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Metrix » Bill Register
Q: How do I manage estimated bills in Metrix, and what impact will they have on my savings?


Estimated Bill in the Tuning Period

If the estimated bills are in the tuning period, the best thing to do would be to combine the estimated bill with the actual bill that follows it. This works well if you have only one estimated bill. In this case, you would combine one estimated with one actual, and enter only 1 bill in the register, and not 2. As you have removed the randomness associated with the estimated bill, the data is much "smoother" and results in a better tuning. However, it will mean you are tuning fewer "bills", which is problematic to some people. Still, this is the best solution to estimated bills in the tuning period.

Estimated Bill Outside of the Tuning Period

Now, if the estimated bills are after the tuning period, just enter the estimated bills in the bill register. This means that if your estimates are low, the savings will be higher for those months. When the actual reading comes in high, the savings will be less for those months.

This may be a problem when it comes to reconciling monthly or annual amounts. If you end up with a string of estimated bills, you can end up writing a check for a savings shortfall, when you really didn't have one. Depending on how the contract is set up, you may be losing money overall on the project just because the utility is not reading the meter.

So, if this estimated/actual problem is affecting your performance contract financially, in terms of writing shortfall checks, then you may consider installing a submeter for a couple of thousand dollars, and use that to base your savings off of instead. It would likely be worth it, assuming there are no issues with installing a submeter.

There is a large issue that may arise from installing a submeter, however. Because the submeter may be reading differently from the utility meter. To reconcile the difference, you can do a regression of submeter readings vs. utility meter readings. Then you will correct your submeter reading using that regression equation, and enter the corrected submeter readings into Metrix. Assuming your customer understands what you are doing, this would "correct" the "error" of the submeter (even though the error may be with the utility meter).

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