You have questions. we have answers.
We want to help answer all of your questions as clearly and completely as possible. Please use this list of Frequently Asked Questions as a starting point and always feel free to contact us if you need more information. Our Resident Support Team is ready to answer any questions and can be reached at 614.918.2031 or 877.818.2637, 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday.
What are drivers of usage?
A number of factors can go into electrical usage, including building materials, sunlight, unit location relative to other heating residences, appliance efficiency, the number of outward facing walls a unit has, shadows from other buildings and objects, occupant habits and a host of other conditions. While some drivers are easily noticed, such as using emergency heat in especially cold weather, other factors can be difficult to detect. new address once you move in.
What is Common Area Usage?
Common area usage (CAU) is the energy and water usage of the shared or common areas of your community. Some examples of common areas include street lights, pools, tennis courts, irrigation systems, club houses, etc. In some cases, to provide you with greater transparency of usage, your property elects to have NEP bill for the common area usage, rather than including these charges in your base rent.
Am I getting charged a higher rate by my property than the host utility for my electric and water usage?
As a condition of the partnership between NEP and your property, NEP applies the same or lower rate to your water and electric usage as the local host utility would for residential service. In other words, the rates applied at your property are no higher than if you were a direct customer of the host utility.
Why does my bill seem high?
Have you moved from a community where electricity and water were billed separately and now they are billed together on one statement?
The majority of properties bundle water and electricity into a single bill for convenience and to reduce the amount of paper used. When comparing costs from a previous location it is important to include all of your previously separate utility bills.
Have you moved from a community with gas heat to one with electric heat?
The majority of properties use electricity not only to power the outlets in your unit but also to heat and cool your unit via a heat pump or baseboard heating. If your previous community used gas heating you will need to include the cost of your gas bill as well as you electricity bill to compare costs at your new community.
Have you moved into a unit with different characteristics?
Apartment characteristics can have a large impact on the amount of water or electricity used in the unit, especially when electricity is being used for heating and cooling. Larger spaces require more energy to cool, multiple rooms or high ceilings can negatively affect efficiency, corner units have twice the number of exposed outdoor walls as interior units, and higher floor apartments tend to be warmer than lower floor apartments. A combination of these factors can affect electricity and water efficiency by 10-40%.
Is your in-unit heater set to "Emergency Heat" mode?
Many apartments are heated using a heat pump, which works by extracting heat from the outside air and pumping that heat into your unit. Unfortunately, at a certain temperature, typically less than 15 degrees Fahrenheit the air is so cold that the heat pump is unable to extract any warm air. When this occurs, heat pumps have a setting called “Emergency Heat”. This setting, depending on the type of heat pump, may be triggered manually or automatically. In essence, “Emergency Heat” turns on a large radiant heat coil similar to what you see in an electric stove. This coil assists in raising the temperature in the unit. However radiant heating is very inefficient and consumes significantly larger amounts of electricity than if your heat pump was just working on its own. The use of emergency heat, while sometimes necessary to maintain comfort levels, will cause a spike in energy usage and result in a higher bill.
Your electricity meter measures usage in kilowatt-hours, denoted as “kWh”. Your monthly electricity bill is based on the number of kWh you use. One kWh is roughly equal to using a central air conditioner for 12 minutes, ironing 5 shirts, or lighting your home for two nights with a 60 watt incandescent bulb.
It is important to keep in mind that your kWh usage may change from month to month. One reason is the varying number of days in the month or per billing cycle. Other factors may include fluctuating weather conditions, changes in family living habits, changes or updates to the appliances within your home or the use of electric heat or central air conditioning.
Learning to read your meter can help you keep track of your kWh usage. Like readings from your car’s odometer, electricity meter readings are cumulative; the meter is not reset to “0” each month after a reading is obtained or when a new resident moves in. NEP computes the number of kWh used from one reading to the next by subtraction. For example, a meter may be read as 26591, and then 30 days later read as 27591. By subtracting the previous reading from the most recent, NEP can calculate that 1,000 kWh were used during those 30 days.
Your water meter measures the amount of water entering your home. NEP bills in units of cubic feet (CF) of water. One cubic foot of water is equivalent to 7.48 gallons of water. This is approximately equivalent to a 3 minute shower. A clothes washer will use 3 to 5 cubic feet of water per load, while an automatic dishwasher will use about 2.5 cubic feet of water.
Learning to read your meter can help you keep track of your water usage. Your water meter typically displays your consumption using a series of dials like your car’s odometer. Additionally, there is a large dial to view smaller quantities of flow, and a very small dial, known as a flow indicator, that rotates even with very small quantities of water flowing through the meter. The flow indicator dial is useful in determining if you might have a leak. Simply turn off all of your water devices (like faucets, showers, dishwashers, etc.) and observe the flow indicator dial. If it is moving, water is flowing through the meter and further investigation should be performed to find where the water is being used.
To calculate the usage, simply subtract the prior reading from the current reading to determine how much water you’ve used.
The meters used by NEP are built and tested to the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (for electricity meters) and the American Water Works Association (for water meters). Compliance with these industry standards ensure that NEP is using the most up-to-date and trusted metering equipment in the field.
Historically, NEP meters have been found to perform within industry requirements 99.9 percent of the time. If your meter is discovered to be operating incorrectly, adjustments will be made to prior bills. Please note that only water meters are eligible for field testing.
A resident may additionally request a water or electricity meter be sent to an external laboratory for testing. Your request for an external meter test must include a $50 deposit. If the meter is discovered to be operating incorrectly, adjustments will be made to prior bills. Your deposit will be refunded if the meter over-registers by more than two percent.
Please note that this process is typically completed after an initial meter investigation is performed by analyzing the electronic meter reads we are receiving from either your electricity or water meter. Following the completion of meter usage reports and the analysis of your meter readings, should you still feel that your meter is measuring inaccurate usage, we are happy to follow the previously outlined policy.
Meter reading procedures
NEP attempts to read your meter daily with an automated system to record your water and/or electric consumption. The date the meter was read and the number of days in each billing period are displayed on your billing statement, listed as “Billing Period.”
For maintenance purposes, NEP may need access to your water meter. We strive to provide at least 48 hour notice prior to a scheduled maintenance visit that may necessitate entry to the home.