BIA Load Controller
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why does my business need a BIA Load Control System?
BIA Load Control Systems improve your bottom line… A large portion of your utility bill isn’t based on how much energy your site uses over the course of the month. The demand portion of your bill is based on how much power you use at one time. This can be controlled with a SolPad load control system.
- Have Load Controllers been around for long?
Load Controllers were developed over 40 years ago to address high demand charges for both commercial and residential customers. Currently in the US, practically all commercial customers pay demand charges though very few residential customers do.
- Who can benefit from a load controller?
Any commercial site on a demand rate from the utility has the potential to benefit from load control. Restaurants, retail businesses, and convenience stores are all business types that see significant savings. However, gyms, movie theaters, churches and offices can all see savings as well. Benefits of load control depend on usage habits and utility rates for each site.
- What is Demand?
Most commercial utility rates include a demand charge as part of their monthly bill. With a demand charge, a customer pays per kW for their highest 15 minutes of demand each month. Here’s an example: Let’s say your site typically draws around 15-20 kW’s of power at any given time throughout the month. However, you also have a single large spike at some point in the month that averages 65 kW’s over a 15-minute period. That single spike in demand would be the basis for your demand charge. If your utility charges $15/kW, you’re facing a demand charge of $975 dollars. That single charge alone will make up a large portion of your monthly bill.
- How do utilities charge for demand?
Each utility is different, but demand is usually charged using the highest 15, 30, or 60-minute average in a given month. For commercial customers, BIA Load Control Systems are proven to reduce the spikes that are the basis for demand charges.
- Can you explain On-Peak and Off-Peak?
It costs utilities more to generate and transmit power at different times of the day. For this reason, many utilities charge customers based on when they use electricity rather than an average rate. During On-Peak times the rates charged for each kW of demand and kWh of energy are higher than during Off-Peak times.
- What does a BIA Load Controller do?
The BIA Load Controller monitors the amount of power you are using and calculates your demand. The system has sophisticated algorithms which control certain major loads at your facility to reduce demand while ensuring a comfortable work environment. The Load Controller acts as an orchestra conductor, making sure the air conditioning, water heaters and other controlled loads run as needed without all running at once.
- What systems and appliances does the Load Controller typically control?
Every system is configured to your needs. Commonly, the load controller manages the air conditioning, water heaters, refrigeration and other large loads, although your system may control other appliances based on your needs. Mission-critical loads are not connected to the Load Controller. There are plenty of savings to be gained without interfering with critical equipment.
- Does my facility manager have access to see and change what my Load Controller is doing?
Yes. Our Load Controller is connected to our online application via cellular and/or Wi-Fi to provide you with a view into your system’s status. If you have multiple locations utilizing our system, our Fleet Management Page enables you to manage and monitor all systems from one account. Authorized users can see how the system is operating by accessing the charting page, change or add notifications on the configuration page, or even override loads ON or OFF if necessary. The system also sends functionality data to SolPad so that we can monitor your system to provide the best service possible.