If electricity was 50% off at night, would you buy some?
Electricity is half price—every single night. The good news is that ice storage technology exploits that off-peak discount to save you money on your energy bill.
Imagine a large Manhattan office building running a traditional cooling system. On a sweltering day, all the electricity needed is drawn–in real time–right from the grid. All of New York does the same. The cost of that “on peak” electricity is sky high because demand is sky high. Businesses and institutions that cool this way are paying far too much for cooling.
ENERGY COSTS LESS AT NIGHT
Ice storage takes advantage of lower off peak rates to make ice at night. The system stores that energy onsite and discharges it, or melts it, throughout the building for cooling during the day—when rates are highest. In most ice storage systems, only a portion of the cooling requirements (typically one third) are shifted to off peak. That simple shift can take up to 40% off the cooling bill. It bears repeating – ice storage can lower cooling bills by up to 40%. One big reason why: the Edison Electric Institute reports that only form of energy not to increase in price in the last 40 years, when converted to today’s dollars, is off peak electricity.
DONT BE FOOLED
A common misconception is that if your building is not offered a “time of use” pricing by the utility, then you are on a “flat rate”, implying that there is no difference between day and night costs. This is not the case, since demand tariffs are common on a utility bill. Typically, when demand charges are converted to daytime energy usage, electricity costs are about half the cost during nighttime hours, even when you are not offered a time of day rate. See if your electric rate is good for energy storage.
REDUCE YOUR PEAK USAGE CHARGE
A demand charge is a portion of the commercial energy bill. It reflects peak energy usage measured in 15 minute increments across the billing cycle. Amounts vary, but the demand charge is steep—typically 20% - 80% of your monthly energy costs.
Ice storage can save a significant amount of money a year in demand charges because ice storage flattens the curve in consumption patterns. Remember, it’s that spike in usage that creates the demand charge and ice storage is an “off-peak” technology. One hot summer day can lock facilities into a high demand charge for the next 12 months. By moving a portion of your cooling requirements to off-peak, peak usage periods are reduced or eliminated.
GET PAID TO USE LESS ENERGY
During the summer the grid strains under high demand for air-conditioning. Demand response programs pay facilities to reduce peak energy consumption. Unused capacity is then sold back to the grid. Simply put, stored cooling becomes a virtual power plant, so building occupants stay cool and comfortable while lowering peak energy use at the building on the grid. Virtual generation encourages less energy use during peak times, (lowering energy bill) and provides revenue. Learn how a CALMAC customer in Philadelphia keeps tenants comfortable, saves on his energy bill and earns revenue as a virtual power plant.