What Is Power Load Shedding?

When the demand for electricity exceeds supply, the utility has to cut power somewhere to prevent the grid from collapsing. Load shedding is a temporary reduction in electrical power.

Electricity Demand

Your utility company charges not only for actual electricity use but also for demand. Demand calculations account for your rate of electricity consumption, not just the total amount of power you use. That’s how the utility determines if it has the infrastructure to deliver the amount of power you require, especially at peak times.

Load Profile

The electricity your business uses over a given day or month is called your load profile. The utility uses your load profile to calculate how much electricity you are going to need. Load can vary by season, by time of day, or by a number of other factors. For example, a business likely uses more electricity during business hours.

Peak Demand

Your maximum demand is called peak demand. Your monthly peak demand determines your demand charge for the entire month. A single spike in your electricity use could affect your bill for the entire year. The key to avoiding unnecessary demand charges is to monitor your electrical load carefully.

How Do EV Chargers Affect My Electricity Use?

A direct-current (DC) fast charger, or level 3 charger, consumes from 50 to 350 kilowatts of power. Level 2 chargers use a 240-volt, 40-amp circuit and use up to 19 kilowatts. A level 5 dealership that installs one DC fast charger and five level 2 chargers could add more than 400 kilowatts to its energy consumption.

Skyrocketing Cost of EV Chargers and Their Power

EV chargers’ power requirements have a major impact on your business. For example, Future Energy worked with a Florida dealership that wanted to add EV chargers to meet a minimum requirement from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The dealer planned to add one DC fast charger and four level 2 chargers. Just the fast charger would add on additional power demand totaling 200 kW.

The dealership paid a demand component charge of $11.70 per kWh. The 200 extra kW would thus cost the company an extra $2,294 extra per month in EV charger power demand fees. Add in existing usage and the cost of EV chargers and their power would cost the company an extra $100,000 a year. That’s why Future Energy’s system Interface is an important part of power management.

Increasing Load

Your local utility must approve your request to add load to your system. It’s important to plan to work in partnership with the utility for your EV chargers’ power requirements, demonstrating you can monitor load. Otherwise, the utility could deny your request.

Managing Other Business Systems

For optimal power management, your EV chargers have to integrate with your other electrical systems, such as lighting or air conditioning. Software that connects networked chargers can distribute load among electrical systems. This helps the utility feel more confident you will cooperate in shedding excess load if necessary.

How Does Power Load Shedding Help Solve the Energy Problem for EV Chargers?

Power load shedding helps mitigate the energy use of EV chargers in two ways. First, you can schedule charging for off-peak hours, committing to using increased power when stress on the electrical grid is low. Also, EV chargers that network with the grid can help you receive an exemption from the utility, because you’re monitoring your electrical use closely in real time.

Utility Exemptions

The use of Interface to manage your energy consumption shows the utility that you are monitoring your electricity use in real time. As a result, the utility may grant an exemption for you to add load to your system, even if the utility worries about capacity. Real-time energy management means that you can set a ceiling on your power consumption and guarantee to the utility you will not exceed it.

Strategies for Load Shedding

Strategies for load shedding include:

  • Switching off or reducing power to EV chargers during utility peak hours
  • Scheduling EV charging proactively for off-peak hours
  • Shifting electrical load to EV chargers from other company electrical systems, such as air conditioning

Voluntary Load Shedding

Many utilities offer demand response (DR) programs to businesses. DR programs offer cost incentives to companies that voluntarily shed load when the utility faces peak usage periods. This is known as an interruptible rate.

The utility will notify you in anticipation of a grid peak. Then, you have a deadline to reduce your demand. If you do not, the utility can fine you for every kilowatt that you exceed the minimum requirement. To benefit fully from the cost advantages of power load shedding, you have to manage your EV charger upkeep costs closely and accurately.

Future Energy’s Software and Load Shedding

Future Energy offers a software solution called Interface, which monitors all of your company’s electrical systems through one centralized platform. In effect, Interface serves as a smart meter that continually measures your electrical use.

Through Interface, you can automate EV charger power demand response and, in effect, preprogram your load shedding, facilitating the DR program. Also, you avoid exceeding your peak load and thus incurring extra costs, even when load shedding does not come into play.


Who Can Help Implement Power Load Shedding for My EV Chargers?

There are many implications for your utility bill from EV charger upkeep costs. Contact Future Energy today to learn more ways our software helps your company find solutions for your EV chargers and power load shedding.