past you’re approaching them blindly.
Global Adjustment for Class A
Class A customers that have opted to participate in the IESO’s Industrial Conservation Initiative pay Global Adjustment (GA) fees according to a percentage of their contribution to the top five Ontario peak demand hours over a 12-month base period. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? If you reduce your usage during those peak demand hours, your GA will go down. And that can translate to huge savings. But the challenge lies in knowing when those top five hours – also known as the 5CP or 5 Coincident Peak hours – will hit, and reducing your energy consumption during those times. Learn more about how the 5CP hours affect the GA here.
For Class A customers who want to save on energy costs, it’s a bit like whitewater rafting: the rest of the summer could be a gentle downward drift of the mercury or a series of dramatic temperature spikes like shooting a Class V rapid. It becomes a gamble – you need to consume energy to make your end product, but do you cut production on suspected peak demand days or wait to see if even higher demand spikes will come up in the future?
We’ve already had 5 Coincident Peak (5CP) hours this energy year, and the Ontario peak demand this summer is higher than the same period last year. However, this unpredictable weather makes it impossible to tell whether additional peak hours will be in the summer, or if some will fall in the winter months as they did two years ago. All of this impacts your energy consumption and GA charges, so you have some tough decisions to make.
As I wrote in a previous LinkedIn post, electricity consumers have a great opportunity to reduce their costs by reducing their demand at the right times. How much?
You can save between $100 and $300 / kW of demand reduced, in addition to the energy savings for reducing.
You can read more about quantifying Class A customer savings here. Timing is everything. To achieve those benefits, you need to reduce your demand at the right time. And that right time can be tricky to hit. For example, the graph below is a track record of the Ontario demand and temperatures for the period between May 2015 and April 2016. The red dots are the 5CP hours recorded for that period.
The 5CP hours are key for determining your GA savings. And as we’ve shown, you can save considerably. For Class A customers, anticipating these hours is truly like whitewater rafters anticipating rocks in a river – if you haven’t made the effort to map your route, you’re approaching them blindly. We can help.
By analyzing your hourly energy consumption across your entire operation, The Bruce Power Saver can help you understand your usage patterns, so that you can make timely alterations to reduce your peak and save money. At Bruce Power Direct we have the expertise to help you navigate this rocky river of information.
Our new EBook gives you some quick and easy ways to start optimizing your energy efficiency and drive down your energy costs. Download it today.