Average Car Dealership Electric Bill (Are You Overpaying?)

Colby Ezell / Utility / December 24, 2022

When it comes to electricity usage, car dealerships are some of the biggest consumers around. Just imagine how much power goes toward keeping those bright showroom lights on! On top of lighting, car dealerships use energy for high-end security systems, HVAC, office equipment, auto repair tools, car wash equipment, compressors, and more.

The majority of these usages are vital to the daily services and products that car dealerships offer, so cutting back on use to save money isn’t an option. While implementing energy-efficient equipment and facilities when building car dealerships are a big factor in keeping electricity bills low, there are still ways to minimize energy costs.

To understand how you can lower electricity costs, let’s take a look at the average auto dealership electric bill as well as two different types of audits that can save your business money.

How Much Do Car Dealerships Pay for Electricity?

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the median electricity consumption from vehicle dealerships was around 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per square foot per year. With an average floor space of 13,000 square feet at the current national average of $0.16 per kWh, car dealerships can expect to spend more than $20,000 per year on electricity bills.

Of course, it is difficult to accurately estimate how much car dealerships spend on electricity bills, as it can vary significantly depending on the size and location of the dealership, as well as the energy efficiency of the building and its electrical systems.

Types of Car Dealership Energy Audits

Two types of audits are at the top of the list when it comes to ways to minimize car dealership electricity bills — energy billing audits and energy consumption audits. Both types of audits aim to lower the average electric bill for an auto dealership. However, they use different methods to get there.

As much of the electricity usage of car dealerships are such an essential part of the business, changing consumption patterns can be difficult and require some hefty investments. Meanwhile, savings can be found through billing audits without significant upfront costs, so we will mostly focus on the benefits and process of this type of audit.

Car Dealership Energy Billing Audit

Energy providers leave it up to consumers to monitor billing and invoices for errors. However, since most car dealerships don’t have a designated department with expertise in either electric procurement or auditing, working with a third party like P3 Cost Analysts is your best bet.

During an energy billing audit, P3’s team of experts will comb through your electric utility invoices and contracts to find savings for your car dealership. It is up to business owners to locate the errors, overcharges, and other mistakes that often fill monthly statements. These can be difficult to spot due to the complicated nature of invoices. Another aspect that must be double-checked is the energy tariffs that are applied to ensure they are correct and offer the lowest prices.

Energy billing audits for car dealerships are not focused on minimizing usage. While this is also an important aspect of saving money, it typically comes with expensive upfront costs. At this stage, we won’t recommend expensive technology that will lower usage. Instead, we offer billing audits with no upfront costs and simply share in a portion of the savings that we find for your business.

Benefits of a Car Dealership Energy Billing Audit

The ultimate goal of an energy billing audit is to lower your average car dealership electric bill. But how we do that comes through three different methods. Check out these top perks of working with P3 Cost Analysts to lower your monthly electricity costs.

Negotiating Better Energy Rates

The first step is determining if your car dealership operates in a regulated or regulated energy market. Those fortunate enough to be in a regulated market can create competition among suppliers by shopping around for the best rates.

When we conduct an energy billing audit, we will compare your current rates with other car dealerships in your area to make sure you’re getting prices consistent with industry standards. P3 has valuable industry insight on nationwide pricing data that helps us guarantee you’re not overpaying.

Correcting Overcharges and Billing Errors

In addition to securing the best rates, auditors will examine past and current invoices to locate errors, overcharges, and unauthorized fees that may have gone unnoticed. These discrepancies must be demonstrated to your supplier to request the appropriate refunds.

Qualifying for the Correct Energy Tariffs

Understanding energy tariffs requires the expert experience that your team of auditors possesses. Energy tariffs are complicated and misunderstood by most business owners, so working with a company like P3 Cost Analysts is invaluable. Your auditors can make sure that your car dealership is functioning under the tariffs that supply you with the lowest pricing and will lower your average auto dealership electric bill.

Car Dealership Energy Consumption Audit

Another type of audit that can help lower the average electric bill for an auto dealership is a consumption-based audit. This process involves establishing usage patterns and locating areas where efficiencies can be improved.

Many companies specialize in these consumption-based audits, but the solutions they come up with are often capital-intensive. For example, they often recommend cutting-edge technology that comes at a high price.

Car dealerships with a budget for this process should consider an energy consumption audit. However, whether you opt for this step or not, it should be paired with a billing audit for maximum savings.

P3 Cost Analysts’ Audit Process

When you entrust P3 Cost Analysts with your billing audit, you can rest assured that we’ve spent countless years perfecting the process. It will look something like this:

Step 1: Engagement

During the engagement phase, we take a deep dive into how our shared savings agreement works and provide details of how to move forward. We will also outline all necessary materials needed for the audit, from invoices to authorization documents and contracts.

Step 2: Onboarding

By gathering invoices from the last 12 to 36 months during our onboarding phase, we can identify all the potential savings opportunities for your car dealership. We’ll ensure you get maximum savings by going as far back as permitted by your state’s statute of limitations.

Step 3: Audit

Our energy billing audit delves deep into your invoices to uncover any fees, errors, or overcharges that could be costing you money. Thorough yet timely analysis ensures that savings begin as soon as possible. Typically we release our findings in 4-6 weeks and then implement savings within another 4-6 weeks after that.

Step 4: Ongoing Auditing

Moving forward, we will continue to monitor invoices monthly to ensure your savings stay intact and no new overcharges appear on your billing.

Car Dealership Energy Billing Audit Case Study

You know you can trust P3 to help lower your average car dealership electric bill because we’ve done it before! For example, one of our long-standing clients is a regional automotive dealership that has nine locations in total. With so many venues, they realized the benefit of having a third party manage their waste, telecom, and utility expenses.

Right off the bat, we identified overcharges on their current monthly invoices. We fought hard to receive over $30,000 in cash refunds due to utility and telecom billing errors. In the seven years we’ve worked together, they’ve seen over $200,000 in waste, telecom, and utility savings.

Reduce Your Car Dealership’s Energy Bill Today

Business owners looking to lower the average electric bill for a car dealership must implement an energy billing audit. This process entails a team of experts examining invoices for overcharges, errors, and other savings opportunities. It will also determine if your car dealership is functioning under the proper tariffs, which is essential for lowering costs.

While an energy billing audit can be done in conjunction with a consumption-based audit, the former offers solutions at no little to no upfront costs to you. Meanwhile, consumption-based audits come up with capital-intensive solutions.

When you’re ready to conduct an energy billing audit for your car dealership, the team at P3 Cost Analysts is here to help. Schedule a free expense audit today!

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