Energy Awareness Affects Utility Bill Charges
The standard home electric bill can be very illusive and hard to understand. It doesn’t provide the user with very much information besides what to pay. Some utility companies will average data out for users, trying to give them an idea of their usage. Some will show comparisons from month to month, average monthly temperatures and average kWh per day. This information can be useful but doesn’t give you any sort of indication of what happened day to day or how the electricity was even used. Standard charges will be divided into sub-sections, a base customer charge and generation, transmission, distribution and transition charges. For each kWh you consume you will be charged at least four separate rates. For some companies if you go over a predefined amount your rates will increase again and you may see eight or more separate rates on your utility bill.
If your monthly home usage reaches a predefine amount, 500 kWh for example, your utility may increase your rates by 10% or more for the additional use. This may not stop here; they may tack on extra fees at 750 kWh and again at 1000 kWh. Some utilities are even enacting time of use charges causing your rate to fluctuate based on the time that you use the electricity. It becomes extremely beneficial to know when you are reaching these amounts or how much you are using during peak time of use. Daily averages won’t tell you very much except how many days into your billing cycle you may have reached 500 kWh of use, but this can easily be altered by the seasons and weather. In the fall you will generally start a month very warm and end the month cool. At the beginning of the month you may consume 80% of your electricity while the end of the month only accounts for 20%. How can you know for sure when and where your energy is being used if your utility bill only provides a lump sum at the end of the month?
With the additional charges that can be placed on your utility bill real-time energy monitoring becomes an extremely useful tool. It allows you to see exactly how many kWh you have used for the month so far; this lets you know if you are coming close to a point that may result in higher charges. It will also help you become aware of your usage, allowing you to decrease your use to the minimum during peak time of use charges. Energy awareness will give you insight to exactly when and where the charges on your bill come from. It provides an explanation for the charges that a simple confusing utility bill cannot match and it gives you this information in real-time not 30-45 days after the fact.