The Value of Historical Data When Researching Utility Rates
Electricity costs and gas costs are a major factor in today’s business landscape. Whether you are running a conference center or operating a manufacturing plant, you must pay careful attention to the price of electricity and gas.
In order to analyze and optimize electricity and gas costs, you need to accurately and conveniently obtain electricity rates. And not just today’s rates, either. Analyzing current and historical electricity and gas rates and consumption data is necessary for optimum energy management.
Here is the value of historical data when researching utility rates.
By looking at changes in rates over time, you spot patterns in what’s happening with rates in a specific state or utility. You notice if rates are increasing or decreasing, for example, along with the degree and velocity of those changes.
Prepare Accurate Budgets
Looking at the past helps you plan for the future. Some businesses examine historical rate data for budgeting purposes. If they spot a trend in the historical data that reveals that rates have increased by 3% increase per year, for example, they use that trend data to predict what’s going to happen in the future.
Historical rate data doesn’t predict where rates will be in the future, of course, but it gives you some idea. Trends in historical rates, particularly long-term trends, are a more reliable indicator of what the future holds than simple guesswork or hunches.
Historical rate data also helps you predict return on capital investments. Some business, for example, who are preparing to make substantial building upgrades or install solar panels, look back in time to see where electrical rates were, notice how they have changed today, and predict where they are headed tomorrow.
By discovering what electricity rates have been in the past, these businesses project those rates into the future. Historical rate data helps them predict future savings, and decide if their planned investments are likely to generate an adequate return within an acceptable timeframe.
Predict Investment Opportunities
Sone organizations use historical rate data to make nationwide business decisions. They plot historical rates on a map of the United States, and use this heat map to indicate where the highest charges are—and where the lowest charges are. This vital historical data helps them discover where they should be focusing their sales efforts, or where they should be focusing their infrastructure investments.
Consider EV charging stations, for example. Historical data tells you where in the country the highest charges are today versus a year ago or two years ago. By analyzing this historical data, businesses spot trends and uncover patterns from coast to coast that inform their business activities, goals, growth plans and new initiatives.
The key thing to remember about historical data is that it gives you just one view of electric and gas rates. Yes, it reveals trends and patterns that help you predict the future. But historical data is only valuable when you use it to supplement today’s data. Looking back at the past never replaces looking at where rates are today. Historical rate data gives you insights, but those insights are only valid if they are supported by what’s happening in the marketplace today.
For example, if you in the year 2023 look back at historical electric and gas rates for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022, you need to remember that those years were marked by record-setting heatwaves and wildfires. Oh yeah, and a global pandemic that emptied office buildings and factories.
So, use historical electric and gas rate data because of the value it offers. Just keep your perspective clear.
RateAcuity puts nationwide electric and gas rates, current and historical, at your fingertips. It enables you to analyze trends and patterns, compare rate options, and easily incorporate data into your own software tool. If you’d like to see what this looks like, try our database risk-free—and free of charge—for two weeks.