The Importance of Utility Bill Audits

The Importance of Utility Bill Audits

By now, you probably know of several ways to reduce your company’s energy usage. From LED lighting to VFDs, you know that installing energy-efficiency equipment can cut your energy consumption and save a substantial amount of money on your electricity bill. While this equipment can be a great investment for your company, it does have one common downside…an upfront cost. Whether you pay for these projects out of your capital budget or finance them, you cannot get around the fact that there is an actual cost to purchasing and installing energy-efficiency equipment.

But did you know SEMCO can offer another way for your company to save money on your electricity bills without impacting your capital expense budget? This can be done by having SEMCO complete a thorough audit of your electricity bills. Our goal in reviewing your bills is to uncover opportunities to save money on how you are being billed for electricity. Common items we look for are rate schedule changes, incorrect charges, and for recurring penalties that may be removed from your bill. The best part about our utility bill audits is that they are done at zero cost to your company.

But you may be wondering…. what’s the catch? How is SEMCO compensated for this service? We are only compensated if actual savings, credits, or refunds are realized as a result of the audit. If no savings, credits, or refunds are achieved, then no compensation is owed to us. Even better, our compensation will always be in the form of sharing a percentage of the realized savings, credits, or refunds. With this form of compensation, there’s zero risk to your company

You may also be wondering, “what are the chances that a savings opportunity is found on my bill?” Well, there’s never a guarantee but with multiple rate schedules available to choose from, there can often be an opportunity found. The problem is you may not know that your utility provides different rate options and if your company is on the most cost-effective one. Today, even your smallest co-op or municipal utility will most likely offer multiple rate options. Your bigger utilities will offer a complex array of options (for example, see Table 1 on the right showing just some of the different rates that AL Power offers for business customers). To make matters even more complicated, these rates can change each year. How do you know your company is on the best rate each year?

Another good indicator that a savings opportunity may be found on your bill is the number of line item charges. Therein lies another problem…you may not be regularly seeing a detailed breakdown of the charges that make up your bill. The bill that you see each month may only be a total summary of the charges and not a detailed one that lists each specific charge. Take, for example the bill in Figure 1 below. It seems very straightforward and only appears to have two line items.

Figure 1: Summary Utility Bill

But there’s a lot more detail and explanation to this bill than what’s actually being shown. Figure 2 below shows the same bill with the charges broken out into eight different line items.

Figure 2: Detailed Utility Bill

Who from your company is reviewing those line items on a regular basis to ensure that they are correct? That’s where the savings opportunity often lies.

At SEMCO, we understand that energy-efficiency equipment like LED lighting and VFDs may not always be the best fit for your company’s facility and budget. But with a utility bill audit, there’s really no excuse. It’s a risk-free way for your company to save money on your electricity bills without any cost to you. So why wait? Contact us today to schedule your free utility bill audit!