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Budget Woes, Budget Pros

Budget woes? I sympathize. If you’re not Amazon or Zoom, your budget has probably taken a big hit. One bright spot may be your actual 2020 utilities spend vs. the budget.

Here’s an example of a large school district’s actual 12-month spend vs. prior years.

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Due to partial and total building shutdowns beginning in March, year-to-date utilities spend is about $6 million less than recent years. Unfortunately, that may be about the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal budget situation due to reduced income from greatly diminished economic activity. And as building occupancy returns to a state of normalcy sometime in 2021 (hopefully!), utilities expenses will return to pre-COVID levels, which may be yet another shock after a year of reductions. Budget woes.

But there is help available for your budget woes…EnergyCAP version 7 budget worksheets are your budget pros. These easy-to-use spreadsheets give you historical cost, consumption, unit cost, and weather data, plus convenient pre-programmed calculation columns (see the yellow highlighted columns) so you can create budget scenarios based on different assumptions, such as:

  • Using pre-COVID shutdown data, what would a “normal” budget year look like, assuming the summer weather is 10% less severe and electricity increases by 1 cent/kWh?
  • How would a 20% colder winter and continued partial shutdowns through March 2021 affect the 2021 budget?
  • Using best-case and worst-case utility spend assumptions on weather, prices, and occupancy, bracket the upper and lower bounds of my 2021 budget.

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Do all of this, and more, in the powerful Budget Worksheet tool. In times of great uncertainty and woe, prove you’re a pro by developing a utilities budget that reduces controllable expense uncertainty and provides assurance to your CFO and Board that no big energy spend surprises are headed their way.

 

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