When most people think about utility bills, they naturally think about cost. However, from an audit perspective cost is a symptom of a problem and not the problem itself. Therefore, the first step in an audit is to identify total consumption and consumption trends. It is also vital that the data be standardized first, which involves dividing the total amount of energy consumed each month by the number of days in the billing cycle to determine average daily use for each month. A minimum of one year (and preferably two years) of data should be evaluated to examine seasonal usage patterns, given that seasonal usage patterns differ among regions as well as individuals. This graph shows monthly kwh/d usage in the home of Mike Arendt between 2004 and 2009.
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