How Tariffs Assist to Identify Energy Cost Savings and Address Peak Demand

How Tariffs Assist to Identify Energy Cost Savings and Address Peak Demand

Energy Consumption When Tariff Is Lower

When it comes to energy billing, manufacturing and industrial facilities as well as commercial retail, hospitality and office properties; are often subject to complex bills that are often difficult to make sense of.

Commercial facilities typically get charged for kWh used each month and for the maximum demand of power they consume each month (kVA’s) also known as ‘peak demand’.

Learn how to calculate maximum demand from kwh.

[See video: How Wattics helps energy professionals analyse peak demand]

tariffs kWh kVA energy management
 

It is important for large power consumers to understand the different tariff options available to them in order to have better visibility and control over energy costs. Deciding on the most suitable tariff can only be done when the energy manager or energy management team understands a facility or business’s operational behavior, typical consumption and trends that influence energy use. Taking into account these factors, different tariffs can be evaluated and a suitable option can be chosen.

Through the tariff tool, Wattics makes it possible to:

  • See the cost of energy over a 12-month period (eg. Jan- December)
  • Perform cost comparison with different energy suppliers (The Wattics system performs a pricing comparison for every half hour of every day of the last 12 months.) Energy suppliers and utilities could, for example, use the tariff analyser to highlight their competitive rates compared to other providers.

Key features of the Wattics tariff tool:

  • Set validity of tariff structure eg.  ESB tariff 1 January to 31 December
  • Set different time periods to match the tariff structure applied to your energy consumption, eg. winter/summer tariffs
  • Input different tariff rates for different days of the week or hours of the day (ToU) with easy-to-use ‘drag-and-drop’ feature
  • Edit tariffs for historical energy data for further analysis
  • Add, edit and delete tariffs for electricity, water, and gas

Here’s a short video of the Wattics tariffs tool to demonstrate:

 

Tariffs play a very important role in the Wattics dashboard as they make it possible to exploit the potential of many different tools when analyzing energy, water and gas data. By applying tariffs for your monitored sites, all calculations and analyses you can perform your electricity, gas or water energy data can be translated into costs with the click of a button, making it possible to infer even more insight regarding potential saving opportunities.

Read more below to:

1) Know how to set up tariffs in the Wattics dashboard;

2) Know how to use the tariff analyzer to compare different tariffs; and

3) See how tariffs are applied when doing further analysis in the dashboard with tools such as: ‘operations wastage analyser’ (simulate potential $ savings); ‘measurement & verification’ (verify savings from energy efficiency projects & actions); and ‘breakdown tab’ (displays of the costs of monitored meters & sub-meters eg. HVAC/ sites eg. M&S Dublin/ organisations eg. M&S (UK & Ireland)).

Table of Contents

    1. Setting up tariffs in the Wattics dashboard
    2. How to use the Wattics tariff analyser
    3. Maximise cost-saving opportunities with tariff-related tools:
      1. Cost Breakdown
      2. Operations Analyser
      3. Measurement and Verification
      4. Actions Tracker
      5. Admin Section – Report Definitions

1. Setting up the tariffs in the Wattics dashboard

The first step to setting up tariffs in the Wattics energy management dashboard is to log in to your dashboard. Once you are logged in, click on the tariff icon as shown in the following image:

Once you are in the Tariffs tab, you have the option to add tariffs for electricity, water and gas. In order to add a tariff, click on “Add tariff” as shown in the image below:

When “Add Tariff” gets clicked, the following screen will appear:

Here you should give the tariff a name, and the validity time frame (from-to). Start and end dates make it possible to file tariffs in chronological order, keeping them associated with the appropriate data, so if you are changing provider, new rates can be associated only to new readings while the historical data keep their original rates.

Click on “Add Rate” in order to add a cost figure. Type the tariff rate in the cost box and click on “Add”.

Note: Type only the cost number, not the unit of measurement, the system is already aware of the currency used by the site because of the associated address.

Once you click on “Add”, the tariff rate is created. The tariff rate will be identified as “T1” if it is the first tariff rate created.  If additional tariffs are created, they will be shown as “T2”, “T3”, “T4” and so forth. In order to assign the tariff that has been created to a specific time frame, or to specific days, the tool provides you with an Excel-like spreadsheet in which you have to rename the cells with the name of the desired tariff.

For example, if you want to set tariff T2 for Mondays, type “T2” in the first cell of the column headed ‘Monday’ (see screenshot above) and drag the cell down to the bottom of the spreadsheet. In doing so, tariff T2 is assigned to all Mondays until the end of the tariff end date. See screenshot below:

When this is done in the correct way, all cells in the Monday column will have “T2” applied as shown above.

