Glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain saved £165,000 on its power bill over last winter through avoiding peak network charges.
So-called Triad charges are how National Grid bills large businesses for use of the transmission network. It bases those charges on the three highest demand peaks over winter – but those peaks are determined retrospectively. Businesses therefore play a guessing game as to when to use less power, given that their rates will be set on how much power they draw on those three peak days.
Many companies provide Triad alert services which warn businesses of a potential incoming peak. However, those periods are becoming more difficult to predict as system margins get tighter. So it can be that dozens of alerts are issued over winter, and possibly, outside of the weekday evening peaks.
National Grid has said that average Triad demand continues to fall and market participants are now seeing increased instances of half hourly demand that get close to Triad periods, which means that energy managers have to think about sustained energy reduction measures – as well as reacting to Triad calls.
According to Michael Dickinson, engineering manager Glass Industry UK & Ireland for Saint-Gobain, the firm shaved 11% off its peak demand across Triad periods, resulting in savings of £165,000 over winter.
According to this blog post on SmartestEnergy’s website, the key to enabling reductions was staff engagement so that site managers and staff had a better understanding of Triad and its impact to company bottom lines.