Demand Response: How to Operate Off the Grid
Most institutional and commercial facilities operate on flat rates from electric utilities. In most cases, utilities base these rates on calculations of the average cost of power delivered to customers. This method has worked for years, but a growing reliance on cooling systems has created a large demand on the electrical grid for reliable power at reasonable rates.
Now, utilities face the choice of buying power from other utilities at high, sometimes unstable rates or building expensive power-generation facilities to meet peak demands. Utilities can use several options to address this situation. They can conduct energyconservation programs that encourage customers to use less power during peak times. They also can employ smart meters that allow users to track consumption and reduce the amount of energy used during peak-load times.
Another method is to develop demand-response, or peak-shaving, programs, which are designed to help maintenance and engineering managers reduce peakdemand energy use in their facilities. Whether a manager chooses to participate in a demand-response program, options are available that can address an organization’s need for reliable, cost-effective energy.Download