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Synergies with Demand-Side Management
Electricity demand and supply has to be managed and balanced in real-time. This means that if many consumers are using electricity at the same time, there is less supply and prices typically go up.
Demand Side Management (DSM) thus refers to initiatives and technologies that help consumers to optimise their energy consumption by managing their electricity demand. With DSM, consumers can reduce their electricity bills by adjusting the amount of electricity they use at different timings. There are DSM programmes that reward consumers who reduce or shift their electricity demand voluntarily as well.
To learn more about DSM, visit the EMA website.
If you are currently a contestable business consumer, find out if DSM is suitable for you by using this short self-assessment checklist below.
Self-Assessment Checklist for Contestable Business Consumers
(Note that this is a set of general guidelines, and exceptions may apply, depending on individual circumstances or context.)
1. Do you understand your consumption pattern?
To learn more about your overall electricity consumption pattern, approach your electricity retailer or facilities manager. Ask for a breakdown of usage between the peak period (e.g. 7am-11pm) and off-peak period (e.g. 11pm-7am). Or if you prefer a more detailed study of your consumption profile, consider conducting an energy audit.
If you use more electricity during the off-peak period, consider switching to an electricity package that is based on time-of-use. This may help you to save on your electricity bills!
To better understand the equipment or appliances that contribute to peak consumption, consider installing sub-meters at different points, such as at energy-intensive equipment or appliances.
High tension consumers (i.e. consumers that takes electricity supplies at 6.6kV and above) that reduce their peak electricity consumption can also pay less by reducing the contracted capacity needed.
As a contestable consumer, you can also participate in the Interruptible Load Programme or Demand Response Programme to receive pay-outs. Both programmes reward consumers who reduce or shift their electricity demand voluntarily.
For more information, refer to EMA's website.
2. Do you know which appliances consume the most electricity?
One way to optimise your energy consumption is to adjust your chiller operations. For industrial consumers, chillers can contribute up to 40% of total energy consumption. By shifting or lowering your variable loads, you can reduce your peak electricity consumption and save on electricity costs.
3. Are you planning to upgrade your facilities operations?
If you are planning to upgrade your facilities operations, consider having sensors and automated devices for chiller sequencing, shedding of non-critical load, and minimising standby power consumption. It is important that you understand your consumption pattern, so that you can identify opportunities to shift or reduce loads, and possibly reap some savings! Speak to your electricity retailer to find the best plan that suits your consumption pattern.
4. What electricity price plan are you on?
Consumers on fixed price plan: You pay a fixed price for every unit of electricity used at any time of the day.
If you consume more electricity during off-peak periods, switching to a plan with peak versus off-peak pricing will likely reduce your electricity bill.
Consumers on a peak versus off-peak price plan: Electricity prices vary at different times of the day. During off-peak periods, electricity tends to be cheaper.
If you are on a price plan based on time-of-use, you can install meters and sensors to keep track of your consumption pattern. Consider doing an energy audit to identify opportunities for you to reduce or shift your consumption, especially during the peak periods.
5. Have you undergone an energy audit before?
If you are a large electricity consumer, an energy audit will be most beneficial to reveal details about your profile and your consumption patterns, especially if you currently have no sub-metering points.
Have you heard of the Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance contracting (GESP) model by NEA? Consumers can use the GESP model to request for an accredited Energy Services Company to carry out an investment grade energy audit. This will allow the Energy Services Company to recommend measures that are guaranteed to achieve annual energy savings and efficiency standards.
6. Do you have full ownership and control of your facilities operations?
If you currently outsource or intend to outsource facilities management to a third party service provider, make sure that the incentives of the third party service provider are aligned with the objective of saving energy and DSM. This will allow DSM initiatives to be smoothly implemented.
Consider sharing some of the cost savings to incentivise your service provider to implement DSM initiatives and reduce electricity costs.