Don’t Get Burnt By Demand Charges

With heatwave conditions across the country this summer, rising temperatures needn’t lead to soaring energy bills. 

POSTED 23/02/2017

No, we’re not advocating to turn off air conditioning entirely and sweat it out all summer long. ERM’s Demand Alerter is a far more practical solution.

Using Demand Alerter, large business customers can keep their cool without being burnt by the network demand charges that electricity distributors charge them.

Despite network charges accounting for about half an overall electricity bill, most customers don’t understand how they’re calculated or that it’s possible to reduce them with some focus on electricity consumption.

Many large customers are charged for demand in kVA (kilovolt amperes) using a customer’s highest recorded demand for power during a billing period. This is the maximum amount of electricity supplied in a given interval (usually 15 or 30 minutes). Whatever this reaches, if only for a single interval, the distributor charges the customer at that ‘peak demand’ for the full billing period, sometimes up to a whole year.

For large customers charged in this way, Demand Alerter can help them manage this peak demand for a small monthly charge. The web-based software works by monitoring meter data in near real time and alerting customers when their peak demand is approaching a predetermined peak demand target.

Alerts are automatically sent via text or email, so businesses have advance warning to take action to keep their maximum demand below the peak demand target, thereby providing the opportunity to minimise network demand charges and save money.

Businesses can then take action to reduce their energy consumption.

General Manager Energy Solutions Matthew Forrest said that Demand Alerter had achieved some excellent results for customers so far.

“A number of secondary schools participating in a trial last summer collectively reduced their network demand charges by $22,000 or 16 per cent across December and January.”

For a school, or any business these savings can really add up.

To find out how Demand Alerter can help your business reduce demand charges, contact the Energy Solutions team.

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