DemandLogic focuses on reducing a specific part of a business’s utility bills — demand charges. Businesses not only pay for the amount of electricity they use from the grid, they also pay a charge based on their peak electricity demand during the month, even if that peak is very brief.
So DemandLogic uses solar panels and batteries to lower the peak. If a business’s electricity demand spikes at one particular part of the day, DemandLogic will draw more electricity from the panels and batteries and less from the grid. The business will still be using the same amount of electricity as it would have without SolarCity’s system, but less of that power will come from the grid. As a result, the demand charges on the business’s monthly utility bill will be lower.
DemandLogic can also keep businesses running in case of a blackout.
SolarCity isn’t the only company pursuing this idea. Stem, a startup based in Millbrae, unveiled a very similar storage service in October, minus the solar panels. But Jonathan Bass, SolarCity’s director of communications, said his company’s experience in solar, combined with what he called the “best battery technology in the world” will be hard to top.