Many people are well aware that it’s important to try to conserve energy whenever possible.
It’s true that using less electricity over the course of a day is desirable and can save money as well as upholding the responsibility that we all share to conserve our global resources.
What people often overlook is how and when they use electricity.
Often times, this has just as much, if not more, of an impact on your monthly bill.
It also impacts the costs of maintaining the infrastructure that delivers the electricity to your building.
So, in other words, your electricity costs are effected by more than just how much you consume.
Understanding how the time of day effects your utility costs
One common type of utility rate structure is some form of logic that operates on a “Time of Use” basis.
This essentially means that there are several windows of time throughout the day during which the price or billing rules for your electricity changes.
The most common form of this type of structure is one in which electricity consumed during the middle of the day or afternoon is more expensive than electricity consumed at night.
These are known as “on-peak” and “off-peak” times and knowing when they are, and how to avoid on-peak times can play a huge role in lowering your utility costs.
On-Peak vs. Off-Peak Times for Electricity Rates
On-peak times are the hours of the day in which consuming energy is most expensive.
As mentioned before, the most common structure for Time of Use utility rates is during the middle of the day or the afternoon.
These periods of day are on-peak times.
The energy you are billed for during these “on-peak” times frequently costs about two to three times as much as energy consumed “off-peak.”
Since these are the times of days most businesses run the majority of their operations, it makes consuming energy much more important.
This effectively incentivizes consumers to try to conserve energy during on-peak hours.
This sort of billing often applies to both consumption of kWh’s and billing demand during the different times of day.
How to lower commercial utility costs by using your electricity at certain times of day
Luckily, there is a way to automate your commercial building’s energy system to avoid these on-peak times.
Utilizing different technologies such as rooftop solar, custom demand management control systems, or various forms of energy storage are all excellent ways to avoid consuming expensive energy during the utility providers’ peak hours.
You can also take advantage of cheap off-peak energy to store away for the following day.
So, in other words, these commercial demand management systems allow you to tell all your building when to create and store energy — helping you avoid the high prices of on-peak hours.
Residential customers may try to do household operations involving high-consumption appliances like washers and dryers or pool pumps during these off-peak hours.
In this way, they can effectively save money simply by changing their daily routine.