Accessing National Electricity Rates to Optimize Your Energy Management Programs – Webinar Q&A Session Transcript (Part 1)

The presenter, Stephanie Fetchen has compiled and expanded on her answers to the questions that came in during the Q&A session. All those answers can be found below, and if you have any further questions or would like to get in contact with Stephanie regarding Rate Acuity, electricity rates, or any other programs please contact her via email at:

  • How often are energy rates collected from various utility companies in the US?

We update rates on a continual basis. Most utilities do not update more than once a month. Our goal is to have updated rates in the RateAcuity platform available to our customers within three days of the information being publicly available on the utility website or from the public utility commission.

  • Do you find that companies that are Munis or Co-ops are reluctant to give data or are you successful at extracting data from those people?  

My estimate is that we have about 75 % of co-ops and municipals available in RateAcuity as it is now. Municipals are a different case than co-ops, in that if they don’t have a formatted rate schedule on their web page, we can sometimes find it using their code of ordinances. Co-ops are a different challenge. They do not have an obligation to provide rates to anyone who is not a member. If the rates are not publicly available on the website, we can often get them if we call the co-op and request the information, but that does not work 100% of the time.

  • Are the demand charges distribution related only or do they include the demand charges such as capacity and transmission?

RateAcuity includes all the components that are listed in the rate schedule. It will include all the different components that the utility itself publishes in the rate schedule. Sometimes it is just one charge that they list and sometimes they break the components out. If that’s the case, they are all in the RateAcuity database listed as separate line items.

  • Does RateAcuity categorize the charges separately along with historical data, capacity and transmission for example or they are lumped in as an aggregate?

The charges are not categorized separately. We use whatever terminology the utility puts into the tariff schedule. If they use wording like transmission or capacity, you would see that in the component description. We do not categorize them differently.

  • Does RateAcuity send a notice to its clients when rates change?

That is not what something we do currently. It is something we have been asked for and are considering doing. Through the API, there is a way to build logic into your code to check effective dates. You can check the last effective date for a particular rate schedule. If that is newer than the previous download, you can determine if there have been updates. We are considering a notification service that will specifically tell our customer when a rate schedule or utility they care about has been updated.

  • Does the Rate Acuity data feed include all relevant riders that apply to tariffs?

Yes, any riders that are included in the tariff schedule published by the utility are included.

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