Energy Cost Management
Time of Use
Time of Use (TOU) tariffs impose costs that vary by season, day of week, and time of year as well as a variety of peak demand charges. Tariffs can vary across different pumps and meters on the same farm making it difficult to manage costs from bills or utility websites. Utilities change these tariffs periodically and California is now in the process of major changes to TOU tariffs to help the grid take advantage of more renewable energy generation.
Polaris helps Ag energy users manage energy costs and schedule pumping operations to deliver the water they need as inexpensively as possible, with or without Demand Response participation. Our software platform accesses daily updates of usage and billing data from the utility and combines it with farm information and pump controllers in the field to not only help optimize pumping schedules but to ensure that they are implemented as planned.
The economics and engineering of generating and delivering electricity are changing with the increase of distributed, renewable resources that displace centralized, fuel-consuming generators. These changes create challenges for managing the grid that are not easily solved by fixed tariffs that have a small number of pricing increments that are revised every few years. Efficient markets with dynamic, variable pricing that enables all producers and consumers of electricity to participate on a daily or even hourly basis show great promise.
For agricultural energy users, new market structures will present challenges but also significant opportunities for those who can integrate energy pricing into irrigation scheduling decisions. Under a California Energy Commission (CEC) EPIC grant, Polaris has developed hardware, software and integrations with irrigation controls to enable Ag customers to take advantage of these markets and is currently paying incentives to a select group of customers to participate in a market pricing pilot.
These pilots are not available to all customers but contact us to express interest in future pilots.