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To recap from our previous post, curtailing your electricity usage during peak days or peak events can lead to significant cost reduction of your capacity costs. 

Peak days are days when buildings are drawing the most electricity from the grid (also referred to as ‘demand’). These days usually occur during sustained heat waves that fall on consecutive weekdays when the most power is being drawn. Although a peak day does usually happen during a heatwave when demand for cooling is high, it is not necessarily the hottest day of the year. Rather, it’s the moment that the total system reaches is maximum demand.

On these days of peak usage or peak demand the ISO takes a snapshot of your electrical meter to measure your demand and usage in order to define your capacity costs (capacity tag) for the following year.  By curtailing your usage during these peak events, you can achieve considerable cost reduction on your energy bills.

A graph showing full grid demand peak, unmanaged demand peak and managed demand peak and the results peak load management can have on demand and capacity costs

The concept of peak management is simple enough: by altering the operations of your facility you will change your electricity load, which leads to savings for your business.  Things get a little more complicated when it comes to how to actually curtail your usage and knowing when to do it.  That’s why we created the personalized BPE Peak Notification Service!

Our Peak Notification Service, offered free-of-charge, was created to help our clients achieve maximum cost avoidance on the capacity portion of their electricity bill.  Our service helps accomplish this in two ways: Design a tailored curtailment plan for the client’s business and accurately forecast warnings of incoming peak events.  

The official logo of the Best Practice Energy Peak Notification Service

Curtailment Strategies Designed for your Business

Curtailment strategies range from more complicated methods like changing shifts or production times to off-peak hours to more simple, easy-to-implement plans like raising the thermostat to reduce cooling demand or turning off vending machines before or after the peak event.  

Because every business is different and has their own KPIs, operations, budget goals, etc. to adhere to, there is no one-size-fits-all curtailment plan. Implementing a plan that is not right for your business can result in disruptions of work operations or lost revenue so it’s vital to have a curtailment strategy that is tailored to your specific business.

The average savings clients experience on their capacity costs when working with the BPE Peak Notification Service

With the BPE Peak Notification Service, our Energy Advisors work closely with you to fully understand your goals and daily operations and then help you develop a curtailment plan that can be implemented without disrupting your business while helping you achieve maximum cost avoidance.

It should be noted that not every business is the right fit for peak load curtailment so our Energy Advisors will let you know if they think curtailment strategies will be beneficial to your business. 

Peak Day Notifications

Once your curtailment strategy has been designed, you will be prepared to act when you receive the actual peak event notifications from our service, which are available by email, text, or a phone call.  

The notifications provide an explanation of why we are forecasting the peak event, what the ISO thinks the grid’s peak demand will be, what time we think the event will occur, and when you should start curtailing.  We will also keep you in the loop if something changes and a potential peak event looks like it won’t take place so you can cancel your curtailment plan. The goal is to keep you updated on the status of a peak event so you have fair warning and ample opportunity to prepare for curtailment.  

In order to determine when a peak event is coming, we look at a variety of data ranging from current weather forecasts & historical weather patterns to when/why each specific ISO has called peak days in the past, and much more. 

Our service is offered to our clients in New England, New York, and PJM as we are experienced in the intricacies of how each determines capacity and calls peak events.

How different ISO-regions calculate capacity tags with peak events

The Consequences of Inadequate Peak Management

When peak events are incorrectly called, businesses that are curtailing at that time experience significant disruptions in their operations.  This can lead to substantial monetary losses that can be difficult to recover from. We rely on tons of data, our experience, and proven methods to ensure you are only curtailing when you absolutely need to be. 

For example, in 2018 we looked at a multitude of data to determine peak events in the New England area.  When we predicted peak events, we promptly notified our clients so they could take action. That summer, we notified these clients of 3 peak days.  Other brokers prematurely called for double that, which resulted in innumerable lost operation hours for their customers, which no business can afford.  

In this same time-frame, our clients saved an average of 30% on their capacity costs using our service because they were prepared with a tailored & proactive strategy as well as received precise forecasting. 

This is no simple feat to accomplish in New England (and New York) as capacity costs are determined by the hour when the most electricity is drawn, usually during sustained heatwaves.  What might seem to be the year’s peak day in July can be easily beaten out by another high demand time during a heatwave in August. 

Employing the right peak management strategy at the right time is critical to achieving cost savings on the capacity component of your electricity bill.  In 2018, we helped a client with a sizable load of 3,000,000 annual kWh design and implement a curtailment strategy that reduced their average usage by 50%!  This successful peak management resulted in a reduction of their 2019 capacity costs by 15%!

A story about a customer's successful peak day curtailment

The first step to getting involved in our Peak Notification Service is becoming a Best Practice Energy client.  Once you’re with us, we work closely with you to understand your business, budget goals, and operations. If we think you’re a good candidate for curtailment, we will move forward with designing a strategy for you. 

If you’re already a client with us, be sure to fill out the form on this page to sign up for our Peak Notification Service.  Your Energy Advisor will be in contact with you shortly thereafter to discuss more about the program and begin the process.

If you’re not a client yet, we’d be happy to perform a free electricity and natural gas consultation to show you what type of cost avoidance you can achieve with us! 

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