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Understanding Automated Demand Management

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Laura-Jane Miginiac

In today's energy-conscious world, businesses are constantly seeking ways to optimize their energy usage and reduce costs. One effective strategy for achieving these goals is through automated demand management. By leveraging advanced technology and data analytics, automated demand management enables businesses to actively monitor and control their energy consumption, ultimately helping them avoid setting a new peak in their demand curve. In this article, we will explore the concept of automated demand management, its benefits, and how it can help businesses reduce energy spend.

What is Automated Demand Management?

Automated demand management refers to the use of technology and data-driven strategies to monitor, analyze, and control energy consumption in real-time. It involves the implementation of advanced energy management systems that collect and analyze data from various sources, such as smart meters, sensors, and building automation systems. By leveraging this data, businesses can gain valuable insights into their energy usage patterns, identify opportunities for optimization, and implement automated controls to manage their energy demand effectively.

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The Importance of Managing Peak Demand

Peak demand, also known as the highest point of energy usage within a specific timeframe, is a significant concern for businesses. During peak demand periods, electricity prices can spike, leading to higher energy bills and increased strain on the electrical grid. To meet the increased demand, utilities often rely on expensive and less environmentally friendly sources of energy, such as peaker plants, which can further drive up costs and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

By effectively managing peak demand, businesses can avoid these challenges and unlock several benefits. Automated demand management allows businesses to shift their energy usage away from peak periods, reducing the strain on the grid and optimizing energy consumption. This not only helps cut costs but also enhances grid stability, reduces the need for additional infrastructure investments, and promotes environmental sustainability.

How Automated Demand Management Works

Automated demand management relies on a combination of real-time monitoring, predictive analytics, and demand response programs to actively manage energy consumption. Let's explore each of these components in more detail.

Real-time Monitoring and Data Analysis

Real-time monitoring and data analysis form the foundation of automated demand management. By collecting and analyzing data on energy usage in real-time, businesses can gain valuable insights into their consumption patterns and identify opportunities for optimization. This enables them to make informed decisions about energy management strategies and implement automated controls to manage their demand effectively.

Predictive Analytics

In addition to real-time monitoring, automated demand management also leverages predictive analytics to forecast future energy usage patterns. By analyzing historical data and considering factors such as weather conditions, occupancy levels, and production schedules, businesses can predict when peak demand is likely to occur.

Predictive analytics enables businesses to proactively adjust their energy usage and implement load-shifting strategies. For example, they can pre-cool or pre-heat buildings during off-peak hours to reduce the need for cooling or heating during peak demand periods. This helps businesses avoid setting a new peak in their demand curve and optimize their energy consumption based on anticipated demand patterns.

Demand Response Programs

Demand response programs play a crucial role in automated demand management. These programs allow businesses to participate in voluntary or mandatory energy conservation efforts during periods of high demand. By reducing their energy usage during these critical times, businesses can earn financial incentives or other benefits from utilities or grid operators.

Automated demand management systems enable businesses to participate in demand response programs seamlessly. Through real-time monitoring and remote-control capabilities, businesses can receive signals from utilities or grid operators to curtail their energy usage during peak demand events. Automated controls can be implemented to adjust heating, cooling, lighting, and other energy-consuming systems, ensuring that businesses meet their energy reduction commitments.

In conclusion, automated demand management offers businesses a powerful tool to optimize their energy usage, reduce costs, and contribute to a sustainable future. By leveraging advanced technologies, real-time monitoring, predictive analytics, and demand response programs, businesses can actively manage their energy demand, avoid setting a new peak in their demand curve, and achieve significant energy savings. Implementing automated demand management requires careful planning, engagement of employees, and collaboration with experienced energy management providers. However, the benefits – including cost reduction, enhanced grid stability, and environmental sustainability – make it a worthwhile investment for businesses looking to improve their energy efficiency and bottom line.

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