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  • Writer's pictureKent Hobart

Customer Charge

"Why are they charging me for being a Customer"? That's the obvious question isn't it?

Maybe a more timely question these days is, "Why does it keep increasing"?

To understand the Customer Charge and its purpose on your bill, it helps to explore the costs a utility incurs each month to provide you with service. Some of these costs vary depending on how much of the energy or water you consume. These variable costs are typically recovered by the utility in charges billed for the metered units of energy or water you use. You'll see these charges billed per kilowatt hour, therm/CCF or gallon for electricity, natural gas and water respectively. In months where weather conditions drive increases in consumption the utility is able to recover all its costs, but in month's where consumption is lower than projected utilities may struggle to balance the books.

There are other costs the utility incurs each month that don't change based on your consumption. In fact even if you don't use a single unit of energy or gallon of water the utility incurs these expenses. Examples of these types of expenses are the monthly cost to read and maintain your meter, calculate and send your bill and even process your payment. Traditionally these are the costs the utility recovers through the monthly Customer Charge often displayed as the first line item on your bill.

Improving energy and water efficiency standards for buildings and appliances over the last few decades have resulted in utilities nationally experiencing a significant drop in the volumes they are delivering per customer. This decline in consumption impacts the utility's ability to recover many of the costs traditionally recovered through volume based charges. If you've noticed significant increases in your bill's Customer Charge over the last few years, you are seeing the results of your utility gaining approval to respond to

these consumption decreases by moving costs previously recovered on a volumetric basis into those recovered through the monthly Customer Charge.

Still have questions? Call us at (813) 917-8952 and let us help with an answer


Hi, I'm Kent Hobart and I'm different. I've been blessed with a knowledge of utility billing and rate structures that is rare and yes, a little weird.

I started Utility Refund Specialists as a way to use my unique skills in serving organizations like yours. We audit our client's utility bills and identify errors in the billing that earn them refunds from their utility providers. I know, it sounds crazy but 3 in every 4 clients we work with have errors in their bills.

The incidence of errors is so frequent and the refund amounts are large enough, we can perform the audits for free. We only get paid after we secure you a refund!

Interested in learning more? Use this link to set up a 30- minute discovery call. Want to talk sooner, give me a call at (813) 917-8952 or send me an email.

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