Powerit Solutions

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Frequently Asked Questions

"Powerit is uniquely positioned in the industrial automation market as the last mile linking facilities to the smart grid, so they can tap into savings and ever more sophisticated demand management strategies."

Rob Day
Black Coral Capital

Powerit Solutions

What does Powerit Solutions do?

Powerit Solutions is an international energy demand management technology company based in Seattle, WA, U.S. We strive to make the smart grid real, profitable, and effortless for utilities and energy-intensive businesses worldwide, and our technology sets the demand management standard.

What is your history?

Our first-generation demand management software was developed in Sweden; Powerit incorporated in the U.S. in 2006 and maintains a European base in Malmö, Sweden. There are about 2,700 installations of Powerit technology in North America and Europe combined.

Spara Technology

What does Spara technology do?

Spara technology links energy-intensive businesses to the smart grid more seamlessly, more extensively, and with greater user control and flexibility than any other product on the market. The software optimizes electricity use throughout a facility and controls demand to achieve cost savings and sustainability goals—without compromising production.

How much can users save?

Spara DM™ users save an average of $100,000 per year on their electricity costs. Users typically shrink electrical bills by 5 to 10 percent with the Spara system’s demand control capabilities, and can earn tens of thousands of dollars by participating in demand response programs.

How does Spara technology work?

Spara DM™ uses sophisticated load prediction and control algorithms, built-in load-shedding intelligence, and data drawn from industrial equipment, electricity meters, and utility transmissions to optimize facility energy use. Customers define rules for controlling energy loads, and then use the system to manage energy use for cost savings, efficiency, and maximum feasible participation in demand response and other smart grid programs.

The Spara Hub™ cloud platform links to multiple data streams to give users an enterprise-wide view of energy usage and savings, and to provide advanced analysis, remote management, up-to-date energy pricing data, and real-time connections to smart grid programs.

How is it possible to achieve these benefits without losing production capacity?

Spara software:

  • Eliminates process waste—the system finds unnecessary bursts of energy use, and then fine-tunes facility operations to smooth out costly demand peaks.    
  • Can prioritize loads sequentially, by group, or by process logic to optimize energy use, and can synchronize load shedding to achieve both savings and productivity targets.
  • Controls large electrical loads throughout a facility, not just one type or piece of equipment, so users get maximum benefit with minimum disruption.
  • Lets facility managers determine actions based on how aggressively they want to curtail loads—users decide what they can give up for a given demand response or demand control benefit. 
  • Never breaks the rules users set up to protect production.

What kinds of facilities can use Spara technology?

Even the most complex manufacturing plants can control peak demand and participate profitably in smart grid programs, without diminishing product quality or output. Spara technology is ideal for industrial and commercial facilities with these characteristics:

  • Annual energy bills of $100,000 or more
  • Peak demand of 750kW or more

Process factors may also come into play. Powerit energy analysts can evaluate your demand profile to assess the technology fit.

What types of equipment can Spara technology interface with?

Spara software interfaces seamlessly with most industrial equipment, including air conditioning, fans, melting furnaces, materials handling systems, waste processing, food processing and freezing, pumping, drying, and other equipment with high energy demand. The software also connects with existing control systems to extend their capabilities.

How does Spara technology improve on existing demand limiting systems?

Spara software:

  • Automatically curtails only the loads needed to meet savings goals, rather than making large, predefined reductions that may be overkill.
  • Allows users to participate reliably and safely in the most challenging (and most lucrative) demand response programs.
  • Quickly adjusts power demand to take advantage of lower rates or minimize charges during rate spikes.
  • Provides advanced reporting and savings capabilities that can help users meet corporate and retail customer sustainability goals and government energy and emissions mandates.

How do customers buy it?

Spara technology is available through major automation distributors, through our industrial equipment and automation technology partners, and direct from Powerit. See the Partners page on the Powerit website or contact info@poweritsolutions.com.

Electricity Pricing and Cost-Saving Strategies

What is a demand charge?

A demand charge is the electricity cost for the peak rate of electrical flow (kW) during a billing cycle, billed on top of the consumption charge for the amount of energy used (kWh). The demand charge typically is based on the highest average kW during a set interval (usually 15 minutes in the U.S.) and can account for 10 to 40 percent of a business’s bill.

What is demand control?

Demand control involves preventing demand spikes, eliminating inefficiencies, and shifting power demand to the lowest-rate periods. Demand control through Spara DM™ can reduce demand charges by 10 to 30 percent, lowering the overall utility bill by 5 to 10 percent. The level of control and precision required to realize these savings is impossible for most facilities to achieve manually or with disparate automation systems.

What is demand response?

Demand response programs pay participants to curtail their electricity use on demand. Utilities and power system operators use them to relieve stress on the grid and reduce the need to build new power plants; they may also help utilities balance intermittent sources of renewable energy as they are integrated into the power mix. Programs vary widely in terms of advance notice and length of time reduced usage is required, but the most advanced and highest-paying programs provide the least notice (sometimes just seconds) and require advanced automation like Spara DM™.

What is dynamic pricing?

In dynamic pricing structures, rates change frequently—often hourly—based on the market price of electricity, weather events, or other conditions. These changes can happen with notice ranging from just minutes to 24 hours. Spara DM™’s dynamic pricing capability allows businesses to benefit from fluctuating rates by automatically adjusting power usage based on the price of electricity.