In January 2014, a polar vortex swept across North America, plummeting the country into a deep freeze. Ultra-Poly, a large Pennsylvania-based recycling and manufacturing company, was prepared to mitigate power shortages, but hadn’t anticipated a spike in energy prices. The Arctic blast left Ultra-Poly’s facility managers with significantly higher energy bills and the realization that they weren’t protected from risk by simply locking in a price for electricity.

Reducing Risk with Managed Products

Ultra-Poly turned to Advisory Services from Direct Energy Business for a solution. Our energy experts recommended a new energy purchasing plan through PowerPortfolio®, a managed electricity purchasing solution.

With PowerPortfolio, purchasing is structured like a financial portfolio, combining fixed and variable price strategies and purchasing at wholesale, rather than retail, prices. Ultra-Poly could hedge their energy price to mitigate risk, while floating a portion of their load to take advantage of dips in the market.

This strategy enabled Ultra-Poly to purchase nearly 27,000 MWh of power at much more favorable rates, resulting in nearly $250,000 in savings over a fixed price contract.

Panoramic Power

Earning Payouts with Demand Response

Next, we pointed Ultra-Poly to a Demand Response solution, which can pay businesses who agree to cut energy consumption during times of peak demand.  For example, in Demand Response programs, companies may simply turn equipment off when it’s not being used or shift production schedules away from peak hours.

With Demand Response, Ultra-Poly has earned more than $45,000 of new revenue to reinvest in the company.

Monitoring Efficiencies with Panoramic Power®

Panoramic Power

Finally, Panoramic Power® tied together all of the company’s energy goals to lower costs, manage risk, and increase efficiency. Using small, wireless sensors, Panoramic Power monitors energy used by individual machines and systems, then transmits that information to the cloud. Facility managers receive real-time data about Ultra-Poly’s energy use.

Using this smarter energy strategy, Ultra-Poly now has full visibility into where they’re spending energy dollars, and how to make the most of every one.

As one of the largest plastics recyclers and manufacturers in North America, Ultra-Poly depends on secure and affordable energy solutions to compete in the global marketplace. The custom total energy strategy we presented not only helps lower risks and reduce costs; it also uncovers new insights about energy usage so the company is always one step ahead.

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