If your role includes auditing and analyzing utility rate schedules, you know that the process is rarely quick—or easy. If you do the work yourself using publicly available sources, and if you do all of the heavy lifting yourself, then you likely never look forward to conducting either audits or analysis.
But there is a better way. Once you understand why your processes are slow and cumbersome, you can appreciate why the alternative is so attractive.
Why Auditing and Analyzing Utility Rate Schedules Is So Cumbersome
Just to be clear, when we talk about auditing utility rate schedules, we’re talking about looking backwards at historical rates and making sense of them and your response to them. When we talk about analyzing utility rate schedules, we’re talking about the process of reviewing and comparing today’s schedules.
Auditing utility rate schedules is slow and cumbersome because you must gather utility bill information manually. Then you must locate the rates that you should have been charged. Then you must copy the data and paste it into spreadsheets, or re-key the data if it can’t be copied. Then you must compare the two and look for discrepancies.
This process is slow because it involves so much manual effort. Gathering the data required to do just one audit of one utility rate schedule might take you an entire morning. And, if the process involves re-keying data, it leaves you wide open to introducing human error into your audit.
Analyzing utility rate schedules involves looking at historical rates, spotting changes over time, and then predicting future rates. This process is also time consuming because it requires you to gather data for your entire state. You soon discover that utilities use different terms to describe the same parts of a utility rate schedule. This requires you to standardize all of your data, a procedure that takes time away from conducting your analysis.
How You Can Improve this Process
One way to audit and analyze utility rate schedules more quickly, more thoroughly and more accurately is to use a utility rate database like RateAcuity. These natural gas and electricity rate databases provide on-demand nationwide electric and gas rate data, allowing you to make decisions without the hours of labor it takes to locate information manually.
Utility rate databases also look at more data points than you can find on your own, typically with just the click of a button. Gathering 100 data points is just as easy as gathering 20 when the data is in a database and accessible with just a few clicks. You can import months of history into your spreadsheet in seconds. There is no need to find, or enter data, manually.
Another advantage of utility rate databases like RateAcuity is accuracy. Some government sources display blended rates, which are never as accurate as what you require. A blended rate is just an average rate per utility or per state. It’s never as accurate as using actual rates for each schedule.
The primary advantage of utility rate databases is that they allow skilled analysts to spend their time and effort on analysis, not grunt work. There is no copying and pasting or re-keying of data involved. Analysts imply find the schedules they need and download them as an Excel file with a few clicks. Analysts go from wasting hours to spending just a few minutes to find the data they need. Eliminating a morning of manual data gathering is common.
Auditing and analyzing utility rate schedules needn’t be an exercise that you dread each month. You can perform both tasks quickly, thoroughly, and more accurately. An electric and gas utility rate database offers the functionality you need. RateAcuity is the best way to gather electricity and gas rates or compare energy tariffs in a convenient, accurate manner. Our natural gas and electricity rate database provides on-demand nationwide electric and gas rate data, allowing you to make decisions without the hours of labor it takes to locate this information yourself by hand. If you’d like to learn more, let’s talk.