20x2020 Newsletter | April 18, 2017

April  2017 

Electric Costs on the Rise

Both Mother Nature and many of the electric utility companies have been very kind to everyone over the past 12-18 months. Unfortunately, it is time to get back to reality. Mother Nature skipped the spring season.  Actually, most of us would say we skipped winter and went from fall right into spring. Now we are jumping right into summer. At the same time, many of the utility companies have had an increase in the “fuel adjustment” rates on your electrical bills. If you have a “fuel adjustment” charge as part of your utility rate, you are probably paying more for your electrical usage than you were in December. Many OG&E customers started seeing the increased rates in their February bills. OG&E customers are seeing fuel adjustment increases of 29 percent. Here at the Capitol complex we have several facilities that have decreased electrical usage compared to last year and still saw an increase in cost.

Facility: Attorney General Building
Usage: Decreased 8.5%
Cost: Increased 17.1%

Facility: Connors/Hodge Complex
Usage: Decreased 8.9%
Cost: Increased 8.4%

Facility: Governor’s Complex
Usage: Decreased 8.8%
Cost: Increased 2.7%

We have been fortunate. With the mild weather, most of us have seen a decreases in natural gas usage.  This has helped to offset the overall utility costs. The bad news, heating season is over. Cooling season is upon us which means increased electrical usage at the higher rates. With the current budget situation this could not be happening at a worse time. 

What can we do? Be as efficient with your HVAC and electrical systems as possible. This does not necessarily mean turn everything off. In some cases this will actually cause an increase in usage if implemented at the wrong times. Get the message out to your agency reminding them that it takes everyone’s efforts to be efficient. Turn off lights when not required. Unplug the phone chargers. Turn off the personal fans. Those are the types of things individual employees can do to assist. In regards to your facility HVAC and electrical operations, get with your maintenance departments and discuss facility operations. If you cannot come up with some energy efficiency options, please contact the State Energy Program office. We can assist you with these evaluations.

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    Performance Based Efficiency Contract Program

    Many organizations are in desperate need of HVAC, electrical or lighting upgrades. The problem is having the money to pay for the projects. OMES Construction and Properties now has the Performance Based Efficiency Contract Program to assist with these needs. This program is not a new concept. Many have heard it called and “ESCO” contract or an “Energy Efficiency” contract. This program is a public/private partnership to assist organizations with the capital required for some of these infrastructure projects. We believe for many organizations, this may be the only way they will be able to upgrade systems that are well past their useful operation. 

    There is no upfront cost to have your facilities evaluated. If, after the initial evaluation, your organization is not interested in pursuing the program at this time, the process is halted and there is no cost to the organization. 

    This program could be your organization's path to improved operations and reduced electrical usage, possibly at no out of pocket cost. If you would like more information on the Performance Based Efficiency Contract Program, please contact Mike Jones or Paul Haley.
    CAP Phone #: 405-521-2112
    CAP Email: CAP@omes.ok.gov

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    Energy Tip

    The days are getting longer and we moved our clocks forward giving us more daylight. Thanks to the extra sunlight we can now start turning off light where not needed. The more you use natural day light, the more energy you save. This will also extend the life of that light bulb, saving on maintenance and replacement cost.

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    How to Find Gaps in Utility Bill History

    Despite what it's name suggests, the BL-08A - Visual Missing Bills report may not be not the best report for finding gaps in your utility bill history. It all depends on what you mean by gaps.

    If you want to verify that you've received one bill in every billing period, then BL-08A is a great color-coded report for spotting missing bills (or unusual numbers of bills) for a large number of accounts in just a few seconds. 

    Unusual Billing Activity
    The BL-08A report provides a link to each included vendor in your EnergyCAP database, along with columns for Cost Center, Account, Meter, Average of Total Amount, Billing Periods in the Date Range (as specified by your report date filter), Billing Periods Without a Bill Record, and the number of bills in your EnergyCAP database for each account/meter
    combination in each included billing period:

    Energy Cap Database Screenshot

    Using appropriate filters, you can run the report for specific accounts, vendors or places, or you can run it for your entire organization. Make sure to set the Billing Period filter to include all relevant billing periods. Those billing periods that include a single bill will display in green, while those missing any bill will display in red. Billing periods with an unusual amount of billing activity (more than one bill in the billing period) will display in yellow. This is a great way to spot missing/suspect historical data, since you can search prior months and even years by setting the appropriate date filters when you run the report.

    Below is a graphic displaying 14 months of bill history from the BL08A report:

    Visual Missing Bills Report

    If you see accounts with no bills for a long period of time, the account may need to be set to inactive, or you may want to add a Service End Date.

    Locating and Dealing with Gaps in Your Utility Bill History
    For a closer inspection of your utility bill history, the BL-08E Days Not Included in Any Bill report may be just what you need. It is similar to BL08, which finds gaps between the End Date of one bill and the Start Date of the next bill. It also finds overlapping billing periods.

    Days not included billing report

    These types of gaps between bills may indicate missing bills or data entry errors. When running the BL-08E, the user can select a specific date range for locating gaps before, between or after bills. The report will provide a record even if no bills exist for an account that is in service. Gaps may indicate billing problems, account obsolescence or data entry errors. 

    When using BL-08E to spot those smaller gaps in data, set allowable gap days to 0 to locate every instance of specific dates that are not included on ANY utility bill. A large gap (perhaps 30 days) usually indicates a missing bill, whereas a small gap (perhaps five days) usually means that a date was entered incorrectly. A one-day gap usually means that the vendor may submit bills in a format such that the current bill’s Start Date is the day AFTER last bill’s End Date. This is not standard practice, since meters are seldom read at 12:00 midnight, so this can be a problem. See the EnergyCAP Online documentation for more information on the impact of gaps in billing data.

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