4 Steps to a Better Utility Rate

In many utility service territories around the country, customers can change their rate or tariff once per year. 

But figuring out WHAT to change it to requires a deep understanding of local utility rates and building operations, thoughtful data analysis, and the actual time and bandwidth to make sense of it all.  At Gridium, we take this all on for you, helping you understand your current rate, needs, and options so you can lock in the best possible utility rate for your business.

This process typically saves our customers 5-10% off their bills. 

So how does it work?

Using our revenue-grade rate modeling engine, we run a handful of key analyses to inform a data-driven, comprehensive rate recommendation for your unique operation. Here’s a quick summary of what goes into our rate audit (which are complimentary when you become a Gridium customer):

1. Rate Analysis

To find the optimal utility rate for that building, our team at Gridium takes the last twelve months of each building’s electricity data and runs it through our revenue-grade rate engine to model all the utility rates available. This 12-month look allows us to understand and integrate factors such as rate seasonality (where some rates are cheaper in the summer but more expensive in the winter). It also allows us to analyze the effects of time-of-use definitions across the entire year (e.g. during the summer months, rates may be higher from 4PM to 6PM, while in winter months, they may be higher from 4AM to 8AM). For some utility service territories, we also pull in historic and variable data such as peak pricing days (individual dates when rates are higher, as declared by the utility).

2. Eligibility Analysis

The rate engine analyzes a whole set of complex eligibility requirements (e.g. did your building use over 500 kW during one 15-minute interval for three consecutive months in the past 12 month period?) to figure out which rates a building qualifies for, so customers don’t have to do that work themselves.

3. Operations Analysis

We communicate with customers to ensure we understand how they plan to operate the building over the next 12 months, if they expect big operational changes, and if the last 12 months were representative of how the building is run.

4. Rate Recommendation

Finally, we present customers with a simple, easily digestible rate recommendation and a savings projection. We distill the complexity of rate structures into a savings proposal you can take immediate action on.

For customers, it can be as simple as that, with no work required on their side. 

What “revenue-grade” means and why it matters

Gridium’s “revenue-grade” rate engine mimics the system used by utilities to calculate and apply electricity charges or tariffs. Our platform’s advanced technology ensures high levels of accuracy and reliability in measuring usage and projected costs, so you can estimate and forecast energy costs with more confidence.

Significant savings, no effort

Our rate auditing service is part of Gridium’s commitment to helping our clients cut energy costs in any way we can. The value to firms isn’t that we do something they can’t do themselves, it’s that Gridium makes it faster, easier, and less expensive than committing an internal analyst’s time to the job. These nuances are easy to overlook, even for firms well-versed in energy management. We’ve worked with building owners and operators  that are highly sophisticated when it comes to utility usage, and still found hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings through rate audits. 

What’s more, when there’s red tape to cut through with the utility, Gridium hacks away at it behind the scenes. We make sure the utility makes the rate change correctly and customers are getting their savings.

Here are a few examples of recent savings we’ve identified for customers:

Utility Territory Building Type Issue Identified Estimated Annual Savings
Dominion Energy Office Building was not on the optimal rate based on recent changes to occupancy and overall load profile $37,000
Southern California Edison Office Shift in on-peak period meant optimal tariff flavor changed $12,000 on $140,000 annual bill
Pacific Gas & Electric Mixed use office Default rate was not optimal based on load profile $34,000

The energy savings we offer customers only start with rate audits. Our understanding of rate structures is the same understanding that enables us to coach customers to lower demand charges and improve building operations, driving deeper savings across the portfolio.

Interested in discussing how to optimize your utility tariff? We’d be happy to take a look. Contact us below to request a complimentary rate audit. 

Contact Us


About Thalia Pascalides

Thalia Pascalides is the Senior Director of Marketing at Gridium. She has led marketing teams for cleantech SaaS companies, including EnerNOC, Siemens, and Hatch Data (now Measurabl), for nearly two decades. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. In her free time, Thalia can be found exploring new food spots and the great outdoors with her family.

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