How much could you save on your utility bill(s)?
Have you ever received an energy bill only to wonder why the amount is so high? Are you a small business owner who needs to keep track of every expenditure — especially electric and/or gas — to make sure that costs remain under control?
Or — are you on the other end of the spectrum? Are you a larger commercial & industrial customer who needs someone to look at your energy bills on a monthly basis? Or perhaps you have a particular energy bill in front of you with excess charges that need further investigation?
What is an Energy Bill Audit?
An energy bill audit involves a thorough review of your electric and gas bill(s). The purpose of the review is to ensure that you’re paying the lowest amount possible for your energy — which means the rate you agreed upon with your local utility or retail electricity provider (REP).
In addition, an energy bill audit will focus on the many charges and fees you undoubtedly have on your energy bill(s) to first verify their validity, then determine what can be done to lower them.
You should approach your commercial energy bills the same way you approach taxes for your business — unless you have vast knowledge and experience in the industry, you should be deferring to a professional for an accurate interpretation and analysis.
It’s important to note that an energy bill audit is different from an energy audit. The purpose of an energy audit is to help businesses or homeowners figure out where they can lower energy costs through increasing energy efficiency (which is also something that our parent company does). The purpose of an energy bill audit is to find mistakes and cost saving opportunities with your energy bill(s) and to recommend/employ changes that will help lower energy costs.
Monthly Utility Bill Audits
Companies with monthly energy bill audits have someone — either in-house or an outside company — who audits every energy bill that the company receives on an ongoing basis. Monthly audits are usually considered by larger companies where shaving off even a little bit of an electric or gas bill could result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in savings.
One-Time Utility Bill Audits
This is exactly how it sounds — any type or size of business can benefit from a one time audit. A company will send us (our parent company) an energy bill and it’ll be thoroughly analyzed for savings and opportunities and advise accordingly.
Some of the things looked at in an energy audit:
- Tax rebates or refunds resulting from services such as a Predominant Use Study
- Tariff analysis to determine if there are alternative tariffs that can be used
- In some cases, geographic analysis to see if there are alternative grids that a customer can interconnect with (for example – customers can pay to build the interconnect to a municipally owned utility with far lower pricing than the larger grid)
This list is not exhaustive, of course, as certain industries can have unique opportunities for savings.
Who Conducts an Energy Bill Audit?
Many larger companies have someone who constantly audits their energy bills, consumption, etc. on payroll, but for everyone else it’s usually outsourced to another company — a reputable energy management and procurement firm like our parent company.
Fees and Pricing
There are typically three pricing structures that an energy bill contractor or auditor offers. These pricing structures include:
- Fixed Fee
Fixed Fee: You’re charged a “fixed” rate to conduct the audit. They will assess how much work they think your audit will require and come up with a flat rate without any additional charges.
Hourly: The contractor will charge you based on the number of hours they work on your audit.
Contingency: The contractor gets paid only if they discover savings or a refund on your energy bill. In some cases, they will also take a percentage of the savings or refund amount.
Ultimately, we’ll work with you and your company and find a solution that works best for you. If you’re interested in having an energy audit conducted, or have questions about the process, call us at 1-800-974-3020 or send us an e-mail.