By Dan Orlando
As New York remains in the grip of a deep freeze, owners are being urged to consider much warmer temperatures and the little steps they can take to make a big difference to their bottom line.
ConEdison Solutions, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc., is in the midst of a campaign to prepare for the power-sucking peak energy usage periods of the summer by promoting a program that pays property owners to turn down.
Demand Response and Demand Management programs pay building owners up to $50,000 per 100 kilowatts of load relief provided.
Demand Response is offered by the Con Edison ultility and the state’s electric grid called New York Independent Service Operator.
Demand Management Program is jointly administered by the Con Edison utility and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
“Participating in Demand Response means that I agree to be one of your cut-backers when there’s a peak load crisis,” said Cara Olmsted, director of marketing and business development with ConEdison Solutions.
Demand Response asks building owners to reduce the energy usage in their properties during specified four-hour stretches of time. They typically receive 21-hours’ notice and are compensated with incentives.
These “peak load” events are sparked by projected heavy usage city-wide due to factors such as extreme summer temperatures. These high temperatures can lead to “stress on the system” for ConEdison.
“ConEdison needs customers to participate in this program because they certainly don’t want to have a brown out or a black out,” Olmsted said. “They want to be able to provide service to people in all circumstances.
“Nobody takes action to reduce power at your building but you,” she said, pointing out that all reductions are done in-house and not remotely.
Participation in the Demand Management Program need to invest in efficient technology that is likely to be lucrative over the long-term. Incentives are offered for the installation of software, lighting and battery storage systems.
Purchasing battery storage technology alone could cost about $1.8 million upfront. However, on top of a cash incentive, ConEdison Solutions helps owners tap incentives that reduce costs by just under $40,000 per year off and promises savings of more than $120,000 per year on utility costs.
Opting to invest in the entire compliment of greener technology would cost about $1,615,000 after incentives, but will generate nearly $490,000 in annual utility bill savings.
Olmsted said owners planning to switch to this technology within the next decade could see financial benefit sooner rather than later. For example, investment in the battery storage technology allows a building owner to not only receive partial reimbursement, it also allows for energy to be stored up for later use during off-peak hours. This energy can then be used to replace the reduced incoming flow during what ConEdison Solutions calls “strategically significant times.”
Owners will be benefiting from an additional revenue source in the form of incentives while experiencing even less (if any) change to their overall energy usage.
Buildings participating in Demand Response are inspected before joining and given unique instructions on how they can best reduce their energy usage without affecting the comfort or operations of the tenants.
Con Edison’s concerns regarding high demands on local grids is amplified by the impending closure of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, which is projected to significantly slice into the state’s energy supply in the near future. If the demands on the local power supply become too great, buildings may be left entirely without power for significant stretches of time.
Property owners that are interested in participating this summer must apply to have their baseline readings and assessment done immediately.Applications and assessments done before the beginning of April will allow participation to begin on June 1.