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By Shifra Mincer
What is the only form of energy that's price has remained relatively stable for the past 40 years?
The answer: Off-peak electricity, CALMAC CEO Mark MacCracken told AOL Energy in a recent interview. CALMAC is a thermal energy storage company that
uses off-peak electricity to freeze ice overnight. During the day, the power is gradually released to replace air conditioning which generally draws power from the grid during peak and most expensive electricity demand hours.
With 4,000 installations in 35 countries around the world, MacCracken said CALMAC is scooping up the "low hanging fruit," or even "the fruit that's on the ground already," by trying to encourage commercial customers in particular to use stored off-peak electricity for cooling.
Technology firm SAP uses pre-frozen ice to cool its buildings during the summer, one of a number of innovative and often low-tech methods used by companies to handle energy demand spikes.
"We have a tremendous amount of energy storage available to us," CALMAC's MacCracken said. While demand response programs have existed for decades to similarly shift power during the day based on peak demands--allowing utilities to control load particularly on hot summer days--MacCracken said using off-peak electricity daily can in many casessave commercial building owners much more money.
Next page: The impact of night-time power >>