Curtailing Your Usage Today Can Save You Money For A Whole Year

What is a Peak Day and how does it affect my energy costs?

Peak Days occur when our regional electricity grid is operating at its highest levels due to increased demand.  These extreme demand periods are most often on hot and humid summer days when region-wide air conditioning usage is high. To meet this increased need for electricity, the grid operator (ISO-New England) must purchase more capacity from power plants than normal, and at a higher cost.

Over the course of the summer months, ISO-NE tracks how much your business uses on these Peak Days.  In the fall, ISO-NE issues your account an ICAP (Installed Capacity) Tag that corresponds to the amount of electricity you used during the highest peak of the summer. The higher your demand, the higher your ICAP Tag, which translates into a higher cost for your electricity supply the following year.  A high ICAP Tag could account for a 20 – 30% increase in your bill for the entire year.

How can I lower my ICAP Tag?

The best way to lower your ICAP Tag – and your future energy costs – is to curtail your electricity consumption as much as possible during these peak times.

When ISO-NE projects a Peak Day, EarlyBird Power will send a Peak Day Alert via email or text to interested clients, alerting them to the expected peak. Typically, the peak period is a 2 to 4-hour window in the late afternoon.

Once you receive the Peak Day Alert, make plans to curtail your usage during the peak period.  Here are ways you can lower your consumption while minimizing the impact on your operations:

  1. Begin the day early. Starting up building systems during non-peak hours can give more time to achieve desired temperature and equipment condition.
  2. Create a startup schedule for equipment specifically for when Peak Day/Hour events are alerted.
  3. Schedule operating times for energy intensive equipment to ensure not everything is running all at once.
  4. Shade sunlight from windows to minimize outdoor heat and turn up the thermostat for certain periods of the day.
  5. Cool off the building the night before when there are no active peaks.
  6. Install energy efficient lighting such as dimmers, occupancy sensors, and LED bulbs that will lower your overall demand.
  7. Additionally, explore utility equipment upgrade incentives for HVAC, water heating, and lighting to make these investments even more cost-effective.

Questions?  Call EarlyBird Power at (888) SO EARLY.  We’re here to help.