How often have you received a utility bill and the billing period matched exactly with the beginning and end of the month? Never, right?
This is why we’ve introduced a billing period flag to the calculate tab in Explorer and to the calculate method in the APIs. By checking the Billing Period checkbox (Explorer) or including the argument billingPeriod=true (APIs), the calculator will calculate the monthly fixed charges, demand charges and tiered consumption charges as if it were a whole month. Now you can enter a date range as it appears on a utility bill even though that “month” can be anywhere between 20 and 40 days long and more easily reproduce a bill.
Of course you’re not always trying to reproduce a utility bill, but instead want to understand the complete, fully-loaded price for any electricity usage. You can access this by not including the billingPeriod flag. Then all your calculations will pro-rate monthly fixed and demand charges according to the number of days in the calendar month. This is especially useful when modeling either small, discrete loads with date/time ranges spanning only hours, or for annual calculations. In this context, pro-rating monthly charges is usually more appropriate.
Next time you log into explorer or call the APIs, try to reproduce your utility bill to the penny. It’s never been easier!