04 16, 2024

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In the realm of budgetary considerations, the volatility of energy markets has elevated energy management to a significant business priority. Many companies acknowledge this reality and are taking proactive action to manage their energy costs. Energy cost management and peak price forecasting can be critical strategies for enhancing competitiveness, improving profit margins, and mitigating the impacts of unpredictable energy markets. 

Operating more efficiently and cost-effectively than peers can boost a company’s competitiveness, particularly in industries where energy costs constitute a substantial portion of overall expenses – like mining, manufacturing, and agriculture, for instance.

Our data and insights show that companies can easily shave 30% off the price they pay for commodity electricity in Texas and Alberta, for instance. That is a huge competitive differentiator and can significantly improve the bottom line.

If this seems unachievable for your company, think again. Because there is good news – companies with heavy energy demands typically have flexible elements of their operations. These flexible loads can participate in demand response to generate a source of revenue. 

However, demand response is just one piece of the larger energy flexibility puzzle. Let’s dive into an overview of three key factors, including demand response, that warrant your consideration.

The 3 important factors to address with energy flexibility

Increasingly, companies are confronting the volatile energy market directly, tackling challenging operational expenditure (OPEX) costs through strategic energy management. Energy is evolving beyond merely being an operational expense – companies now perceive it as an asset they can harness, control, and monetize. 

Being strategic with when and how you use your energy opens up opportunities to reduce energy costs, earn revenue, enhance operational performance, boost energy efficiency, and more. 

At the heart of implementing a strategic approach to managing your energy is energy flexibility. There are three important factors to consider as you build out your energy flexibility strategy:

  1. Price avoidance: Minimize exposure to price spikes and periods of predictably high energy prices by reducing energy usage during high-price times – or shifting operations to times when it’s more economical to operate.
  2. Coincident Peaks (CP): Your capacity and transmission charges on your electricity bill are determined by your energy usage during the highest demand times on the grid, known as Coincident Peaks. Reducing consumption during these times is critical to reducing charges on your electricity bills.
  3. Demand response (DR): Participate in grid programs that pay you for reducing energy during times of high demand – like periods of extreme hot or cold weather – to ensure the grid remains stable or to avoid the grid powering up fossil-fuel powered peaker plants.

Energy consumers can balance revenue generation and energy cost reduction by cohesively addressing cost management, peak avoidance, and earnings. It’s important to address these elements in a cohesive manner and not in an inefficient silo. For instance, an optimum strategy enables participation in demand response while avoiding CP and high prices, to maximize value and minimize downtime. 

But for a strategy to be effective, real-time insight is needed.

Energy flexibility is one part of the equation…

…having the insights to know when to be flexible is the other.

Large energy users must understand how energy market volatility affects their operations and profitability. They need to be able to identify the best times to consume energy and shift operations accordingly to avoid peak price times. With the right insights, they can leverage their energy flexibility to drive meaningful change across their operations. 

This insight is essential to informing a company’s demand response curtailment plan and optimizing their energy consumption to ensure they operate when it’s most economical. 

Armed with this valuable data, companies can:

  • Make informed decisions
  • Fine-tune operations
  • Design an operating schedule that maximizes returns 
  • Gain a competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving energy landscape

Real-time analytics and efficient energy management tools are essential to achieving a holistic, optimized strategy. With these tools, companies can foresee price volatility – when energy prices will be high, when coincident peaks are in the forecast, and more. In this way, they can develop a robust, customized economic strategy by balancing price volatility, demand response, and peak avoidance.

Tools can automate data collection and analysis

While it’s conceivable to undertake these tasks independently – collecting data, conducting analyses, and attempting to forecast – it is often an inefficient and time-consuming process. The complexities and risks involved in navigating the intricacies of energy markets make a compelling case for companies to leverage specialized tools and expertise to streamline their energy management efforts, ensuring a more effective, accurate, and efficient approach.

The benefits of automated energy cost management tools

  • Automate data capture and eliminate the need for in-house data streams and ensure consistent data quality – saving time and effort while improving accuracy.
  • Analyze historical data and real-time information to forecast future energy demand, allowing for proactive adjustments in energy consumption. 
  • Predict peak energy prices and automatically shift energy-intensive processes to times when prices are lower, reducing overall energy costs.
  • Understand the optimal times to participate in demand response efforts. Automation enables co-optimized participation in both revenue generation and cost reduction activities.

What should you look for in an energy cost management tool?

An effective energy cost management solution should be easy to implement, simple to use, and provide a holistic view that enables operations and P&L owners to make informed, proactive decisions around operating conditions and drive meaningful curtailment strategies and cost reductions.

  • Ease of use, intuitive user interface
  • Customizable dashboards tailored to individual preferences
  • Powered by a robust database of accurate energy information
  • View and act upon forecasts up to 7 days in advance
  • Receive timely alerts for upcoming peaks
  • Multiple streams of revenue earnings and cost management – all in a single view

Enel’s end-to-end solution – automated, accurate, efficient

Pwrstream, a leading-edge event-based cost management tool, provides the insights large energy users need to identify the optimum energy management strategies.

Pwrstream optimizes bidding, curtailment, and other demand response and operational activities. Companies can drive exceptional business performance by acquiring comprehensive insights into their energy expenditures, empowering them to optimize energy assets and make informed choices that fuel revenue growth. By utilizing Pwrstream’s demand response optimization features, companies can reduce their energy usage during peak demand times, mitigating exposure to high energy costs, all the while capitalizing on demand response payments to offset energy costs.


Taking command of your energy expenses and capitalizing on energy market opportunities has never been more critical. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of your energy costs – and obtaining the required data through automation – you can efficiently and strategically make informed, proactive decisions that drive operational excellence, maximize the economics of your energy, and optimize participation in demand response programs.

Contact our team today to learn how Enel North America can help you maximize the value of your energy strategy and demand response participation. We are part of the world’s largest demand response provider, Enel, and we have the experience and expertise to help you identify opportunities for automation to simplify your operations and get the most out of your energy infrastructure. You can also read more about other automation strategies in our eBook, “Building automation into your energy strategy.”

Learn more about advancing your energy strategy by leveraging our integrated energy solutions.