Co-Author: Taran Preet Singh
It’s all about shifting your energy use to take advantage of lower rates especially night and weekends to drive positive corporate, customer and environmental benefits utilizing smart energy infrastructure. It will give all the residential customers a wider choice, involvement, and enablement in their electric consumption. Peak power saver program has positive impacts on both customers and the environment. Unlike conventional electricity rates, the time span of its utilization offers different prices for energy at different times of the day and different days of the week, depending on the demand. The customer rate is lower than the standard rate during off-peak times, about the same during mid-peak times, and more expensive during on-peak times. By shifting use to off-peak times and avoiding on-peak uses of energy, the customer can lower their bill. In addition to the daily time-of-use rates above, customer will have the opportunity to earn extra savings on specified days in summer called “energy savings days.” On the hottest days, electric demand spikes and so does the cost to provide it to the customers. By participating in “energy savings days” and lowering energy use, keep the electric costs low and protect our environment, and savings will be passed on to customer!
High-level Technical Details
The residential time-of-use rate will be offered during summer from June 1 through September 30. On-peak hours will be between 2pm and 7pm from Monday to Friday. All other hours will be given off-peak pricing. The solution will utilize smart metering and the existing (Advance Metering Infrastructure) AMI infrastructure. Customers will be billed based on actual consumption during intervals. The consumption intervals are captured in iTron IEE. They are time-based and assigned to either off-peak or on-peak for billing, based on their timing. IEE validate the peak usage and passes the consumption as billing determinants to the SAP billing engine. There are different programs available where customers can enroll to save energy.
- Peak power saves AC peak cycling: With AC peak cycling program, the utility company will install a small device on the outside of customers’ home near central air conditioning unit. When a cycling event is happening, AC unit's fan will run for short periods keeping customer homes comfortable. The cooling system will return to normal when the cycling event ends. As a benefit to the customer, they will receive the bill credits as they save energy.
- Time-of-Use (TOU) programs: There are different TOU options that a utility company can provide to customers to save energy. In these programs, the customer will receive a special rate during both non-peak and peak events. Customers who reduce their consumption during critical peak events will get bill credits and they will also receive a rebate if they decrease their energy consumption during a peak event, as compared to the previously established base load.
Benefitting the End Customer
Since on-peak pricing will be at a higher rate, customers will be incentivized to reduce their usage between 2pm and 7pm. This allows customers to take an active role in managing their consumption patterns to minimize energy bills.
Benefitting Utility Companies
If customers reduce their on-peak usage as expected, the service provider can reduce cost as demand levels throughout the day. By lowering usage during times which typically have the highest demand, utility companies can reduce their overall capacity. This lowers operational cost for the generation of energy. In addition, peak periods are where a utility would typically experience unplanned service interruptions which drive higher costs in both electric and customer operations.
Benefitting the Environment
Demand reduction during peak periods also allows utility company more flexibility to move toward sustainable energy. Having a positive impact on the environment will continue to increase in importance for the utility company. While growing, the current capacity of sustainable energy methodologies is not sufficient for high-demand peak periods. With reducing demand during peak periods, a utility company can expand further into clean energy.