Smart grid and energy demand management company KiWi Power says it has accurately forecasted the UK’s three 2012/13 “triad periods” – that country’s system for charging industrial and commercial electricity consumers for electricity transmission – saving its customers money in the process.
The transmission network use of system charges, or “triads,” is the means by which major consumers indirectly pay for their use of the electricity transmission network in the UK. During the 2012/13 triad season, KiWi Power advised its customers to reduce or shift their power use when the UK’s demand for electricity was at its peak on these three specific half hourly periods, saving substantial sums on electricity bills, including one hospital that saved about £100,000 ($154,000).
The charges are regionally based and are expected to be as high as £34 for each kWh of demand during the triad periods in some regions next year. Triad charges can amount to over £50,000 of avoidable annual energy costs for each medium-large energy user, KiWi says. Basically, if a business is able to reduce its electricity demand during the triad periods, it can realise significantly reduced triad charges on its energy bill.
Triad periods are not known in advance, but can be forecast, as they typically occur between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on weekdays during cold weather from November to February. These occurred on Nov. 29 and and Dec. 12, 2012 and Jan. 16, 2013. On these days, the UK experienced severe weather, including temperatures as low as -20 C (-4 F) in some areas, along with hail and snowfall. January 2013 proved to be Britain’s snowiest month since December 2010. Late January’s freeze cost up to £4 billion in damages to the economy. Despite the coldest February for 22 years, there were no triad periods in February, KiWi says.
A number of London businesses, including the convention center ExCel, a major department store and a visitor attraction, are working with UK Power Networks to reduce their electricity use at times of peak demand or system constraint, in return for payments, it was reported in December.
Customers participating in the Low Carbon London program agree to reduce their demand, when called on to do so, by a defined number of megawatts of electricity between times of estimated higher demand on the electricity network.