Nursing homes and senior care centers often face massive electricity bills. The main reason for this is that these facilities have a high amount of usage. This is due to the fact that they’re operating 24 hours a day, need to remain well-lit, and must maintain a comfortable temperature for their residents.
Lighting, space heating, cooling, and ventilation are some of the biggest users of electricity in nursing homes, but there is also office equipment, refrigeration, medical equipment, cooking, and water heating. Considering that the elderly are more vulnerable to temperature-related health concerns, limiting the usage of temperature controls isn’t a valid way to lower costs.
However, there are other ways to lower nursing home monthly electric bills. By understanding the average nursing home electric bill and implementing routine energy audits, facility administrators can help ensure that their residents remain comfortable without breaking the bank.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), nursing homes and senior care centers use around 17.4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per square foot on an annual basis. With the average price per kWh in the United States at around $0.17, that brings the annual electricity costs for a 25,000-square-foot facility to about $74,000 per year.
There are a lot of factors when considering how much a nursing home will pay for electricity. The geographic location, the type of care offered, and the size of the nursing home all have a large effect on monthly bills, making determining a precise average difficult.
There are two main types of audits that can help lower a nursing home electric bill — energy billing audits and energy consumption audits. The end goal for both types of audits is the same, to lower electric bills. However, one audit focuses on energy-saving techniques, while the other focuses on paying less to your provider.
While minimizing energy consumption has many other benefits beyond saving money, it often requires capital expenditure to make a significant change. However, nursing home energy billing audits can be run risk-free and are, therefore, a very attractive option to financial decision-makers of nursing homes.
First, let’s look at the billing-based energy audit. These are best done by an expert third-party company like P3 Cost Analysts and are completely risk-free.
With an energy billing audit, our team of experts will examine invoices and contracts to find savings for your nursing home. Invoices are often filled with various errors, overcharges, and other areas prime for savings that the average person may not recognize. In addition, we’ll look at whether the energy tariffs are correct and provided at the lowest possible cost.
The point of a nursing home energy billing audit isn’t to lower your organization’s consumption but rather to lower the monthly bill. We won’t recommend expensive lights or technology. In fact, the energy billing audit is completely free. We simply share a portion of the savings that we find you.
Financial decision-makers likely spent some time negotiating contracts with their electricity provider. But unfortunately, the job doesn’t stop there. It’s essential to continuously monitor electricity billing to ensure you’re being properly charged. So let’s look at the benefits of working with P3 Cost Analysts on lowering your nursing home monthly electric bill.
Depending on what state you’re operating in, you will be located in either a regulated or deregulated energy market. In deregulated markets, you have a choice regarding your energy supplier. This competition means you can negotiate the rates that you’re paying.
During an energy billing audit, P3’s team of experts can compare your current rates with other similar senior care providers to ensure your rates are consistent with the industry standards. Our industry insight provides valuable nationwide pricing data that customers may not have access to otherwise.
Another major touchpoint for billing audits is locating overcharges, errors, and additional fees you’re unaware of. Your nursing home is responsible for bringing these mistakes to your supplier to receive the proper refunds. Your team of auditors will ensure that each invoice is adequately analyzed and energy credits are received.
One of the hardest things for business owners to understand about their electric bills is energy tariffs. If your nursing home isn’t functioning under the proper energy tariff, you’re probably overspending. Your auditing team has vital knowledge of tariffs and can make sure your business is operating under the options that give you the best rates possible to help you lower your average nursing home electric bill.
Aside from billing audits, there are also consumption-based energy audits. These are designed to help nursing homes and senior care centers understand their current consumption patterns and find ways to improve efficiency where possible.
While lowering consumption seems like the most obvious way to lower your electric bills, and there are plenty of companies out there that conduct these consumption audits, the options for implementing the changes recommended can be costly.
For nursing homes, implementing new technology to reduce consumption may require a lot of upfront capital. A billing audit offers a more affordable way to save money for businesses that don’t have an extensive budget for these pricey changes.
Through years of experience conducting utility audits for nursing homes and other companies, P3 has perfected the audit process. When working with us, you can expect this four-step process.
Our engagement phase is key in establishing our shared savings agreement and preparing for an effective audit. During this time, we will outline the necessary materials needed to start, such as invoices, authorization documents, and contracts.
Depending on your state, we can look back on invoices from the past 12 – 26 months. During the onboarding phase, we’ll collect all your past and present invoices and determine how far back we can look according to your state’s statute of limitations.
Our energy billing audit uncovers any unnecessary fees, errors, and overcharges so you can start saving ASAP. In addition, we provide consistent updates throughout the process to ensure the process runs in a timely manner – usually releasing our findings within 4–6 weeks and implementing savings in another 4-6 weeks.
We will continue to monitor monthly invoices to ensure that your nursing home monthly electric bill stays at a lower price and no new overcharges appear.
We previously worked with a small nursing home group that reached out to us for assistance navigating the high telecom and utility expenses that they were facing each month. Despite the smaller nature of the nursing home, their monthly costs were significant.
As with all of our clients, we offered a risk-free audit run by our team of industry experts. On top of their utility invoices, we also examined invoices from telecom, waste services, and contracts with all of their vendors. All in all, we saved the nursing home over $40,000 in annual costs. Plus, we are still monitoring their invoices to guarantee the savings continue.
There is no way to get around high energy usage when operating a nursing home. With so many residents living under one roof, along with a heavy staff presence and the need for good lighting and medical equipment to operate at all hours, it’s simply a necessary business expense.
However, there are some ways to lower the average monthly electric bill for a nursing home. A consumption-based energy audit can help pinpoint areas to lower usage but can be very costly. On the other hand, an energy billing audit can find a lot of savings without large upfront costs. Working with a team of experts will allow your nursing home to recognize errors, overcharges, and other savings opportunities on your monthly statements.
Are you ready to bring down your average nursing home electric bill? Schedule a free expense audit with P3 Cost Analysts today!