Monthly Newsletter - November 1, 2017
4+1 Peak Demand Reduction Strategies
Low and No Cost Solutions Available
Due to the complexity of energy pricing, two identical buildings can consume the same amount of energy and have profoundly different utility bills. Demand charges are a reality for every building but with the right data it is possible to identify and solve the issues that cause high peak demand and expensive utility bills.
1. Scheduling - Peak Distribution
The most common contributor to high peak demand is multiple energy intensive processes running at the same time. A typical example of this is when multiple rooftop cooling units power on all at once to provide cooling to a conditioned space. One solution is schedule these systems to run at off-peak hours, and to cycle different equipment so that all of the equipment is never on at the same time. The can be done through an existing building automation system, or through onboard controls. Having all cooling units running simultaneously is the quickest way to bring a space to the desired temperature, but with proper schedule analysis and control optimization, more cost-effective means of cooling can be achieved. Scheduling allows the cooling units to maintain comfort levels while using less energy during on-peak time periods. This distributes the amount of energy used over larger period of time, creating a load leveling effect and reducing peak demand.
2. Capital Projects - Peak Shrinking
Another way to reduce peak demand is to install equipment that uses less energy. Using more efficient equipment reduces the base load of energy used at all times, effectively shrinking the entire demand curve in a downward direction.
Imagine that a building draws 1000 kW during the instance of peak demand, and 50 kW of that power was being consumed by inefficient linear fluorescent lighting. The building operator could replace the existing lighting system with a system of LED panels, bringing the lighting load down to 25 kW. This would then reduce the peak demand load down to 975 kW. Installing energy efficient equipment is an attractive peak demand reduction strategy that saves energy and power. These types of capital projects can represent a large part of the annual budget, and take time to plan and implement.
3. Storage - Peak Shaving
Energy storage provides another option for reducing peak demand. During times of low energy consumption, batteries are charged with energy from the grid. During times of high energy consumption when peak demand is likely to occur, some of the electrical energy needed within the facility is drawn from batteries, effectively reducing the amount of power taken from the grid and reducing peak demand. This is a costly option, and can be best implemented as part of a photovoltaic solar array, or in some cases a power factor correction strategy. This same energy storage principle can be applied to cooling. Some buildings use chillers to create ice at night during off-peak hours. The ice is a form of thermal energy storage, and is used later on during the day to provide cooling to the building.
4. Alternative Energy - Peak Shaving
One often overlooked benefit of generating your own energy is that it helps to reduce peak demand charges from the utility. Using forms of alternative energy, e.g. solar panels, to generate a portion of the total energy needed is a great way to reduce the power draw from the grid. If a building has peak demand event where the power drawn is 100 kW, the building operator could install a 25 kW solar array to effectively reduce the demand from the grid to 75 kW.
Plus 1 - Self-Funding Automated Demand Response
THG offers a leading technology in automated demand response that can lower the financial barrier and provide scale to entire building fleets, no matter the ISO/utility. Most people don't understand that peak demand - 30 minutes of the highest monthly usage - accounts for as much as 25% of a monthly commercial electricity bill. Automating a quick response (temporary thermostat adjustment, variable speed drives, motors, refrigeration) for 15-30 minutes can save 10-20% of electricity charges.
- Text and email event notification
- Push-button override
- Real-time event reporting via the web
- Full accounting of dollars saved and dollars earned
The Bottom Line
Building operators are aware of peak demand and its impacts on utility bills, but implementing a peak demand reduction strategy can be challenging. Knowing what to target and when to target it is the first step in reducing peak demand. For obvious reasons, utility companies do not put electric meters at every wall outlet within a building. Energy is monitored as the total amount of electricity that comes into the building, making it very hard to draw conclusions from a utility bill alone. As buildings increase in complexity, understanding what is running, when it is running, and why it is running is nearly impossible without the right tools. These days, operators can use a building monitoring system to evaluate the operational characteristics of systems and to implement control strategies that make sense.
