Demand side energy leveling?

Hi all,
Disclaimer - I'm not an electrical but a mechanical engineer, so I might be asking what could be a very stupid question to most of you.
I live in a place where utilities charge the electricity consumed in a tiered rate, with the higher slabs of kWh consumed every month attracting a HIGHER rate than the lower slabs. I know, not exactly bulk-discount philosophy but I suspect this is an attempt to preach energy conservation to the masses. Electricity is akin to income taxes here in a sense.
The electricity bills are generated per meter and not per consumer, which leads to some interesting situations. For example, if a consumer manages to get more than one electricity meter from the utility, they can reduce their monthly bill significantly with the same amount of overall usage. No doubt electricity meters are much in demand but sparingly granted.
Which leads me to the topic of this post: If a consumer has managed (by whatever means) to get a number of electricity meters from the utility, is there a device that can be attached after the meters that automatically levels the energy consumed every month across all these meters? (thus taking full advantage of the lower monthly rate tiers in each) I know this would be a snap at the utility billing level, requiring just a change of software to allow pooling of tiers for a consumer, but the utility is an ass. So this would have to be done the hard(ware) way at the consumer level.
I'd like to know if such "energy poolers" for say, 2-20 (residential use) meters are easily available in the market, or can be made out of readily available components?
To make the problem more interesting, there could be per-meter power demand caps, so one cannot simply use one meter exclusively until it hits a tier, then immediately switch to another meter and so on.
If such devices are available or can be made cheaply, I can then start exploring the more important question of their legality...
Thanks, Spoon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It costs more to provide more i,e, larger transformers, wire etc.

You can buy pretty much anything you want. See: http://www.emon.com /

No, that would be the same as stealing power.

Typically residential even housing complexes do not use demand metering. This is reserved for industrial users. Demand metering simply shows peak usage in addition to kW-H , primarily of interest to heavy industry.

Not worthwhile. Once load hits a preset level it would then cycle through all the meters, assuming they were all set to the same threshold. the switching "glitch" would possibly do harm and no positive benefit would be obtained. the switching mechanism alone would be costly, at a minimum equal to a generator transfer switch and most likely much more.

Call your local power co. or almost any local electrician. The rules vary quit a bit across the USA.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/3/2010 7:57 AM, Spoon wrote:

Dynamically switching the loads is possible, but cost prohibitive. One would need to realize that utilities that utilize such schemes would also likely implement a baseline usage threshold that would adapt to the lower use per meter, which in turn would automatically dump all of the meters back into a price rate dependent on the new usage level of each meter.
I once was away from home on lengthy road trips for a year and a half. When I came back home, full time, my baseline rate lowered from around 450 kW to 250 kW. I was not pleased with my first couple of bills, which happened to occur concurrently with the peak electrical demand period of my residence at the time.
However, if your utility company does not implement a baseline rate, you may install the meters and distribute the heavy loads under each meter. Meaning, if you use an electric range, that would go on one meter. HVAC would go on another, and water heater/laundry on yet another. Under this you could have interlocking transfer switches that you could manually throw to switch out loads, but...
How much is a few dollars a year worth to you? I'd dump the electrical loads, if possible.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for your thoughts guys. Tim Perry - I disagree that this is stealing power - the units consumed will remain the same, just redistributed. Again using the income tax analogy, this would be akin to making your wife a partner in your business, so you can use both your standard deductions to reduce your income tax burden.
SMF - unlike utilites in the US, there is no peaking rate or dynamic adjustment of usage tiers here. The income tax analogy is quite apt - the more energy you use in a month, the more you pay per unit of energy. These tiers are the same for all users (meters, rather!) Simple as that. I'm not looking at this for a single residence but for a community of apartments, where there are a bunch of community-owned meters for different locations connected to loads such as community lighting, elevators, water pumps, etc. The savings in pooling could be more than a few dollars - more like hundreds of dollars a month.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my area only large industrial users are billed for peak demand.
Significant savings can be achieved by lowering the peak demand and reducing overage penalties. Typically this is done by monitoring in incoming demand (15 min. intervals) and signalling an alarm to the operator. Decisions are then made as to how to proceed.
You're probably better off with an alarm than to buy/install switchgear and the associated control systems.
Spoon wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.