Lowering peak charges with accurate and precise demand forecasts

One of the easiest ways to lower peak demand charges–which can total 40% or more of your building’s utility bills–is to pay attention to energy use on the handful of days, each billing period, when it’s likely your building will set its peak.

Snapmeter’s demand forecast makes it easy to know when to pay attention to your building’s peak demand.

Demand forecast charts are available for Meters, while alert summary cards are available to both Buildings and Groups. Click any summary card to jump to that meter’s demand forecast chart.

Peal demand forecast

An orange peak demand alert beacon will be triggered when your forecasted electric load curve trends above the recommended demand limit.

Peak demand charges are like speeding tickets for your building, tickets that you know your building will earn each billing cycle. And, depending on your tariff, a single high ticket might cast a shadow over your bills for a full 12 months.

Forecasted load curve chart

The rolling five day load curve is based on Snapmeter’s expectation model for how your meter uses energy and the five day forecasted temperature. The chart will update if you check it again tomorrow. Of course, check your email for the weekly summary report emailed every Monday morning!

Snapmeter relies on the weather forecast primarily for an understanding of what days will be hot, or not. It’s actually not so crucial that the weather forecast is accurate to the exact degree reading, say 88ºF versus 85ºF. Further reading on 15,000 sampled weather predictions can be found here.

Prediction beacons and recommendation notes

At the beginning of each billing cycle, Snapmeter automatically calculates an expected demand limit, graphed as a solid blue line and quantified in the lower right hand corner. Should it also forecast that your meter will exceed the estimated demand limit, an orange demand management beacon will appear on that day, and a demand management recommendation will be spelled out below.

Should your meter exceed the recommended demand limit, Snapmeter will automatically adjust to this new, higher level. From that point forward, a dotted yellow line will be traced over the solid blue demand limit line, signaling the peak level already set by the meter for the current billing period. That kW reading is quantified in the lower right hand corner of the chart.

A note on billing periods: as your meter nears the end of the current billing period, a vertical yellow bar will be traced on the chart for that day.

When helpful, recommendation notes are included in the Monday morning email summaries. If you want to read more about these accurate and precise demand forecasts, check out the best-in-class assessment results from the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs.   

0 replies on “Lowering peak charges with accurate and precise demand forecasts”

You may also be interested in...

Budget forecasts

Gridium uses historical data from your buildings to forecast future energy use and costs. However, the past isn’t a perfect guide to the future. You can use the Gridium budget forecast as is, without further modification, or you can treat it as a starting point onto which you can layer further planning assumptions. This guide will help you understand the forecast and make any desired updates.

Turning off MFA for SDG&E

This new feature of SDG&E’s website will cause more headaches for commercial customers than it will solve.