Every business and building has a unique load profile; one peak demand reduction plan will not apply to all businesses. When it comes to developing an effective peak demand reduction strategy, the more granular and equipment-specific the energy consumption data is, the better.
Actions taken during less than one percent of the year can reduce electricity costs by more than 10%.
Solving peak demand issues is an impossible task without real-time data, forecasting, and energy visualizations. Real-time monitoring of equipment can help you identify a peak demand issue before it shows up on your bill
For a free facility or portfolio-wide assessment, contact THG. We'll work with your team to establish conservative, pre-set strategies invisible to most people while still providing quick payback and significant long-term value. Just tell us where your facilities are located and we'll get started! firstname.lastname@example.org
Special On-boarding Promotion In Progress!
Friends, PLPs, Customers: Lend Us Your Meters
This is it! Last chance to receive deep discounts for onboarding accounts in bulk quantities. For the remainder of the year, THG has excess capacity to onboard new utility accounts and we're extending that surplus to our customers.
The on-boarding process is one of the most laborious and time-consuming aspects of our SaaS-based Energy Intelligence Suite. It includes building each account, acquiring/loading 24-months of historical data, integrating weather data, square footage, tax information, rates, and many other items on a checklist. It's the reason we normally charge $20 per account to on-board - competitors charge more.
If THG can fully on-board, test, and deliver in 2017 orders of:
- +250 accounts, special offer: $3 per account
- +100 accounts, special offer: $5 per account
- +75 accounts, we'll offer: $10 per account
If you use THG to manage natural gas, now is the time to add electricity - or vice versa. If you already track your energy accounts in the Energy Intelligence Suite, now is the time to give the CEO an early 2018 surprise and kick-start a holistic sustainability plan by adding water, recycling and waste.
Our monthly rates are low, so if you've ever wanted to add a new commodity type or benchmark your entire building portfolio, there's never been a better time!
November is the last chance to push a bulk order through. This discount is valid only if the accounts are fully on-boarded in 2017! Verbal commitments or in-progress meters do not qualify.
Contact your dedicated Account Rep, Business Development Manager or
for more information. Please refer to this promotion to claim the temporary discount.
THG Demand Response & Customer Care
Engineering Support, Program Management Keys to Client Success
When customers choose THG, they get more than a 3-year economic outlay and a fancy market gateway device. They get access to the full breadth of THG's energy management and marketing experience. Here are just some of the benefits THG customers receive when they want to participate in any utility or ISO-sponsored demand response program across the nation:
THG's on-staff engineers bring a wealth of knowledge to support DR participation.
- Understanding each facility's operational requirements is key to deploying a DR platform successfully, and is a strong-suit of THG's. This begins with taking a thorough inventory of facility assets and understanding how they used to support each facility. Asset information collected includes but is not limited to: Square footage, current metering equipment, building automation make and model, interior and exterior lighting type and wattage, HVAC controls, refrigeration, renewable/onsite generation resources, and current or past DR program participation.
- THG doesn't only provide DR enabling technology and DR program management, it also provides guidance in developing load reduction strategies. THG's engineering team will analyze seasonal loads, on an asset-by-asset basis, to develop the most robust strategy. This is done by collecting both facility interval data and the Site Survey.
- THG was built by and employs individuals with experience in building automation, thermal dynamics and energy management. In fact, THG's VP of Demand Response, who oversees the team's development of load reduction strategies, holds several patents in the controls area, including a unique secondary refrigeration case design, now used in many of today's supermarkets. THG understands what drives facility performance and puts it to work with every Platform deployment.
