Green Hotels Association
    October 2016  


Dealing with
Demand Curtailment

Pat Mitchell, Director of Engineering, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa (501 rooms), San Antonio, TX, 6-year PARTNER MEMBER reports on their 2016 energy savings program. To learn more, Pat can be contacted at pat.mitchell@hyatt.com.

Our local electrical supplier, CPS (City Public Service) Energy, has a program called demand curtailment. It is a voluntary load curtailment program for commercial and industrial customers and is designed to reduce CPS Energy’s peak load growth by incentivizing customers to shed electric loads on peak summer days. The Demand Response program is an integral part of CPS Energy’s strategy to save 771 megawatts by the year 2020. It is similar to many programs offered by other utilities. During the summer months, they give us about a 2-hour notice to curtail our electrical demand, normally for 3-4 hours, when their demand usage is high. In a given summer, they normally have 10-20 days when curtailment is in effect. The daily reductions of our curtailment are then averaged for the year. At the end of summer they reward us for our averaged performance, which can add up to quite a bit of savings. As the performance is averaged, it does give a hotel some flexibility in what we can reduce in a given day.

We happily participate in this program. We modified our programming of equipment through our energy management system. Our program is called demand shed, and can be scheduled just like any other piece of equipment. Various tasks are performed under demand shed, and we are constantly coming up with new ways to add to the list. Listed below are some of the things we do when in demand shed:
● Reset static air setpoints on VAV (variable air volume) air handlers, some up to 20%
● Reset supply air setpoints, some up to 4 degrees (depends on business)
● Raise our chilled water setpoint, normally 3-4 degrees
● Duty cycle our constant volume air handlers (15 minutes off per hour)
● Turn off exhaust fans (again, it is a 3-4 hour timetable)
● Duty cycle exhaust fans (pending their purpose)
● Installed relays to some ice machines, and turn them off during curtailment
● Precool areas that will be affected (normally a 2-hour time frame)
● Dim lobby and other public area lighting—normally about 10%
● Currently installing contactors on our golf cart charging breaker panels to turn off the entire breaker panel during curtailment, which will stop cart charging during that time period. This project will not affect this year's bills, but it should help us in future years.

While our performance is not spectacular, thus far this year we are averaging a 200 kwh reduction, which will help reduce our future electric bills, and it helps keep CPS from having to fire up another plant during periods of high demand. Great for us, great for the energy company and great for our community! And a fun project that keeps everyone thinking of what more we can do!

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Utility Demand Curtailment

Contact your electric utility to learn how your property can participate in the utility's demand curtailment program. You should be able to reduce energy usage and reduce your utility bills as well!
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