BOULDER — HOMER Energy LLC has debuted a new software product, the HOMER Grid.
The HOMER Grid is a software tool for optimizing the value of behind-the-meter, distributed-generation systems while reducing demand charges. It’s a response to the growing solar-plus-storage market and the increase in demand charges.
HOMER is an acronym for hybrid optimization of multiple energy resources.
“Demand charges now make up about 25 percent of overall utility sales to commercial and industrial customers nationally, and for individual companies, they can represent over 50 percent of an electricity bill,” Peter Lilienthal, Boulder-based HOMER Energy’s founder and chief executive, said in a prepared statement. “We continually hear from clients who say they don’t understand how demand charges are calculated and what they can do to reduce them. That’s why we designed HOMER Grid.”
HOMER Grid is built from the same code base as HOMER’s software, HOMER Pro, used for designing distributed-generation systems, but simplifies decisions about distributed-energy resource investments. It’s meant to help engineers and business-development teams understand the value of demand charge reduction so they can determine the best mix of resources for the lowest cost.
The HOMER Grid considers all behind-the-meter technologies used to reduce energy consumption — solar-plus-storage systems, combined heat and power, on-site generators — to provide the users with the best mix of resources. HOMER Grid also helps users tailor the design they need for a specific project, by allowing customers to input their specific information and running simulations for thousands of different types of system configurations for every hour of the year and then ranking them by financial performance.
“Commercial electricity customers are facing complex and potentially confusing choices,” Lilienthal said. “Solar-plus-storage and other distributed energy technologies can work together to have an impact on demand charges, and can dramatically increase the potential for commercial users to reduce their peak demand and save money. However, there are a lot of factors that go into designing best system for your needs. It’s a complex and nuanced process, and it’s important to get it right. That’s where HOMER Grid comes in.”
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