Take a moment to think about that question. It may seem like a trick, or dare we say it, too good to be true. Why would my utility, the company I pay money to, want me, the consumer to cut back on energy consumption? Doesn’t that mean I would be paying them less money? Yes, that is exactly what it means. So isn’t that bad for their business? No, not one bit.
The “Energy Efficiency” Charge
How closely have you looked at your energy bills each month? Do you take note of the charges, the date the bill is due, write a check and proceed on? If so, you probably haven’t noticed a minor charge commonly referred to as the “energy efficiency” charge. This charge varies in name (“Energy Conservation” –Eversource, “SBC/RPS” – National Grid) and amount from state to state, but is a common thread between utility companies nationwide. The monies collected from this charge pay into the state’s energy efficiency programs and grants for large-scale efficiency projects in industrial and commercial facilities. This is money that can be put directly back into your business. In some cases, state utility grants have covered up to 70% of the upfront costs associated with an energy improvement project.
A Push for the Future
As we have begun to see the momentous and horrific effects of green house gas emissions in the last twenty or so years, the push for energy efficiency and reduced consumption has never been more prevalent in the United States. At a basic level, the utility companies do make more money when a consumer uses more energy, but times have changed. They are feeling intense pressure from the government and consumers to cut back and save energy.
Utility companies have been given strict regulations to follow, and even incentives by the federal government to create programs that reduce customers’ consumption of energy. If they don’t follow through successfully with the programs they present to the public utility commission on how they will promote energy efficiency to their consumers, they will be fined. When the utility companies do however meet their goals for decreased energy consumption among consumers, the public utility commission rewards them by greatly increasing their rates.
So if I as a consumer participate in an energy efficiency program through my utility, I’ll receive a rate hike? Well, not exactly. The increased rates the utility company can charge to their consumers is nearly negligent compared to the amount of savings a consumer can experience. For example, an energy improvement project that results in a 15% savings on your energy bill, still far exceeds that 2% rate hike. The simple answer to utility companies wanting to lower your energy bill? It’s a win-win-win for the consumer, the utility, and the environment.
How We Can Help
It’s important to understand that utility programs and incentives vary by state and company. The Horizon Solutions Energy Services team is well educated on what is available to you. Visit our Energy Services website at www.hs-energyservices.com for more information, or better yet, contact a member of our team to get started on your energy project to start saving money, and energy, today.
I’d love to hear what you think about this blog post. Let me know in the comments.