Have you ever wondered who pays to keep the electricity grid reliable and ready to go whenever you need it? The answer is you, through a charge known as capacity, which accounts for up to 30% of your electricity supply costs. Capacity is not created equal though; how much you pay depends on how much electricity you use and when you use it compared to every other customer within the transmission network. This gives you the opportunity to make adjustments to your energy behavior and curb your capacity costs; and PricingUtilities.com has a suite of strategies that can help your facility do just this, including Demand Response participation, Peak Load Contribution (PLC) Management, making Utility / Energy Efficiency upgrades and retrofits, and installing Emergency Generators.
Does your facility have lights, appliances, or machinery that are non-essential to your operations? Wouldn’t it be great to get paid for simply turning them off for a few hours? Well that is what demand response is all about. When the utility grid gets stressed, utilities are willing to pay facilities like yours to stop using electricity because it’s cheaper than turning on another generator. Some utilities will even pay you simply to be available to reduce electricity use, even if they ultimately never ask you to curtail your load. And besides getting paid cash for dropping your load, your curtailment will also be reducing your future capacity costs because demand response events usually mirror the peak load times that determine your share of capacity, which means even more money is kept in your pocket.
PricingUtilities.com works with your facility to determine how much electrical load you will be able to reasonably curtail through an assessment of your equipment, load profile, operations schedule, and building automation systems. Once we establish a curtailment strategy, which may include anything from turning equipment down or off to pre-chilling air conditioners and freezers to turning on an emergency generator, we will help enroll your facility in a demand response program that will fit best with your capabilities and return the most value to your facility. And because we are an experienced electricity procurer, we will also work to make sure that your electricity supply contract allows you to capture and receive your capacity savings and not your third party supplier.
Peak Load Contribution (PLC) Management
How much your facility pays for capacity is largely dependent on your peak load contribution (PLC) number. PLC numbers are calculated differently by each Regional Transmission Operator (RTO), which are responsible for grid reliability. In general, the more energy you use when the grid is stressed, the higher your PLC number will be, and the higher your PLC number is, the more you will pay for capacity. So the trick to lowering your capacity costs is to lower your PLC number.
Reducing your PLC number requires an understanding of how you can reduce your consumption when the grid is stressed, plus an electricity procurement strategy that reflects this effort. PricingUtilities.com wants to be your ally on this quest. We work with your facility to develop both short term (i.e. demand response) and long-term (i.e. energy efficiency) load reduction strategies and then using our understanding of grid stressors and peak demands, craft an implementation plan that will reduce your PLC number. We couple this with a review of your electricity supply contract to ensure that your capacity savings will be passed through to you and not your energy supplier.