Businesses are faced with continuous budgeting challenges with costs quickly adding up at the end of every month. A large proportion of these costs can be attributed by the electricity used for operations which are widely unknown by many businesses.
Commercial entities are typically charged at a rate that is directly related to their maximum or peak demand, levied in cost per kilowatt-hour ($/kWh) or cost per kilovolt-ampere ($/kVA). They may also be charged a penalty or “demand charge” if they exceed the maximum demand agreed to in their contract or electricity plan.
By managing overall energy demand and the way it fluctuates from one period to the next, businesses can reduce energy costs and reinvest into other areas. However, energy management is not traditionally the simplest of tasks, and often a $3000-$5000 building management system and an analyst or auditor are required.
carbonTRACK’s energy management systems (EMS) revolutionizes energy management and offers a cost-effective solution for businesses.
Small to medium-sized businesses should consider investing in an energy management system (EMS) to gain insight into their energy consumption and demand. From these insights, businesses will be able to devise, implement and even automate energy efficient measures effectively.
Here are three reasons why an EMS like carbonTRACK should be considered:
Understanding your demand profile is essential to managing demand cost effectively. If you’re waiting for your electricity bill to tell you that you have set a new peak demand, then it’s already too late to make the necessary changes.
You need to be able to forecast, with reasonable accuracy, your maximum consumption on any single day and in any single half-hourly period. In order to improve your energy efficiency, you will need a detailed and accurate assessment of your business’ energy use.
With an EMS, you receive an alert to warn you about a new peak which will give you the time to take the necessary steps to avoid. The data provided will help you understand how energy is used in your operations, and identify opportunities to improve energy performance.
Business operations are often habitual, however electricity use need not be and can be shifted to help reduce total demand charge.
Most businesses have “peak” or busy periods as well as “off-peak” periods during the day. The “peak periods” are when more electricity is required and used than other times of the day. It is during these timeframes that businesses are charged with their demand charge.
By spreading out the electricity used over a longer duration of time and ultimately “shifting” their use, businesses will lower their maximum level of energy demand. Therefore, reducing the occurrence of peak demand charges.
An EMS will allow businesses to connect to electricity consuming appliances and automate this process without comprising operating activities.
Once a business has identified its usage patterns, they will have the knowledge to acquire energy source substitutions including PV solar and battery storage. Despite the growing popularity of renewable investments in Australia, battery storage systems are not economically viable, and decisions makers will be struck for quality and quantity choices of PV solar.
Without insights into your daily energy consumption and overall demand, it’s hard to know in precise terms how effective a solar system will be at helping reducing peak demand charges and energy waste, or what size system would be optimal.
An EMS will provide a clear indication of the amount of solar required to sustain the business operations as well as the right size of a battery storage solution. In the presence of solar and battery storage, a good EMS will connect and monitor the effectiveness and allow businesses to verify their investments and continue to keep electricity costs low.