Electric Demand is the rate of using electricity. For most commercial buildings, demand is measured in kilowatts (kW). Utilities measure the highest rate of using electricity each billing cycle in order adequately size the generation, transmission and distribution capacity required to provide energy to each customer. The utility then recoups these costs by billing you based on your highest measured demand, and when that demand occurs relative to when the utility experiences peak demand on their system.
In Portfolio Manager, there are 2 inputs for Demand for Electric Grid Meters:
- Electric Demand (kW) is the highest measured rate of your electricity use for each bill. You should be able to find this rate, measured by kW, on your electric bill. It’s not always called “Electric Demand” though, it could be called: Peak Demand, On-Peak Demand, Load, etc. (see this FAQ for more possible terms).
- Electric Demand Cost ($) is the cost that you are charged for electric demand on each bill. Your bill may have a single value for demand cost, or you may have to add individual demand costs and tariffs explicitly related to electric demand. Demand costs should be a subset of your total electricity cost. Demand costs can be a significant portion of your total bill (30-50%). (See this FAQ for more.)
There are four Demand metrics that you can add to Custom Reports:
- Annual Maximum Demand (kW) is the highest demand value across all your electric meters and all meter entries covered in the 12-month performance period. It is equal to the highest month’s value measured by one of your meters. It is not a cumulative number. If you have multiple electric meters tracking demand, only one meter’s monthly value will be equal to the Annual Maximum Demand.
- Annual Maximum Demand (MM/YYYY) is the month and year within the 12-month period that had the highest demand.
- Annual Maximum Demand (Meter Name (Meter ID)) is the name of the meter that had the highest measured demand, and its Meter ID that was assigned by Portfolio Manager when the meter was created. This is only important if you have multiple electric meters tracking demand because you can only get one Annual Maximum Demand per property.
- Annual Demand Cost ($) is the sum of all demand costs across all months and all meters in the 12-month performance period. Unlike the other demand metrics, cost is a cumulative number. Demand costs are a subset of total electricity costs.
For more information, see our 2-page guide: How to Track Electric Demand.