Posted by Salvatore Ritorto on Apr 30, 2015
When your business is working to control energy costs, it’s important to research the finer points of your energy provider’s plan. Some plans may seem inexpensive at first, but times of peak service often hit businesses the hardest.
Energy advisors who specialize in helping businesses control energy costs may be able to help you choose the right plan. However, the most beneficial step you can take to lower your energy bill is to design a custom energy system.
While putting together a custom energy plan and implementing each change is challenging, there are simple and immediate ways to save money. Counteracting peak service charges is one of the best places to start.
What Are Peak Services?
Peak demand and peak services describe periods of time during which energy companies must provide more electrical power due to higher demand. These periods may occur on a daily, monthly, seasonal, or yearly basis.
Some utility companies charge customers more money during times of peak demand hoping consumers will use less energy or move energy use to another time. This would reduce the need for utility companies to invest in networks or power plants to cover peak service periods.
While higher prices during peak demand cost businesses a significant amount of money, reducing energy use for electric heating and air conditioning also reduces your electricity bill.
Use Timers To Control Energy Costs
It’s important to have a comfortable work environment that’s not too hot in the summer or cool in the winter. However, reducing your use of air conditioning and heating at the right time is an effective way to combat peak service costs.
Energy use peaks at 5:30 p.m. in most areas of the country because there is an even division of people using energy at home and at their place of work. In the winter, more people also turn their lights on at this time due to fewer hours of sunlight.
Many companies choose to adjust the thermostat later in the evening so the office stays comfortable for employees working after traditional business hours.
It should be taken into account, though, that rooms have the tendency to hold their temperature long after heating or air conditioning has been turned down.
Rather than waiting until 7:00 p.m. to turn down the heat or air conditioning, adjusting the temperature 7-10 degrees at 5:00 p.m. will help control energy costs during peak demand periods and also allow ample time for rooms to warm or cool gradually.
The use of a timer is recommended, despite the temptation to adjust the thermostat yourself, so no one forgets to change the temperature and energy use remains consistent on a daily basis. Additionally, timers and motion sensors used with lighting cut costs during peak electricity demand.
Designing A Custom Energy System
Businesses investing in more efficient energy plans understandably want to make sure that they will receive a significant return on their investment before committing to major changes.
Performing a payback analysis aids in calculating the value of your custom energy system. If you’re an accountant, you may be familiar with terms such as simple payback, cash-flow analysis, net present value, or internal rate of return.
While these calculations may be time-consuming, it’s important to understand where your money is going and how it will be returned when making changes to your energy plan.
It is advisable to conduct a payback analysis to determine whether a new energy system will benefit your budget in the long term, especially if you have hesitations about making a significant investment. Speaking with an Energy Advocate is a beneficial way to put your investment in perspective.
If your business is searching for ways to further reduce commercial energy or electricity bills, an energy advisor is a valuable resource who has expertise in designing custom energy systems.
Reducing your electricity use during peak hours is just the first step towards cost reduction. Energy advisors tailor your energy plan to your individual needs and find the best value plan for your budget.
Are you ready to consult an Energy Advocate about how to begin mapping your custom energy plan? Learn more about reducing energy costs by calling 800-266-6020 or click here to speak with an Energy Advocate at South Jersey Energy.
Topics: energy costs