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5 min read

Stapp Toyota cuts peak demand with Elexity predictive energy controls

Stapp invested in solar, but it didn't touch half of their utility bill. Elexity's energy controls gave them whole-building management and boosted their solar ROI.

“Elexity’s software performance has been remarkable. Once it learns your building, it operates quietly in the background, putting money back in our pockets every month.”

Brion Stapp

Case study overview

Managed equipment

HVAC 7 packaged roof-top units
Solar 291.6kW solar canopy

Building profile

Type Car dealership
Location Frederick, Colorado
Square Footage 44,600 ft2
Date Installed Nov 2019


The hidden cost
of demand charges

Like most commercial buildings, Stapp’s utility bill had two components—an energy charge and a demand charge. The energy charge applies to the volume of energy consumed (kWh), but the demand charge is based on the building’s peak 15-min usage each month. Solar could offset 70% of Stapp’s grid energy consumption, but it would only reduce the utility by 40%. That’s because solar had minimal impact on peak demand—and demand charges represented almost half of the total bill.

Almost half of Stapp’s utility bill had nothing to do with how much energy they used.
Solar can't compensate for peak demand


HVAC as a peak
demand driver

The HVAC system was almost entirely responsible for the large spikes in power usage. It produced 65% of the building’s total peak demand and more than 90% of the building's variable (and flexible) load. A second source of peak demand was solar. If a cloud passed over the solar array, the output of the panels would drop in seconds, causing a sudden demand for more grid power.

Conventional building controls fell short

Stapp's conventional building controls couldn't manage these peaks. The controls weren't connected to the utility meter or the solar production meter. The control algorithms were reactive and didn't take into account the utility pricing structure.

Batteries were too expensive

Stapp also evaluated a battery energy storage system (ESS). An ESS had the potential to reduce demand charges by 20-30%, but it would take >7 years to pay back their upfront investment. Plus, installation would take 6-9 months, be disruptive to the business, and take up already limited space.

Why Stapp decided to use Elexity
  • 20-30% reduction in peak demand
  • Short payback period
  • Quick installation
  • No specialized training required


Unparalleled value,
better comfort

The results have been outstanding. Since 2019, Elexity has kept the building’s peak load under 100 kW, every minute, year round. It has stayed under this threshold despite modest load growth, the extreme variability of Colorado front-range weather, and it's handled the sudden changes in solar output.

By always keeping demand under 100kW, Stapp was eligible to switch utility rates, delivering an astounding 91% reduction in demand charges.

Stapp used to expend significant staff time and effort to manage all the climate settings in their building. Now, with the ability to see and control everything from their phone, tablet or computer, they can easily manage their building from anywhere. And, Stapp has experienced improved comfort thanks to Elexity's automated controls. Elexity has kept the building's indoor climate reliably comfortable, year round, despite the extreme temperatures experienced on the Colorado front-range.

Elexity’s controls have kept the building’s indoor climate reliably comfortable, and made building management easier.

“After using Elexity, I couldn’t imagine trying to manage energy or comfort any other way. I love that it’s working for me 24/7 and I don’t have to think about it.”

Brion Stapp

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