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Thread: Maximum Demand Meters & Getting the most out of them...

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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Maximum Demand Meters & Getting the most out of them...

    Hello Everyone,

    I know for sure that I will get good info on this topic at this forum

    I had a chat with someone from the company that does metering at my fastfood store.
    Reason being I am not happy with my account

    So this is the part that I never knew. He said to me the main charge on my account is the KVA charge due to my store being on a maximum demand meter!

    So what he told me is that this part of the meter\reading is reset every month\reading & is the peak load\spike that was used at any given time in the month which gives the reading!!!

    Yikes boy have I been wasting money!!! So we established one thing would be to stagger putting on my equipment, i.e. the 4x chips & fish fryers!

    I would like to know is this how it works?
    & are there any more tips I can get on reducing this maximum demand\KVA part of the reading to bring my bill down?

    Thanks guys

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Some commercial electricity accounts penalise you according to your maximum demand. The way the supply authority (Eskom) looks at it is they have to supply enough energy into the grid to cover your maximum possible usage so your maximum demand is noted every month and this dictates how much you are charged as well as the actual number of units you use whether they are measured in KWh, KVAh or KVARh.

    You can immediately and drastically reduce your bill by taking some simple steps such as putting hot water cylinders on timers so they don't run during your maximum demand periods. plus any other load shedding you can do during these times (air conditioning, refrigeration units, lighting etc) will also help enormously. Also get you load balanced. All this can be done by your favorite electrician at a very reasonable price assuming he's competent.

    *Free Tip Of The Day*
    There are energy auditing companies around who will do this for you professionally. They start by taking a benchmark reading of your energy max demand and consumption then they implement measures to reduce them. They tie you into a contract whereby they perform these services and you commit to paying them a hefty percentage of the amount they save you for several years.

    By all means use one of these companies, some of them can save you a lot of money, but if you reduce your maximum demand and overall consumption using the simple techniques above before they are called in and before they take their initial readings you can make them work harder for their pound of flesh.
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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Thanks AndyD, some valuable info about switching off extras when the maximum demand is on, which I think in my store would be at start up in the morning due to switching all the equipment on to heat up to running temperatures.

    As for making people work for their pound of flesh, im all for that, as I am working for more than my pound of flesh just to keep this business running I know I know I should be so nasty...

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I'm assuming by the way you're being billed that you will have an intelligent meter. If you have access to the meter you can monitor the current draw on the three phases in real time if the display is set to scroll the info. If it's not set that way then approach your landlord who should have access to the programming password and tell him you want to monitor your consumption and get him to set it so it scrolls on the display.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    I'm assuming by the way you're being billed that you will have an intelligent meter. If you have access to the meter you can monitor the current draw on the three phases in real time if the display is set to scroll the info. If it's not set that way then approach your landlord who should have access to the programming password and tell him you want to monitor your consumption and get him to set it so it scrolls on the display.
    or fit a remote or network connection so you can monitor your useage...the info will be transfered directly to your pc in real time.

    this type of metering is complex...make sure you understand it otherwise you will loose lots of money...but you can also save lots of money if you understand how it works.

    where are you jhb...cape...kzn?

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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Hey guys, I am not sure what type of meter it is, as the meter is in the building basement. I am in Pretoria Central & impact meters does the metering.

    This could be an intelligent meter because when I spoke to the guy at Impact he was about to tell me to look at something on the meter but then said, I wont be able to because its in the basement!!!

    Does this thing record the vales by any chance and can I get them to download it onto a usb flash disk for me or something? or do it myself?

    I think the lock on the door is broken, I can try and have a peak at the meter if you tell me what to look for...

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    it must be a smart meter if you are on max dmand...you will need to download the data from the meter...you will need a dongle to view the info...and trust me unless you understand the whole concept or have some explain it too you it wont mean much to you...if you scroll thru the meter it will only give you the basics...i assume you can also request a print out....normally a smart meter records the info for about 2 years...ask impact metering for a print out...and find out what it will cost for them to explain the print out to you...and how you can save...just beware of getting caught up in a contract.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    To network with the meter or to get your consumption history you'll need a password. I doubt they'll give it to you for obvious reasons. The metering room is out of bounds, there's many potential hazards. The best way to monitor your own consumption and max demand is to install your own CT metering at the main DB. There is a cost implication involved however, could be around R8K or more depending on the premises but it's a good investment if you have a long lease.
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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys, will have to look at a few options and speak to Impact Meters, the guy was helpful so maybe he is willing to help some more

    Side note, I am a electrical engineer by trade and worked on industrial automation systems for a number of years before venturing on my own. So I understand the basics but not the core of these subjects like metering etc...

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    i agree with andy that could be the best option...the elster a1700 or a landis and gyr smart meter are common meters in the market place.

    could look into pricing for you if you like and get someone to contact you.

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