America's Energy Choice

5 Business Problems Load Response and Energy Efficiency May Be Able to Solve


5 Business Problems Load Response and Energy Efficiency May Be Able to Solve

Posted by Gary Fromer on March 21, 2013

1) High Power Bill Costs

Every year, businesses pay capacity and transmission related charges that account for 20-30% of their total electric bill. Yet, most of these charges are due to using power during several system-wide “peak” hours each year. Your capacity and transmission charges for the following year are based on your energy usage during these system-wide “peak hours.” Wouldn’t it be useful to actually know when those system-wide peak hours occurred so that you can better manage your usage during those periods? Through the Constellation Peak Response program, our team of load response experts will predict the peak setting hours and send you day-ahead email notifications and day-of reminders when these peak hours are expected to occur. These notifications will let you know when you should curtail energy use, which is strictly on a voluntary basis. Our success in predicting these peak setting hours has saved participating customers money since implementing this program in 2010.


2) Missing Financial Opportunities During “Conservation Hours”

Electricity prices constantly fluctuate. Prices can spike during extreme weather, power plant outages, wind conditions and a variety of other situations that Constellation identifies as “Conservation Hours.” For these reasons, many of our business customers choose a fixed price electricity option to provide budget security and spending stability.

Additionally, did you know that fixed price customers can also get paid to use less energy during certain hours? For customers on a fixed price contract, you’re eligible to enroll in a no-obligation program called Price Response, in which we pay you to use less energy during times that we designate as “Conservation Hours.” Participants in Price Response will receive a notification about the times they can get paid to use less energy. Once agreeing to and initiating the conservation measure, we will calculate your payment and issue funds at the end of each quarter.


3) Using More Energy than Necessary

Facility managers are always looking for ways to reduce energy consumption. Yet, implementing efficiency programs can be a daunting undertaking due to upfront costs and a lack of resources. Taking these obstacles into consideration, Constellation developed its Efficiency Made Easy program that allows organizations and businesses to launch an energy efficiency program without upfront costs or a need for extra resources. By incorporating the cost of energy efficiency upgrades into the electricity rate over the length of the contract, companies can more easily actualize energy cost savings and meet environmental mandates by reducing energy consumption over time using their current energy budget.


4) Waiting for Load Response Revenue

With an option called Rate Response, we’ll consolidate your facility electricity bills and offsets from load response into a single monthly invoice. Rate Response applies revenues from your load response participation with every spin of the meter, allowing you to see these benefits earlier, in a single monthly bill.


5) Lack of Current Usage Data for Strategic Planning

How long does it usually take your Curtailment Service Provider (CSP) to provide insight into your energy usage? A few weeks? Once a month? Sometimes that’s just too long to wait, and you are missing potential cost saving opportunities.

We believe a good energy management strategy includes insight into how your energy consumption is currently affecting your business. That’s one of the reasons why we developed an application that allows you to track your energy usage in real-time. With VirtuWatt™, you can visualize your energy usage down to the last minute, export and save that data and gain access to real-time pricing and accumulated cost calculations, which are very useful when building a budget and planning load reduction strategies. In fact, VirtuWattTM can automate your participation in load response programs and enable you to participate in shorter notice programs throughout the country!

Gary Fromer

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