The first step to getting a handle on your energy costs is understanding your electricity bill charges. With a clear understanding of your company’s electricity usage and spending per month, you can make an informed decision about whether a solar solution works for your site, and if so, which size and type of system will provide the maximum return on investment. Here is an overview and explanation of the charges that may appear on your utility bills.
How to understand the charges on your electricity bill
Electricity bills mainly consist of supply and delivery charges. If the account is in a deregulated market, the supply can be from a third-party (ESCO); the delivery is always from your designated electric utility. Depending on your meter, your supply and delivery charges may be charged on only energy (kWh) or on energy and demand (kW). In this case, there are several different ways a utility can structure rate plan charges:
- Flat-rate: The standard rate that the utility charges for each kilowatt-hour of electricity
- Tiered: The rate depends on the total electricity used during a billing period–utility customers are broken into tiers based on their total electricity usage and charged based on the tier for that period
- Seasonal: The rate changes depending on the season
- Time-of-Use: The rate varies based on time of the day
The demand charges are based on your peak power demand (in kilowatts). The only other charges a customer is likely to see on their bills are fixed and administrative charges, such as minimum service fees and taxes.
Depending on your electricity consumption pattern and your designated rate class, it can be complicated to understand your utility bill. We are here to help! Customers who want to control their electricity costs and shield themselves from energy price volatility can find an ideal method through a customized solar solution.
How solar can help you control your energy costs
Electricity bills and historic data provide crucial information when determining the optimal size and type of an onsite solar solution for your location. Along with knowing the available solar incentives in your state, a trusted solar developer can help you forecast potential energy savings based on past and projected utility, supply, and interval data. By generating clean energy behind your meter, your company can mitigate the financial risk associated with energy price fluctuations for 25+ years. With 12 months of electricity bills and/or interval meter data, a solar developer can help create an accurate and reliable analysis for an optimal onsite solar system.
Adding a storage component to a solar system can help your company achieve even greater savings on your electricity bills and when designed with islanding capabilities, can keep your facility operating, even during a blackout or brownout (see our blog on solar plus storage for more details).
You can start on the road to energy savings today by working with EnergySolar. With over a decade’s worth of industry experience and a client roster that includes Target and Amazon, EnterSolar specializes in turnkey solar and energy storage solutions that bolster energy savings and help companies meet their sustainability goals. Contact us today for a free solar assessment.