Tony here again, the business expert on FPL’s Watt’s Happening panel, to share some information with you about energy demand, how it works, and how your business can lower your energy demand charges. As a business owner, you may have seen energy demand charges on your bill. These are related to your business using large amounts of energy at specific times. Understanding demand, energy demand charges, and our Commercial Demand Reduction program can help you save money and keep you focused on even more important things, like running your business.
Demand is the word we use to describe how much energy is used at any point in time. For example, one business may use a certain amount of energy in a month at a steady pace, while a second business uses that same amount of energy in a few short bursts. The second business would be charged more for placing greater energy demand on the system during the short periods of time when their usage peaked.
If one business requires large peaks of energy, we must be able to supply that, which means we at FPL have to have the infrastructure in place to do so. To handle these peaks, we must build power plants and add equipment to our distribution and transformer networks to meet these needs. These extra costs are then, in part, passed to users who have large peaks in demand in the form of energy demand charges.
The number one way to lower your business’ demand charges is to schedule a free Business Energy Evaluation. An expert will review your business and provide tailored recommendations to help lower your bill. Another option is to consider whether annual vs. seasonal time-of-use rates work best for your particular business. For example, FPL’s greatest energy demands are usually in the hottest hours of the day over the summer months. If your business can shift its greatest energy use to off-peak times, you can save money on your bill! The Business Energy Evaluation can help determine whether your business is able to make a shift like this.
TIP: If you are a business owner who had to temporarily close due to COVID-19, you can minimize peak energy demand upon returning to regular business operation. One way is to avoid starting all of your equipment at the same time. For example, stagger the start up of HVAC units and office equipment.
Commercial Demand Reduction (CDR) is a load management program that reduces our system peak demand during capacity shortfalls or system emergencies. By reducing power usage during peak demand periods, CDR helps delay the need for expensive, new power plants while providing your business the opportunity to substantially reduce its energy bill.
Here’s how the process works. First, businesses may choose to voluntarily enroll the program. If they do, then we install a load management device at your business. Essentially, when we expect peak levels of energy will be needed, this device will be alerted and automatically swap your energy use to your generator until our system demand has returned to a manageable level.
For participants in this program, we provide an analysis of your company’s energy bill and estimated cost savings from the CDR program. We will also assist with determining the expected payback period.
Now that you have a better understanding of energy demand, energy demand charges, and our Commercial Demand Reduction program, take advantage of a free Business Energy Evaluation to see how your business can save!