Utility Bill Audits & Energy Accounting
Independent Energy Consultants will replicate your organization in its powerful accounting system. We will set up your facilities, organizational structure, cost centers, vendors, accounts, utility rates, etc., We believe in the concept that you cannot manage what you don't understand or do not measure.
We will input your utility bills and our systems will quickly pinpoint billing or meter errors and provide you with 24x7 online access to a wealth of quality information that will allow you to make better business decisions. To view an 18 minute overview demonstration of the powerful system we use to mangage all of your utilities (electric, water, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, sewer, etc.) please click here.
Utility Bill Auditing:
Approximately 50 billing audit calculations are performed to spot possible errors and verify the accuracy of utility billing. IEC monitors, trends and compares current bills to historical monthly bills to spot discrepancies in parameters such as, total cost, total consumption, per unit cost, per unit consumption, peak demands, load factor, length of billing periods, estimated meter readings, overlapping bill periods, etc. User defined limits will flag bill discrepancies in need of further review or correction. IEC will assistance with collection and/or credits for overcharges.
Based on the client's wishes we will either audit your bills after they have been paid, or promptly review them and send your Accounts Payable (A/P) staff notice when bills are correct for payment. Our "smart" energy accounting system can also be linked to your A/P system if desired.
Rate Code and tariff Analysis:
Your utility company assigns you a rate schedule based on an estimate of how they think you will use electricity or natural gas. Sometimes they guess wrong and often conditions change after a rate schedule is assigned. Your rate schedule determines how much you are billed. Often a facility qualifies to be billed under one of several rate schedules. IEC will calculate your bill under each acceptable rate schedule and show you which is best for your situation. If electricity savings or natural gas savings are available, we will identify any switching costs and propose a plan that is best for you. Rates and riders change and the energy consumption of most facilities changes over time. We recommend an annual analysis to determine the most appropriate rate code for your unique business.
Once a Rate Code analysis is performed to ensure you are being billed under the most advantageous rate we go an extra step to let you know what can be done to minimize your costs under that rate schedule. This analysis looks for excessive demand charges, ratchet demands, power factor penalties, time-of-use pricing, etc.. Once these factors are known, automated or procedural changes can be implemented to avoid operating under high-cost conditions.
Like many business processes in a competitive environment, it is helpful to compare your energy cost and consumption vs. similar facilities. Let us show you how your facilities stack up to others. Often this first step will let you know if any additional efforts are needed. If your building is a good performer and you would like to demonstrate your environmental stewardship, we can help you obtain the Energy Star Label.
Independent Energy Consultants licenses the powerful EnergyCAP software to provide utility bill auditing and energy accounting services. The icon on the right is a free tool that will provide you with an idea of how your particular facility stacks up against it's peers. The benchmarking tool in EnergyCAP provides many additional ways of benchmarking multiple facilities at a time.
Cost Avoidance Verification:
Cost avoidance is the name given to the money that was not spent because an Energy Cost Measure (ECM) was performed or installed. It is calculated by comparing a baseline energy consumption before the ECM, to the energy consumption after an ECM, and adjusting for independent variables that influence your usage. The energy not consumed is then multiplied by the current rate to determine the avoided cost. The independent variables that influence a utility bill can vary by season, region, occupancy, hours of operation, product produced, etc. For clients that contract with 3rd party vendors to implement the ECM, IEC can provide independent verification that the vendor-installed ECM is operating as specified. Performance Contracting and/or energy loans and grants require this verification. For more information please refer to our newsletter on this topic.
Energy Budgeting and Forecasting:
Easily create budgets and track actual expenditures at any level of your organization. Whether it's your entire Midwest region or an individual facility meter, you will quickly know where things are going well and where your attention is needed. If something changes in your organization or you want to make sure you hold onto that year-to-date budget underrun, you can make mid-year adjustments with just a few clicks. It's time to take control of your utilities by accurately forecasting costs and incorporating them into your planning process.
For many customers budgets will be impacted by weather conditions that drive winter heating and summertime cooling needs. The EnergyCAP software automatically imports local weather data and calculates it's impact on your energy consumption. This powerful information not only allows you to better forecast and budget your costs, it helps explain over/under runs when they occur. The icon above is a free tool to give you an idea of how weather conditions might impact your upcoming energy consumption.