How To Avoid Overpaying On Your Utility Bill

Posted by Rowena Phatak on Dec 31, 2015

Is your utility bill on the rise with no explanation from your energy supplier? In order to control energy costs, you must take charge of your own energy planning. That means understanding what you’re paying for and why.

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One way to identify overly expensive prices and potential improvements to your energy plan is to conduct an energy assessment. Consider this the first step toward reducing energy consumption and lowering costs.

Understanding Your Utility Bill

During your assessment, an energy advisor tours your facility and offers suggestions of ways to reduce energy usage. Your advisor analyzes your utility bill, breaking it down so it’s easy for you to understand. Your bill consists of two main components: delivery and supply.

Your delivery charge covers your energy supplier’s costs of maintaining the distribution system, which includes pipelines and power lines, as well as the costs of delivery from the zone or city gate to your meter. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to control the delivery charges on your utility bill. On the other hand, your supply charges are open to adjustment.

When you pay for your supply charges, you are paying for the actual commodity, such as electricity or natural gas, and the cost of moving the commodity to the city gate. Supply costs typically include:

  • Customer charge
  • Efficiency program charge
  • Distribution charge
  • Demand resource charge
  • State tax adjustment surcharge

You can lower your supply charges by reducing the number of energy units your business uses (in terms of dekatherms or kilowatt-hours) or purchasing natural gas and power from a third-party supplier.

Partnering With The Right Energy Supplier

Your energy supplier should be a company you’re able to trust, a partner rather than a provider. Plenty of competing energy suppliers lure customers in with scams and schemes. You must find the one that works with your business to reduce energy costs sustainably.

As you consider your current energy supplier, ask yourself whether it meets the following necessary criteria:

  • Provides assistance on issues with your gas or electric bill
  • Offers customizable solutions to meet your energy needs
  • Helps you identify utility bill costs with complete transparency
  • Open to negotiating for more consistent, predictable utility bills
  • Helps you take advantage of deregulation and current market conditions
  • Offers guidance on energy-saving best practices

Most importantly, your energy supplier should make achieving your future energy savings first priority. You need an energy advisor that truly understands your company and offers guidance as you make minor or major energy changes.

From educating you about custom energy solutions to helping you decipher the fine print on your procurement plan, your advisor is with you through every step of your energy planning.

With complete insight into your utility bill, you’re able to work toward creating a better energy plan that aligns with your company’s unique needs. Ultimately, that’s going to

save you money and help you meet more important budget-dependent goals.

Take our quiz to see if you have the right strategic plan in place to reduce your business’s energy costs.

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