CERTIFICATION OF PURCHASED UTILITIES
1. METER CALIBRATION CERTIFICATION FOR PURCHASED UTILITIES. Purchased
utilities are a significant cost to Navy activities. Because the utility
company usually owns and maintains the utility meter, the activity often has
no direct way to verify charges. This problem has been complicated by the
advent of digital recording meters that provide no visual readout. Following
are methods of verifying charges for purchased utilities:
1.1 Redundant Metering. Utility bill verification at the 100 percent level
can be achieved by redundant metering. This requires installation of Navy
owned meters in series with those of the utility company. Depending on
utility service configuration, one or more meters are required for each
purchased utility. Cost of redundant metering must be evaluated with respect
to potential benefits before redundant meters are installed. Redundant meter
costs include cost of meters and installation, cost of outages to install the
meters, cost of reading and analyzing the additional meters, and cost of
annual maintenance and calibration.
Most activities have electric meters at major substations. By calculating
energy balance, the activity can verify whether utility charges are correct.
This option is limited to the extent that meters are installed at an activity,
but, because the meters can be used for energy management and in-house
billing, this type of redundant metering may be more cost effective than a
single redundant meter. Meters should be sited at major trunks to minimize
the number of meters required.
1.2 Verification by Historical Usage Data. Utility bills should be checked
for discrepancies by comparing historical usage rates to present consumption.
The following should be considered:
(a) Based on past billing records, set high and low limits for utility
consumption and compare the utility bill to the limits. This is accomplished
by evaluating past data for trends and usage patterns and developing a
prediction of what utility consumption should be during a specified interval.
Significant deviation from predicted usage should be investigated. Multiple
linear regression techniques may be useful in developing predictions of
1.3 Utility Procurement Contracts. Utility procurement contracts should be
written to meet verification requirements. Utility contracts are renewed
yearly and can be modified to achieve this. Contracts should include:
(a) Periodic meter calibration. Calibration should be performed at
yearly intervals, or as required by law. In general, the Public Utilities
Commission requires regulated utilities to periodically calibrate billing
meters. Public Works personnel should require copies of calibration records
and should have a government representative present during calibration to
ensure that standard calibration procedures are followed.