- One of the advantages of THG's hardware is its compatibility with existing building automation. This allows for a Participant's existing BAS service provider to remain involved and "in the loop" on the installation of THG's Communication Gateway, which THG can mount itself. There is no need to bring in new contractors to marry the two platforms/systems. Participants can use what and who they have in place to accomplish successful deployment
- Whether it's a question about load reduction estimates or one about asset capabilities and potential shedding strategies, THG's engineering team remains an integral part in the on-going management of the Participant's enrollment in various DR programs. Our team works with each Participant to diagnose issues and come to a resolve. Having served all types of facilities, including educational ones, and working with numerous BAS providers, THG knows how facilities should be performing and makes suggestions to improve performance.
DR Program Management
- THG supports each Participant from end-to-end. Aside from being a provider of DR enabling technology, THG manages all aspects of a Participant's participation including: enrollment and placing bids for load reduction. And because we are also the technology provider, there is no miscommunication about load reduction/curtailment abilities.
- It is THG's goal to maximize DR participation. As a national provider of both DR technology and program management, THG stays abreast of all changes which impact users of its Platform and ensures those changes are managed accordingly.
Corporate Sustainability Reporting
Sustainability, lean, six sigma, efficiency, continuous improvement, zero waste, net zero, high-performance. The terms and industries may change, but whatever you call it, the leaders in each market sector all share the same need - readily accessible data.
Carbon, energy efficiency, and sustainability reporting requirements are putting pressure on facilities professionals to manage energy, water consumption and optimize waste streams. Handling information manually is not efficient, scalable, or sustainable. Leading co
mpanies who follow best practice energy and su
stainability protocols need reliable, accurate, and immediate access to their data...energy, water, waste, fleet fuels, third-party supplier bills are the best places to start. You have to measure it to manage it!
Whether you're following an industry standard or starting a corporate sustainability program from scratch, we
ustainability Reporting programs: ENERGY STAR, CDP, LEED
, BOMA 360, ASHE, AASHE's STARS
, ISO 50001, DOE's
simplifies energy compliance reporting and greenhouse gas tracking
Contact THG's Director of Sustainability, Chad Burden, to see how we can support your energy and sustainability data management needs. 918.858.4943 or email@example.com
Telsa Brings Battery Project to Puerto Rico
Solar-Plus-Storage Helps Power Children's Hospital
Tesla announced on Twitter yesterday that the company's first project as part of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico is a solar-plus-storage project at Hospital del Niño, a children's hospital on the island. The tweet included several images and said the project was "going live."
Small renewable energy and battery-based projects are being deployed on the island while simultaneously efforts continue to rebuild the traditional grid. Since Hurricane Maria hit last month, diesel generators have been the only source of power for many.
Tesla is not the only company working on the island. Sonnen has also committed to constructing microgrids as part of the restoration effort, and Sunrun and a group of nonprofits are rolling out renewables projects.
Sunrun, Empowered by Light, Givepower and Zero Mass Water are working on solar microgrids, water desalination and purification systems, and water production systems at fire stations on Puerto Rico. Earlier this month a 4 kW solar array with battery storage was installed at the Barrio Obrero fire station in San Juan, while water desalination and purification systems are also being deployed.
It has been more than a month after Hurricane Maria thrashed the island as a Category 4 storm, causing a complete blackout and destroying much of Puerto Rico's grid infrastructure.
While the politics of this play out on the energy side, I hope land-use and city planners take this opportunity to address the new building stock that will be replacing the destroyed buildings - namely, modern and resilient building systems, like insulated concrete forms and structural insulated panels. Rebuilding the island using the lowest-cost, traditional stick frame houses and buildings would be a short-sighted, wasted opportunity since traditional homes aren't built to withstand hurricanes that are essentially guaranteed to return. Price comparable hurricane-resistant (dare I say proof?) building materials exists today, but the reconstruction effort may need a mind-set shift.
This is a great opportunity for the United States to turn a catastrophic event into a global showcase project on how to build a sustainable island economy. Addressing the power component is the logical first step. We need to address the built environment now, too....before we rebuild and before the next hurricane.
For those American tax-payers who think we can't afford to rebuild Puerto Rico - try rebuilding it twice..or more!
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