Identify Your High Energy Use Culprits & Lower
Your Electric Bill


One might ask, “how can I lower my electrical use when I need what I need, when I need it”? The answer is simple, use a demand controller to establish an “energy budget.” Often controlling or creating an energy budget can identify scenarios where energy use can be deferred for a short time, with little or no discomfort, inconvenience, or interruption of an appliance.  This budget can be set up in a way that places time and use parameters on major electrical appliances, such as a clothes dryer, dishwasher, water heater, oven, or hot tub. Items such as lighting, computers, telephones, and other plug-in devices can be omitted from the budget so it will not interrupt your daily life. Energy Sentry can help you identify which appliances are the high-peak energy culprits and should be your budget. An established energy budget can help you lower the amount of energy you use and helps to lower the overall peak energy demand charges.

For those that are new to the concept of a demand controller, one of these devices can put you in control of your home energy use, giving you opportunities to save 20 percent or more on your monthly electric bill. By setting up an energy budget that uses a demand controller, you choose which appliances to control based on your household’s needs. Some people are surprised to learn that even when they are not actively using an appliance it can still be drawing power. When your home energy demand exceeds your energy budget, your demand controller will begin shutting off power to your appliances on a prioritized basis so you don’t exceed your preset energy demand limit.  When your demand begins decreasing, the demand controller will automatically begin restoring power to your appliances in the order you choose. Often times, this all occurs without you noticing it is happening.

In some areas, it only takes a 15-minute spike in energy demand for you to be hit with a higher tier electricity rate for the entire month. For example, let’s say that a television, a refrigerator, hot tub, and an air conditioner are all running at the same time and that results in a total demand of 4 kilowatts. Add an electric dryer to that energy load, and the demand spikes to 11 kilowatts. Without a peak demand controller, the customer would be charged the kW rate corresponding with a 11 kilowatts peak demand that month even though 11 kw was only used for 15 minutes total.

Now if this same household had a demand controller with an energy budget set to allow for a maximum demand of 5 kilowatts, they would not incur this 11 kilowatts spike. The scenario might play out that the air conditioner is a priority over the hot tub, so the demand controller would kick in when the dryer was switched on and cut power to the hot tub in order to keep the total demand under the 5 kilowatt limit. Once the air conditioner or other appliances cycle and turn off and allow for more demand, the load controller would turn the hot tub back on. In simpler terms, the demand controller spreads out energy use throughout the day to keep the energy demand low to avoid going over the preset maximum energy limit.

Another common utility fee structure is to see on-peak and off-peak rates on your utility bill. In this scenario, a demand controller can help you save even more when you manage your appliances according to on- and off-peak time periods. The demand controller will automatically limit your use of major appliances during the on-peak periods. The demand controller is pre-programmed to remember the schedule so you don’t have to keep checking the clock. Demand controllers can be completely customized based upon the needs of the customer, such as setting the maximum demand and the order of priority of the appliances. In this scenario, the demand controller, helps manage peak electricity demand by keeping your home’s peak energy demand predictable and low.

Another option to consider in your energy budget is to combine a demand controller with home battery use. Battery storage provides an ultimate level of control. The battery could kick in and provide some of the needed electricity so that the demand from the utility company remains low.

But where do you begin? Our recommendation is to contact Energy Sentry to learn how about our demand management systems and what an energy budget might look like for your household. Contact Energy Sentry experts at (970) 461-9600.