As global electricity demand increases, some utility companies are altering their pricing schemes to further charge customers with outstanding peak loads. It is incumbent on home or business owners to curb not just total energy consumption but peak power to reduce costs. With the cost of advanced energy storage declining significantly, consumers can invest in solar + storage to compensate for their property's highest wattage moments.

In the United States, larger electricity consumers often must pay additional demand charges on a kW (power) basis in addition to their kWh (energy) consumption.

Utilities use varying methods to calculate the demand charge of a facility. A utility may notate the highest average 15 minute period during a billing cycle, a weighted 2 second interval, or simply use the highest demand over a year as a determinant for the next year. Some utilities weigh a facility's demand value against the utility's overall production.

An area's 'standard' kWh rates are based on the actual demand profile, and local policies carry a heavy impact on the total bill.

Greentech Renewables NREL 2017 Demand Response Map
Greentech Renewables Energy Storage Demand Response Image 1

So, why is storage needed for demand charge management systems?

In short, photovoltaics can only go so far. Their generation is dependent on proper sunlight and other environmental externalities. The solar + storage model can move grids of all sizes towards reliable, consistent supply. For grid tied commercial facilities, storage can act as a buffer on load demand. When an energy storage system senses a peak demand event, it discharges the stored energy at a rate capable of curbing the facilities' overall demand to reduce peak charges.

Demand Load Profiles of the Same Business GELI Diagram

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