Lowering Your Business’s Bill

Learn more about how you’re billed – and steps you can take to save money

Business customers are charged both for the amount of power they use, and the peak rate at which they use it. Demand is a measure of the peak rate of power use – the highest capacity your business required during the past month.

  1. Total electricity used for the month.
  2. The highest recorded demand during the month.

Total electricity use versus demand

Your electricity use is the total amount of electricity you use during the month. It’s measured in kilowatt-hours. Demand is the highest rate you use electricity in 15 minutes. Demand is measured in kilowatts.

Here’s a common analogy: Think of your car. Your odometer measures how far you’ve driven (total usage), while your speedometer measures how fast you drive (demand). The demand charge is like a snapshot of the highest point your speedometer reached in the past month.

Why is a demand charge needed?

Some businesses use power at a steady rate, while others have spikes where they use a lot of power in a short time. Businesses with high spikes pay a higher demand charge to help cover utilities’ added costs to meet those extraordinary needs.

Why don’t I see a demand charge on my home bill?

Residential customers don’t see a demand charge because homes’ peak demand for energy doesn’t vary all that much. The difference is much greater for businesses.

Where can I see my business’s demand?

Just check the chart on the first page of your monthly bill. You can also check your usage online to see your business’s patterns of energy use.

Demand chart on a business bill

To reduce your total electricity usage:

Use PPL’s rebate programs

  • Check out our energy efficiency programs and rebates for business customers.
  • You may be able to install energy efficiency measures with little out-of-pocket costs or paperwork.

Be energy-efficient

  • Buy the most energy-efficient equipment and lighting possible for your business.
  • Be sure to buy the right size equipment for your business.
  • Power down equipment, including computers and lights, when they are not needed.

To reduce your demand:

step 1 and 2

One at a time.

  • If possible, turn on your equipment piece by piece, allowing 15 to 20 minutes between each.
  • Don’t turn on everything at once.

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Lights out.

  • Make sure lights are turned off in unused spaces like restrooms and conference rooms.
  • Install occupancy sensors that will turn the lights on and off automatically.
  • Open curtains and blinds and use sunlight where possible.

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Use standby mode.

  • Keep unneeded office equipment, like copiers and printers, in energy-saving standby mode – or, better yet, turned off – when they aren’t being used.

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Cycle your equipment.

  • Use an energy-management system to schedule equipment and building system operations.
  • Prevent high-energy use equipment from operating at the same time by installing automatic sequencers on the equipment power supply.