Academic institutions spend thousands of dollars every month on their electric power consumption. Some of these institutions follow a demand charges pricing structure; here the amount a customer pays to the utility is decided based on the total energy consumed during the month, with an additional charge based on the highest average power load required by the customer over a moving window of time as decided by the utility. Therefore, it is crucial for these institutions to minimize the time periods where a high amount of electric load is demanded over a short duration of time. In order to reduce the peak loads and have more uniform energy consumption, it is imperative to predict when these peaks occur, so that appropriate mitigation strategies can be developed. The research work presented in this thesis has been conducted for Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where the demand charges are decided based on a 15 minute sliding window panned over the entire month. This case study makes use of different statistical and machine learning algorithms to develop a forecasting strategy for predicting the peak electric load days of the month. The proposed strategy was tested for a whole year starting May 2015 to April 2016 during which a total of 57 peak days were observed. The model predicted a total of 74 peak days during this period, 40 of these cases were true positives, hence achieving an accuracy level of 70 percent. The results obtained with the proposed forecasting strategy are promising and demonstrate an annual savings potential worth about $80,000 for a single submeter of RIT.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electric power consumption--Forecasting; College buildings--Energy conservation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial and Systems Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


Katie McConky

Advisor/Committee Member

Rachel Silvestrini


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes