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AEI Soft Start® Real-Time

AEI Soft Start Real-Time delivers Demand Response savings every month and on your terms with a simple main meter solution.


Small Commercial, MA



Light Manufacturing, MA




A real-time widget showing kW loads at two different facilities in Massachusetts. The color scale shows the range of values at the facilities over the past 30 days.

Whether or not your facility is on a utility time-of-use ("TOU") rate schedule, an AEI Soft Start RT solution can deliver real-time main meter insight from your facility to our secure servers. Used in combination with weather and ISO New England interval data, this gives you a picture of your building's total demand and potential peak conditions which affect your bill.

Monitoring the electric load at your facility in real-time can save you money in a variety of ways:

  • When your building load is getting close to a new billing-period peak our SMS and E-Mail alerts can tell you when to engage a little demand response. How much savings can be achieved? Check your electric utility bill and figure out how much 1% to 10% of your demand charges are worth. An average 200kW facility could see savings of about $5,000/year. (1)
  • Know your demand in real-time during the peak summer season when ISO will be declaring the annual peak hour used to set your ICAP tag. Your facility's demand during this single hour affects your demand charge rate for all of next year - you don't want to be caught with a high ICAP tag! (2)
  • With our AEI Soft Start (included), you'll know night and weekend setbacks and how they might be improved. With 70% of all hours in the unoccupied state, knowing your loads during these off-peak hours is key to reducing wasted energy. Savings of at least 3% can be had with just a 10% usage reduction during unoccupied hours. For a facility with an average load of 200kW, figure a savings of $10,000. (3)

Got oil, water and propane? We can monitor those too. Your oil and propane suppliers know when to deliver those commodities, but with real-time monitoring and a look at your building automation data, we can tell if there are opportunities for savings by more efficient scheduling.

In short, our goal for you is to clip the peaks and drive down usage during the unoccupied hours. All without affecting building comfort. An AEI Soft Start RT delivers the data that can help achieve these goals with a real and measurable effect on your monthly electric bill and a payback on the order of months.

How does it work?

An AEI Soft Start RT requires two things: (a) your utility will need to enable KYZ pulse access on your main meter, and (b) a low-cost AEI-supplied interface which sends the pulse data to us over a 3G Wireless connection, Telco land line or local network Internet connection. The equipment is installed on-prem at your facility, by your electrician or ours. The data is collected with 1-minute resolution and delivered to us every 5 or 15 minutes.

We use your real-time data to alert you to in-month peak conditions that will affect your bill in the current billing cycle, as well as combine that knowledge with ISO New England and weather conditions to give you the best possible notice of upcoming peak conditions.

When combined with real-time sub-metered data from your building, peak demand notifications can include intelligence about the specific circuit loads that are contributing the most to overall demand. You can use this extra knowledge to make more informed demand response decisions about how to curtail load while minimizing the effects on building comfort.

Once the real-time data has been collected, it can be combined with weather and existing BAS data. All data streams are available to you as customizable widgets for deployment on your site or kiosk, or via our API for extended functionality, reporting or spreadsheet analysis.

Other services can alert a facility to grid peak conditions, but from the data shown above we can see that Memorial School doesn't usually peak at the same time of day as ISO New England. In this case, it's much more relevant to alert the School if they are getting close to a billing-period peak.


AEI Soft Start RT is available as a standalone solution. We recommend and include AEI Soft Start in our quote to you because real-time alerts will have a context that is much more meaningful when you already understand your building's usage profile and want to see usage changes over time.

A free subscription to AEI ISO Alerts is required, since this is the mechanism by which the real-time SMS and E-Mail alerts are sent to you. Updating a kiosk at your facility with a pull feed may require custom work in your kiosk application to access our web service. Contact us for details.

AEI Soft Start RT is also compatible with our AEI Energy Map. Buildings that are RT-enabled will have real-time kW data displayed in a view on the Energy Map.


(1) Assuming an average load of 200kW, we know that a facility's peak demand is usually 2x or 3x higher than average. For a facility paying $20/kW in demand charges and assuming the peak is also 200kW, a 10% reduction is 20kW @ $20/kW or $400/month and $4,800 annually. The savings are greater when we know the true peak values for a typical month after examining a year of utilility bills.

(2) Assuming that capacity charges are passed through to the facility, we know those rates are $15.00/kW in FY17 and will be $9.55 in FY18. These are in addition to the demand charges that Eversource and National Grid will pass through to the customer as distribution or usage demand charges. Let's assume $20/kW for the total rate. If your facility's average load is 200kW and you are at 300kW on the hot summer day when ISO calls the annual peak hour, your ICAP tag will be set at 300kW. Each month, you will see $6,000 in demand charges on your bill. If you are prepared for the impending peak hour and can reduce by 10% when the annual hour is later identified, the annual savings would be 30kW x $20/kW x 12 months = $7,200.

(3) Assumptions: An average 200kW facility with annual usage of 8,760 hours consumes about 1,752,000 kWh in the year. Average demand during during off-peak hours is 100kW (Assumes a reasonable ratio of 2:1 occupied/unoccupied loads). Assume 15 cents/kWh. Therefore, the 70% of unoccupied hours consume 613,000 kWh at a cost of $91,980. A 10% reduction in usage during the unoccupied hours is then worth about $9,198 or about 3.5% of the usage portion of its electric bill.


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