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Commercial Users Save Power and Money with Customer Energy Dashboards

Your commercial and industrial customers already know about managing their energy use. But the next frontier is managing their power use.

The On Demand Savings (ODS) Program is designed to motivate commercial and industrial (C&I) customers to better understand and manage their HVAC kilowatt usage and costs during peak summertime demand.

The 18-month pilot was personalized for individual C&I customers and designed to educate users on the unique electricity demands for their buildings. ODS highlights hours when a C&I customer’s power is more expensive, and then helps the customer implement load-shedding or shifting strategies.

So, what’s the motivation for a C&I customer to implement an ODS program—especially customers that already use demand response (DR) programs? The answer is that unlike typical DR programs that mainly benefit a utility, an ODS program directly benefits individual customers by significantly reducing their electricity costs.  

One of the innovative ways the ODS program accomplishes this is through Customer Energy Dashboards, which are provided free to C&I customers. Here’s how the Dashboards work.

Real-time demand in as little as 15 minutes

A piece of hardware is connected to the electric meter at the customer site to send real-time data to a real-time energy dashboard software. This Customer Energy Dashboard compiles data in monthly, daily, hourly, and 15-minute intervals for current usage and comes pre-loaded with two years of historical data, allowing the customer to make historical comparisons.

Customers can view their demand reduction goals in a chart, allowing them to easily see when they’re near or at their goals. The energy dashboard allows the user to create threshold notifications, and the software sends emails or texts to the facilities' staff when demand thresholds have been exceeded. The recipients can then log in to the dashboard, check their pre-selected list of manual strategies and take immediate action.

The dashboard also allows customers to overlay their data with trend lines for temperature and the previous year’s energy usage.

sample ods dashboard 800px

Sample ODS Dashboard

One eye-catching feature of the Customer Energy Dashboard is the ability to display customer data as a heat map, with the highest-demand intervals colored red and the lowest demand intervals colored blue. This helps customers quickly identify periods of high demand, which can help identify the source and avoid future spikes.

The dashboard also has customized widgets that allow a customer to view their latest kilowatt demand reading and how they’re tracking against their demand reduction goal. The Peak Demand Events widget gives the customer a snapshot of their maximum demand for the day, week, month and 3-month periods, and the Load Reduction Strategies widget links customers to their custom-created list of demand-limiting initiatives.  They can also add energy markers to the chart and data table, recording initiatives like energy efficiency upgrades or manual demand-limiting strategies.

By encouraging C&I customers to implement this simple but effective software tool, utilities can take a major step in helping those customers save power and money for years to come. To learn more about this innovative program, download our free On Demand Savings whitepaper.

Download The Whitepaper

Kate Servais
Written by Kate Servais

Kate Servais, Program Manager
Kate Servais goes above and beyond to find solutions that work. Her primary focus is finding the best way to help utility customers save energy. She does this by working directly with customers, contractors and utility decision makers to design and execute demand reduction programs. Kate’s extensive experience with engineering solutions gives her the upper hand when pursuing energy innovation. Kate holds a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering with a specialization in sustainable design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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