Power to the Tenant


A few months ago I moved into a new apartment. When I got my first electric bill, I was shocked. I’m pretty good about turning off the lights in unoccupied rooms and I always make a habit of unplugging any unused appliances to minimize vampire load. I work at Bright Power! There’s no way I could be an energy hog. If you can’t trust the data, there’s no way to tell whether or not your efforts are making a difference, and I couldn’t trust this data.

After some innocuous investigating on my end, I found that the utility could not get access to the meter room in my building and, as a result, was estimating my usage for that month by applying the previous tenant’s consumption history to my account. Time to shut it down. I immediately called the utility company to schedule a second meter reading for the following month.

When the next month rolled around, I received my new electric bill in the mail with a second estimated meter reading. Wait…didn’t I just fix this?! Time to kick it up a notch. I decided to submit my own meter reading to the utility. When it was verified by the utility, I learned that the previous tenant was being significantly over-billed for electricity no one was actually using, and so was I.

Please learn from my mistake! Reliable and accurate data is crucial for measuring energy performance in any type of building. This is just one small example of a larger problem the energy industry faces every day.