Creating a Custom Commercial Rate
Aurora provides you with the tools to create commercial utility rates. Please follow the following steps:
Go to the utilities page by clicking on Database then Utilities.
- To create a custom utility company, click on Add Utility at the bottom of the page. Input the name, area of operation, and utility website.
- Click on the name of a utility company or follow step 2 to create a custom utility company, then click on Add Utility Rate at the bottom of the rate page.
- Input a Name, Sector (Residential or Commercial), Description, Reference, Effective period, Fixed monthly charge, Energy usage unit, and if you are in a NEM 2.0 territory, you can input your Export Penalty value.
- To add an Adjustment, check off the box below:
- Add periods and tiers. Periods are used for time of use rates. This is when the cost of electricity differs depending on month of the year (usually seasons) or time of day (peak vs non-peak). Tiers are used to simulate cost of electricity that differs depending on how many kWh the customer uses.
You can set the 'energy Usage unit' to kWh/month or kWh/day depending on how the utility company gives out the kWh allowances.
- Change the allowance per tier and the $/kWh rate.
For example, setting the First Tier to 10,000kWh is equal to 0-10,000kWh. Setting the second tier to 20,000kWH is equal to 10,001kWh to 20,000kWh.
- Modify the weekday/weekend schedule for time of use rates. To do this, highlight a section by left clicking and dragging your mouse. Then hit a number on the keyboard to change the period.
In our example, we set the months of Nov. 1 thru Apr. 30 to use the rate values set in period 2. The months of May 1 thru Oct. 31 is using the rate values from period 1.
For the weekend hours, we also set the hours from 7:00am to 8:00pm to use the rate values set in period 2.
- If there is not a Demand Charge, click on the Validate button in the bottom left of your screen to make sure that your rate does not contain any errors.
Modeling Demand Charges
If there are Demand Charges for the commercial rate, you are able to model this in Aurora. Follow the steps below:
- Click on Add Demand Charge in the bottom left corner then on Edit.
- Here you are able to add in the Charge in $/kW, add an Adjustment if applicable, as well as Minimum and Maximum Power (kW).
- Check off the period between Weekday or Weekends, which Months this charge occurs.To add the Time of Day, click hold and drag over the appropriate values.
- Lastly, click on the Validate button in the bottom right of your screen to make sure that your rate does not contain any errors shown above.
Checking the Accuracy of Your Utility Rate
Once you finish creating your rate, you'll want to see if it is accurate. You will need an electric bill on hand.
- Go to a project that uses this custom rate.
- Click on Consumption.
Make sure to select the custom rate. In the monthly usage graph, enter the kWh value seen on the electric bill. The box right below the kWh input box will display the Aurora calculated bill value. We want this bill value to be close to the bill value on the electric bill. There may be some discrepancies due to taxes, fees, or credits.