Managing utilities and “peak hours billing”

Utility companies are moving towards “time-of-use” metering, where electricity consumed during peak hours costs more than electricity consumed during off-peak hours. Periods of high electricity demand will be charged a higher rate, such as from noon to 6 p.m. in the summertime. Winter peak times are longer, but have a lower rate. It is also important to review the utility rate sheets to ensure your account is being metered under the most beneficial tier. It is essential to manage utility usage and avoid excessive charges from clients’ use, and we can assist you with this challenge as part of our property management services.

Failing to prepare for time of use metering could spell disaster for a property’s budget. The peak and off-peak ‘time-of-use’ rates are spelled out clearly, and because of the stable climate in Southern California it is possible to create a specific budget for utilities on your property. Since most client operations will occur during some part of the peak time, this should be taken into account when preparing cost projections.

Tenant/occupancy operations can significantly impact energy consumption, so it’s important to know to what you are supplying power. When you have a new client, we will inquire into the nature of their energy and water use, and the types of equipment they will be using on the property. This way, you will have the ability to create a specific budget for each client based on actual energy needs, with some room for adjustments depending on the season.

We monitor electric bills and monitor site conditions to maximize power-consumption efficiency. As we view the utility bills for each client we can begin to see where the greatest electricity and water usage occurs, and where there are opportunities for savings. Also, we may be able to make recommendations on energy efficient equipment that help manage the cost of utilities within the rate structure. Sometimes energy use during peak times can’t be avoided but we can help find ways to minimize the amount by monitoring specific uses by clients.

We make sure our clients are not upgraded to a higher rate plan unnecessarily. Depending on the overall usage, the rate plan may be higher or lower than comparable properties, and we will work with the utility company to obtain the best rate possible. In addition to the time of use rates, there can also be ‘demand’ charges for high energy consumption, and by monitoring the utility bills and site usage, we can help to minimize these types of costs.

Call us at (888) 611-5598 to discuss utility management and all of our commercial property services.