Strategies for curtailing HVAC during peak energy periods

Due to increasing demands placed upon utilities exacerbated by the increasing cost of generating energy, reducing energy use during peak periods will assume greater importance than ever before. In order to adequately and quickly respond to peak energy periods, a proven, flexible, multi-faceted peak response strategy will be necessary for businesses to investigate upgrading their operating procedures and form new habits that work toward saving energy.

Expenses during peak energy periods are a reality for every building operator, but with the right data and strategies, it’s possible to identify and solve issues that affect peak energy demand and contribute to expensive utility bills.

Energy distribution during peak energy periods

One of the most common and largest contributors to high peak demand is multiple energy-intensive process occurring at the same time, like multiple rooftop HVAC units that power-on simultaneously to provide heating or cooling to a conditioned space. By scheduling these systems to run at off peak energy periods, and to cycle different pieces of equipment for use so it is never all on at the same time, your HVAC system is more efficient and uses less energy.

Having HVAC units running simultaneously may be the fastest way to bring a space to a desired temperature, but with proper scheduling and control optimization, more cost effective and energy efficient means can be achieved. Dynamic HVAC optimization scheduling programs can forecast weather for the day and condition the building during off-peak hours to reduce demand during peak energy periods. Building automation and control systems automate the cycling process to maintain comfortable indoor air quality, while allowing the system to conserve energy during on-peak energy periods to effectively distribute energy use over a larger period, creating a load levelling effect and reducing demand during peak energy periods.

Energy shaving during peak energy periods

One often overlooked benefit of generating energy is by utilizing the thermodynamics and generating energy within your building to reduce peak demand charges from utilities. Using alternative forms of energy like solar panels or photovoltaics to generate a portion of your building’s total needed energy will reduce reliance on utilities, and therefore lower demand during peak periods.

While these are expensive options and should be considered long-term investments, solar power is particularly useful for saving energy throughout the day and reducing the amount of solar radiation that may permeate and add heat into the building. A photovoltaic system takes this a step further by storing the generated solar electricity and drawing from it during peak energy periods, effectively reducing the amount of power used from the power grid and reducing demand.

As buildings increase in complexity, developing and implementing a peak energy period demand reduction plan will be essential to lowering energy consumption and costs, but will be nearly impossible without the correct tools.

Ecopilot automates your HVAC system to effectively and efficiently manage your building’s energy so you’re prepared to act out peak energy period demand reduction strategies and reduce energy consumption.