How to Use Cost Reports: Verifying Your Utility Bill

Getting Your Bill

What a great winter morning, you wake up ready to work in your new warm home office. You get to the office and start to sort through the mail to look at what has come. You see a bill and it just happens to be for the last month’s electricity and gas. Not what you want to deal with, but you push down the path anyway and dare to open it. Upon unfolding the neatly and freshly printed utility bill you see the total… and your mouth drops!

Utility Bill Freak out

We couldn’t have used that much energy you say to yourself, “This can’t be right!”

But how do you check?

Verifying Your Utility Bill

In general, there are very few ways to verify and double-check the values. You can choose to venture to the meter and look at the readings or in our case you can do something a lot simpler.

Fortunately for us, Power Monitoring Expert comes with standard reports and within them is the Energy Cost Report.

The Energy Cost Report supplies a snapshot of energy consumption and costs over a defined period.

To have a report that we can compare our bill to, we need to do a little work first. We have to define the elements that we would like to compare.

Three Main Elements of Energy Cost Reports

  1. The Source
  2. Rate Information
  3. The Reporting Period

The Source is the meter or device that has the data that you want to report on.

The Rate Information is the utility tariff that defines the demand costs and energy costs

The Reporting Period is the time frame start date and end date for the report (usually one month)

The rate configuration expands and includes the type of measurement, billing calculation, and any special rate information.

Once defined the elements can be saved and the report runs as often as needed.

The End Result

Finally, we have a report that acts as a useable reference to compare against our bill calculations. Comparing the report to your bill allows you to understand how each number was calculated(whether it be the real energy (kwh), real demand (kw), or any number with funny units on the end). If you’re like me, you want to ensure you aren’t being overcharged.

How APT Can Help with Your Utility Bill

Want to control your costs? APT can help provide independent confirmation that your utility bill is correct.

3 Business Processes Associated with Paying a Utility Bill:

  1. Reconcile the bill with your use last month.
  2. Accrue the funds to pay the bill at the end of the month.
  3. Forecast the bill before the bill arrives.

Show this to your finance team and get them involved in funding reports. The signature authority on the utility bill exceeds the purchasing signature authority of anyone at the company. Running Energy Cost Reports lead to improve accuracy, speed, and overall control. This is a finance function helping to forecast and control costs. With the landscape of the workplace shifting, so are energy needs. The key to control is understanding how you are being billed in order to adapt your habits around them.

For more information or help with reports contact APT today.

Donald Flowers II, APT Field Service Engineer