One element that helps to determine electric pricing is a facility’s load profile. Utilities are required to have enough energy and equipment available to meet peak demand levels and thus, electricity rates are partially determined by peak demand. For this reason, a graphical representation of a facility’s energy usage over a period of time is evaluated. Load profiles are used to determine how efficiently a business uses their energy. Load profiles are unique to each facility and show the variability in a customers demand.
From a cost perspective, the higher load profile percentage, the better. When thinking graphically, load profiles show volatility by peaks and valleys on the graph, meaning if a high amount of energy is used at various peak times throughout the day, this would contribute to a low or poor load factor. A high load factor would show graphically a flatter line, meaning energy usage is distributed more evenly over the course of the day. The graphs below show examples of two variations in load profiles. In Example 1, the load profile fluctuates throughout the day, while Example 2 has a more flat, steady load profile.
Keeping this in mind can help your business evaluate when and how you can use energy more efficiently. Distributing your energy usage more evenly over time, avoiding steep peaks and reducing peak demand relative to overall usage can help to lower your overall electric costs.