Last summer, ERCOT broke the record for peak demand more than 10 times. For most consumers, this just meant running the AC nonstop to stay cool during one of the hottest summers on record. But for large energy consumers, it meant playing an increasingly tricky guessing game of calling Coincident Peak days. By calling the right times demand is highest, companies could end up saving thousands of dollars on transmission charges.
Here’s a quick recap on CP alerts. If you already understand them, you can skip this part. But for others, please read on: For commercial customers, peak demand charges – how much energy you use when demand on the grid is highest – can make up a huge portion of your energy bill. To calculate this, each ISO has a Coincident Peak program. ERCOT, PJM, NYISO, for example, will take the 15-minute interval that saw the highest level of energy being used for each summer month (June-September), then average those four intervals. But, and here’s the kicker, nobody knows when peak demand happens until the month is complete. So companies make educated guesses on which hour will be highest and shift usage to save on next year’s transmission charges.
Over the last couple of months, Amperon made considerable improvements to our CP Alerts to accurately call all four summer peaks. We re-examined how the data was generalized and computated as well as removed predetermined rules the previous models followed in favor of learned process data. We also heard from customers that they would prefer more alerts for expected peaks, even if it meant some false calls.
To see how accurate our new models will be, we ran a backtest on previous years’ data to see how many calls we would have made for each market. The results:
Amperon’s CP Alerts start June 1 for ERCOT (4CP), PJM (5CP PLC), ISONE (1CP), MISO (1CP); and July 1 for NYISO (1CP),
As more companies invest in demand response programs, on-site generation and back-up storage, they will need accurate CP Alerts to help guide their energy management strategy. By knowing when demand – and prices – are highest, companies can activate back-up power sources and save on costs. It’s a win for companies trying to improve operational planning as well as reduce the need for expensive last-minute energy purchases.