How to Reduce Energy Costs Without Reducing Energy Consumption
How would you like reduced energy costs without reducing energy consumption? Here are ten tips to help reduce energy costs:
- Sales Tax Exemptions. Some states offer an exemption when utilities are used for manufacturing or agriculture. A recent study identified a potential sales tax exemption of over $300,000.00 for one customer location.
- Energy Efficiency Program Waiver. Several utilities have Rders to fund their energy efficiency programs. Customers may benefit from these programs if they participate in programs such as energy audits and rebate programs. Many commercial and manufacturing customers pay thousands of dollars each month for these energy efficiency Riders but they don't participate. Waivers may be available.
- Contract Minimum Demand/Charge vs. Facilities Charge. Customers may be required to pay a minimum demand or dollar charge by their utility contract based on their original request for service. Facilities charges are usually charged if a customer asks for service outside of normal such as a larger transformer than needed or two delivery points. Some utilities are flexible with the customer and might reduce a Contract Minimum Demand charge in exchange for an increased Facilities Charge.
- Excess Facilities Charge Change. The need for excess facilities might change. As an example, if a customer requested a larger transformer than needed, they might be charged an excess facilities charge by the utility. At a later date the customer's electrical load might increase to the point that the original transformer is now the needed size. In this case the transformer is no longer excess facilities and the customer could request removal of the the excess facilities charge.
- Rate Schedule Change. Many customers can choose from several available electric utility rate schedules. Some utilities offer rate comparisons to help the customer in their decision making process. Identifying available rates is the first step. The next step is understanding the benefit and the downside to each rate. When performing a comparison, estimating future energy consumption is a key task. Including Contract Minimum Demand/Charges in the calculation is also crucial in picking the correct rate.
- Billing & Metering Errors. Billing and metering errors do exist. Customers can identifying these errors by tracking their energy consumption and billing history with an energy tracking software program.
- Deposit Waivers. New customers and customers on shaky financial ground may be asked to pay the utility a deposit. Providing a letter from another utility where the customer has good credit may help waive the deposit request from the new utility. Allowing the utility's credit department to review the customer's financial records may also help waive a deposit request.
- Negotiated Rate. Under very special circumstances, some customers are able to negotiate a special rate with the utility. These customers are in many cases the largest of the large customers or their is a special economic development reason for the negotiated rate.
- Totalization of Accounts. Totalization of accounts on one contiguous piece of property into one invoice might reduce peak demand charges. Typically the utility willl charge an excess facilities charge for the totalization but a comparison might show a savings from totalizing multiple accounts.
- Demand Response. Demand response (also known as load response) is end-use customers reducing their use of electricity in response to power grid needs. Participation in a Demand Response program may result in payments to the customer.