The Difference Between an Energy Audit and Utility Bill Audit

September 16, 2015

Utility costs are one of the biggest expenses for businesses, so it makes sense that you want to find ways to reduce these costs. But, perhaps, you aren’t sure where to start? The two main ways to reduce utility costs are to (1) reduce consumption by conducting an Energy Audit and (2) reduce the rate that is paid by conducting a Utility Bill Audit. Here are the differences between the two:

An Energy Audit is an assessment of the energy needs and efficiency of a building – how the energy is being consumed. This audit will identify the energy-consuming equipment and capture how much is being consumed. It is usually completed to establish a benchmark and detect areas where energy consumption can be reduced or consumed more efficiently. While not all energy audits require an investment, many require a capital investment in order to reduce consumption. The benchmark that was established as part of the original energy audit will be used to estimate the return on investment and track the savings realized. Most energy audits will use 12 months or more of data to establish the benchmark. So, an energy audit is more of an engineering approach that focuses on consumption, efficiency and reducing consumption.

A Utility Bill Audit is an audit of the bills themselves. This audit will verify whether or not invoices are being billed correctly based on relevant rules, regulations and tariffs. The process often identifies billing errors and/or rate savings. Most utility bill audits should audit 12 months or more of utility bills to be most effective. So, a utility bill audit is more of an accounting or financial approach to an audit that focuses on billing and rate.

Both an Energy Audits and a Utility Bill Audit are known to produce savings for most companies.

Submitted by Michael J. Harrington, Owner, Tenurgy

The Michigan Chamber’s Utility & Telecom Savings program can help you to identify other ways to save money on your utility and telecommunications bills. Through our program, we are able to perform a thorough analysis of your utility billing, leading to past financial recovery and ongoing monthly savings.