Consulting since 1992

What is Peak Shaving?

Reducing energy use at peak times is called peak shaving. Peak shaving can achieve a range of benefits when it coincides with peak demand and therefore peak prices from your network provider.

Peak shaving can be achieved by shedding load or by using onsite standby generation facilities during peak times. When reducing usage at peak times it can enable you to stay within your contract’s maximum demand and optimise network and retail tariff costs.

There are several ways to peak shave. A couple of the options include reducing consumption by turning off non-essential equipment during peak hours and installing automated thermostats to help reduce consumption. You can also install solar and battery solutions that can assist with reducing demand.

Peak shaving with batteries typically has a return on investment between three and five years. Batteries typically last 15-20 years so reduction in utility costs results in savings for ten plus years on a peak shaving project.

Using batteries for peak shaving is not as simple as deciding to peak shave and switching to batteries to transfer load during peak hours. A financial analysis should be completed to ensure that peak shaving will meet the financial goals of the organization.

There are several factors to consider including equipment cost, installation cost, coordination, and planning. The planning stages of a peak shaving project should include engineering support, utility company participation, electrical contractors, generator and distribution supplier, as well as the local facility team. Getting the right people involved early in the process can help the project remain on time and on budget, getting the best return out of the investment.

If an organization has high utility expenses, peak shaving should be investigated every few years as the organization grows. While it may not make sense initially, it might make sense as utility expenses and power demand increase.

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