For consumers, the liberalisation of the Swiss electricity market results in profound changes – but also in opportunities: within the past two years, the market price of electricity has been almost halved and the free market offers favourable conditions for the next three to five years. Depending on their consumption, industrial end consumers can save several tens of thousands of Swiss francs per year. The Richemont Centre of Excellence in Lucerne, better known as the "Bakery Craft School", has also taken the step onto the free electricity market.
"The deciding factors for our purchase of electricity from Alpiq were the potential savings compared to the local basic supply tariff and the possibility of using fixed prices to already now secure our electricity purchase for the coming years. This provides us with budget security," says Reto Fries, Director of the Richemont Centre of Excellence. "In order to contribute towards the protection of the environment, we also made a conscious decision in favour of electricity from 100 percent hydropower."
Peak load frequently accounts for as much as 30 percent of electricity costs
Alpiq's range of services includes more than just optimising electricity procurement. Depending on the supplier, the monthly or even annual peak load, the so-called quarter-hour of highest consumption, has an impact on what is charged and frequently accounts for up to 30 percent of a company's electricity costs. These costs are not charged by Alpiq but by the local distribution grid operator as a component of the grid usage cost accounting. However, by installing a Xamax system for energy optimisation, these peaks can be reduced in a very targeted and sustainable manner. Many industrial and service companies have been successfully using Xamax systems for years – and since May 2013, so is the Richemont Centre of Excellence.
The customer as a pioneer in the energy revolution
With the liberalisation of the electricity market, the demand charges of the local distribution grid operators have steadily increased. The Xamax energy-optimising systems cushion these additional costs without affecting the customers' operational processes.
In future it will be possible to pool the switchable loads of the Richemont Centre of Excellence with those of other industrial companies and to market them as balancing energy. With their virtual balancing power station "poweralliance", Alpiq and Xamax will start offering this solution in the course of 2014. The Richemont Centre of Excellence has confirmed that it will participate in this project and will thus assume a pioneering role in the energy revolution.