June 26, 2014
Picture your company's busiest 15 minutes of the year. Machines are humming, everyone is working, customers are getting great service, products are pouring out and electricity is flowing.
Those 15 minutes are your greatest business dream, but they also can drive up monthly demand charges from the local Transmission and Distribution Utility - and possibly affect electricity bills for months to come. As a trusted advisor, TXU Energy continues to help business owners and operators understand and minimize their overall electricity spending so they can invest more in their people, businesses and communities.
'The amount of electricity a mid-sized or large company actually uses is just one factor in their monthly bills,' said Scott Harrison, director of engineering and innovation for TXU Energy. 'Monthly demand charges from the local utility company pay for the cost of maintaining the poles, wires and other infrastructure needed to power a company's busiest 15 minutes of the month - or in some cases, the busiest 15 minutes of the past 12 months.'
The Texas electricity system measures demand in 15-minute increments. In one way or another, all retail electricity providers pass monthly charges from local TDUs, such as Oncor and Centerpoint, to retail customers without mark-up.
With awareness and planning, businesses can control how much electricity they use and can manage their demand charges.
'One of the easiest ways to lower TDU demand charges is to stage when equipment is powered up and operated,' Harrison said. 'A lot of commercial equipment draws more power when it's started than it does during normal operations. When a company turns on all of its equipment at once - lights, computers, copiers, heating and air conditioning, and heavy machinery - the level of electricity consumption spikes, and that spike can raise the company's demand.'
Upgrading to high-efficiency equipment and working closely with customers to manage when products and services are produced and delivered are two other ways to control TDU demand charges.
TDU demand charges can be especially challenging for commercial customers like churches or seasonal sporting complexes that operate at their peak levels for very limited times. For some businesses, monthly TDU demand charges can exceed the cost of the electricity they actually use.
Through its Brighten® GreenBack program, TXU Energy helps mid-sized and large commercial customers identify and invest in cost-savings opportunities by providing expert advice and incentives that go beyond any incentives offered by many TDUs. TXU Energy also offers business customers the opportunity to turn their contracted load into a revenue stream through its Brighten® Reduction Rewards program.
'Our goal is help our commercial customers manage their electricity spending so they can invest more in their businesses,' Harrison said. 'Understanding demand charges and finding ways to lower them is one of the many ways we do that.'
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retail electricity provider, powering the lives of more Texans than any other retailer. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services.
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