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Reduce Peak Consumption

  1. Smart Load Management. This method suggests you run non-essential or periodically essential services outside of the peak demand times in order to passively reduce total electrical demand.  It can be as simple as turning air conditioning temperatures set points up a few degrees in the middle of the day on very hot days to try to reduce the strain on the cooling system, and thus the reduce the total electrical draw.
  2. Load Shedding. This method is similar to the above however it is more actively controlled approach. This method employs an array of electronically controlled and metered sub-systems, which actively turn off or ramp down non-essential high consumption circuits in order to reduce the total demand.  For example some new “smart fridges” can sense when the grid is strained and do not turn on their compressors at peak times.
  3. Non-conventional chillers. Reducing the need for electricity during high-load periods is key, and as electricity consumption is typically related to temperature, natural gas powered chillers such as natural gas heat pumps and natural gas fired absorption chillers can offer a cost saving and a peak demand shaving alternative to standard electrical chillers.
  4. Energy storage and demand levelling. Moving consumption from peak to off-peak periods has the dual benefit of reducing peak demand as well as shifting usage costs to lower off-peak rates. As an example, chilled water or phase change thermal storage systems may be used to generate the cooling required during off peak periods, for use in the middle of the day when rates are high.
  5. Extra generation. This system employs paralleling embedded generators such as natural gas cogeneration systems, gas generators or parallel-enabled diesel generators.  The system uses an alternative energy source, such as natural gas to generate the power instead of buying the power from the grid. This fuel switching has the benefit of avoiding the peak demand charge as there is no peak demand charge for natural gas, and the power generated onsite is very often at a cheaper price (c/kWh) than buying the electricity from the grid.
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