Energy saving opportunities - Load management

From Electrical Installation Guide

As part of their drive towards synchronizing the consumption and production of electrical energy over the long term, energy distribution companies tailor their rates to encourage consumers to reduce their requirements during peak periods.

A number of different strategies are possible, depending on consumption levels and operating requirements: restricting demand (see Fig. K24), avoiding peak periods, load scheduling or even generating additional energy on site.

This is also known as "demand response".

Fig. K24 – An example of a load-management strategy

Demand restriction

Energy distribution companies can use this solution in supply contracts containing optional or emergency (involving compulsory limits) restrictive clauses whose application is determined by the consumer (based on special rates). This management policy is typically used during the hottest or coldest months of the year when companies and private customers have very high requirements for ventilation, air conditioning and heating, and when electricity consumption exceeds normal demand considerably. Reducing consumption in this way can prove problematic in residential and service sector environments, as they may considerably inconvenience building occupants. Customers from industry may show more of an interest in this type of scheme and could benefit from contracts reducing unit costs by up to 30% if they have a high number of non-essential loads.

Peak demand avoidance

This method involves moving consumption peaks in line with the different rates available. The idea is to reduce bills, even if overall consumption remains the same

Load scheduling

This management strategy is an option for companies able to benefit from lower rates by scheduling consumption for all their processes where time of day is neither important nor critical.

Additional energy generation on site

The use of generating sets to supply energy improves operational flexibility by providing the energy needed to continue normal operations during periods of peak or restricted demand. An automated control system can be configured to manage this energy production in line with needs and the rates applicable at any given time. When energy supplied from outside becomes more expensive than energy generated internally, the control system automatically switches between the two.