Behind Your Utilities Bill

Dad was right about your two-family house, but big business is different.

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Turn off the lights! You're wasting money!"

Was that dad's eternal, exasperated plea? Well, he was right about the two-family house, but it turns out that in commercial real-estate and big business, it is not quite that simple.

For most homes, turning an appliance on and off all day will likely not affect the bill other than the actual energy used. You'll still save in many other ways by reviewing your utility bills every several months (see list below!).

But large residential buildings, warehouses and other businesses may be paying for more than they actually use.

Utility companies must ensure they have enough available capacity for all of their customers. To do this, they assess peak usage of larger commercial accounts and keep wires and pipes available that can deliver that amount of energy, charging your account to keep them open.

Tips for bringing down energy costs:
• Review your utility bills every 4-6 months to see if you are paying much more than your average usage
• By “stagger-powering” your buildings—powering one floor or “zone” on at a time—you can avoid high draws of energy at once
• About two-thirds of your utility bill is for actual energy supply; the rest is for transportation, maintenance and delivery
• Your utility (ConEd, O&R, etc.) will always deliver your electricity and maintain your meters, etc., so you can switch without interrupting your current service
• Because they are deregulated, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) can offer unique plans such as Fixed Rates and anti-pollutants that large utilities cannot offer
• Some Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), including MPower, do not charge you to switch providers

MPower Energy DBA MPE&G is an independent retail supplier of electricity and natural gas. The company is not affiliated with the utilities, the Maryland Public Service Commission, or any other government agency.