At the end of the process, as you save, all unused rates will be deleted and their names reassigned to the valid ones (In this case T1 will become T2).

The Wattics tariff tool also allows you to create multiple tariff periods. To create one, click on “Add tariff period” as shown in the following image:

Once clicked, you will be asked to select the time frame for that specific tariff period.
Note: Tariff periods cannot overlap each other.

When a new tariff period gets created, the process of assigning the appropriate tariff rate(s) must be done again in the excel-like spreadsheet. 

Now that you have named & set the validity dates for your tariff, added your tariff rates, created your tariff periods and assigned the applicable tariff rates,  click on “Save” to proceed with the creation of the tariff, as shown in the following screenshot:

energy management software free demo

2. How to use the Wattics tariff analyzer

On the same page that allows you to set up tariff, edit and delete them for each monitored site, you can also find a tool called “Tariff Analyser”. You can access the tool by clicking on “Tariff Analyser” as shown in the following image:

Once “Tariff Analyser” is clicked, the tool will start to analyze the tariffs and the related consumption in order to compare different provider tariffs and cost figures. In the following image, you can see an example of a comparison between the current and the previous electricity provider. The chart below shows you how the cost increased month by month with the switch to the current electricity provider.

Note: the comparison is done purely on the basis of price per kWh. Keep in mind that energy bills contain other charges which are not taken into account by this analysis. 

The tariff analyser allows you to add different tariffs to the analysis and export the data in different file formats. By clicking on the top right corner of the chart you will be able to download the tariff comparison graph in PNG, JPG, PDF, SVG formats and export the data in a CSV file.

3. Maximise cost-saving opportunities with tariff-related tools

3.1. Cost Breakdown

The dashboard provides you with another powerful tool, the ‘Breakdown Tab‘. Here you have a graphic representation of costs per organization, site, and meter that can give you an immediate view on the main energy consumers in your site, the cost of the energy consumed and over a selected period, as well as the consumption/cost per square meter, and so on.
In the image below, you can see a pie chart that represents the consumption of floor areas 1, 2, and 3 in ‘Alpha Hotel’. The chart shows that floor number 3 is the biggest energy consumer.

If you are more interested in the normalization of energy consumption, you can find the tool that allows you to generate normalized energy data in the bottom right corner of the breakdown tab.
Note: In order to access it, only the desired data point must be selected. 

In the example above we are considering Floor number 3 and square meters as the adjustment data in order to normalise it. 

The result is a chart that displays values associated with Floor 3’s energy consumption and the cost per square meter.

3.2. Operations Analyser

The Operations Analyser makes the forecast of savings possible by simulating a reduction in peak consumption, limit working hours machinery, modifying current power consumption behaviour, installing energy-efficient equipment etc. (example: installing inverters for electric motors). Cost figures are used to calculate the potential savings obtained by the simulation of an energy conservation measure/action/behaviour.

The following image shows you how this tool quantifies savings opportunities based on a simulated energy conservation measure (ECM). This can be done by modifying the heat map on the top section and applying the energy reduction factor to each desired time frame.

energy management software free demo

3.3. M&V Measurement and Verification

The Measurement & Verification tool allows a user to validate savings generated by an ECM already implemented. Tariff figures are used to calculate the actual saving based on the difference between the energy consumption before and after the ECM. .

In the following image you can see the final result of an M&V project. As you can see, it shows the forecasted consumption curve if the ECM was not put in place and the actual energy consumption. The chart summary generates the savings per year, payback period and other useful information.

If you are interested in learning more about the M&V and have a guide that shows you how to create a measurement and verification project, click here.

3.4. Actions Tracker

The Actions Tracker tool provides a quick summary of costs between energy conservation measures that have you put in place.
In the example below, we are comparing the cost before and after timer settings have been updated. 

As you can see, this tool is showing that the cost after the change in the timer settings produced almost 19% in savings in the selected time period.

3.5. Admin Section – Report Definitions

The Report Definitions tool provides reports about energy consumption, costs, top consumers and much more. However, in order to provide total costs and cost-related values, it needs tariffs to be set in the Tariffs tool.  The following image shows a report that can be generated and sent out via email automatically. As can be seen below, electricity cost is reported with the corresponding energy consumption values.

Whether you are managing one or more commercial or industrial facilities, having the insight into how electricity, gas and/or water is used is ‘a must’ to keep costs down and improve resource efficiency! Wattics has the energy management solution to get you started…

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