Energy Solutions Part 1: Avoiding Increasing Utility Costs

Energy Solutions Part 1: Avoiding Increasing Utility Costs

Utility billing in California continues to rise, year-to-year, driven by the increase in energy and demand charges along with shifting time-of-use periods. Here at CalCom Energy, we offer several solutions to help protect from increasing utility bills and in turn, promote a more stable and predictable operational budget for you and your business.

ENERGY CHALLENGE: High Energy and/or Demand Charges

Energy charges are determined by applying a $/kWh rate to every unit of energy consumed from the grid and recorded by your utility meter during a billing period. Typically, the majority of our customers’ utility bills are energy charges.

Demand charges are assessed by applying a $/kW rate to the maximum energy demand measured at any point in time during a billing period. Demand charges measure the “high water mark” grid demand in a given month, so a single momentary spike in load can incur a full demand charge for that entire billing period.


SOLAR. An onsite CalCom Energy solar PV system is a great way to generate electricity to offset energy charges during daylight hours.

SOLAR + ENERGY STORAGE. Integrated energy storage with onsite solar can further reduce energy costs by shifting usage from times when TOU rates are high, to times when TOU rates are low.

Demand charges cannot be reliably offset by solar alone. However, the addition of an integrated energy storage system through CalCom Energy (whether combined with a new solar PV system or integrated with an existing solar PV system) can help customers reduce demand charges by discharging the battery at times of higher demand, protecting against demand spikes during peak hours.

ENERGY SERVICES. Our analytics team can help reduce the costs of both your energy and demand charges by providing 1) review of meter energy costs, usage patterns and utility rate schedules for opportunities to switch to rates with lower energy charges, 2) analysis of customer energy use and spend patterns to adjust operational planning, and 3) interpretation of electric utility billing statements, accuracy audits, and resolution of billing issues.

ENERGY CHALLENGE: Shifting Time-of-Use (TOU) Periods

Changes in California’s utility rate structures are shifting so that energy costs not only target the amount of energy consumed, but also when the energy is consumed, affecting the overall value of energy across the board.  While solar can help with the amount of energy consumed, the timing of your operations must still be manually adjusted to ensure the consumption does not take place during peak TOU periods when rates are highest.


SOLAR + STORAGE. Integrating an energy storage system with an onsite solar PV system (whether combined with a new solar PV system or an existing solar PV system) can help reduce costs and the need for operational changes by charging from the PV system when TOU rates are low and discharging when TOU rates are high, all the while leaving your current operational patterns undisturbed.

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