How In Blazes Do I Calculate Utilities??

Business By CookieMakinMomma Updated 14 Sep 2009 , 1:13pm by CookieMakinMomma

CookieMakinMomma Posted 10 Sep 2009 , 6:57pm
post #1 of 9

Ok, I have been scouring old threads trying to find the answer but no dice. Every time I turn around people are saying to be sure to calculate your utilities usage into your costs, but they don't tell you HOW! It's easy enough if you own a separate business with it's own bills, but as a home baker who is using her everyday kitchen and her family computer, printer, etc. how do I quantify my usage?

To add to my confusion, we just moved a month ago and have no idea what our bills will be here. I used to have an electric oven but now have gas, so it's not like I can really base stuff off of the old house. Is there a quick and dirty way to estimate it until I have a few month's bills to look at? And then what am I supposed to do once I do have a billing history? GAH! So confused...

8 replies
Win Posted 10 Sep 2009 , 7:24pm
post #2 of 9

The two who come to mind to best answer this would be KellyM (Cake Boss Software) and Indydebi. Maybe they will see this and give you the answer you are looking for... if not, I'm sure they would not mind if you PM'd them.

: )

veronica720 Posted 10 Sep 2009 , 7:37pm
post #3 of 9

I believe leahs bakes at home also, she might be able to help.

Good question, this is something I will need to know also.

Carolynlovescake Posted 10 Sep 2009 , 7:58pm
post #4 of 9

What I do is every January/February is take the utility bill from December and view it. It shows our annual monthly average. I then do the math dividing it down to get a close calculation of a per day use.

On my calculations spreadsheet I just enter how many baking days the order will take and have it auto calculate for me.

CookieMakinMomma Posted 10 Sep 2009 , 8:12pm
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolynlovescake

What I do is every January/February is take the utility bill from December and view it. It shows our annual monthly average. I then do the math dividing it down to get a close calculation of a per day use.

On my calculations spreadsheet I just enter how many baking days the order will take and have it auto calculate for me.




Wouldn't this method have you charging customers the energy use of the whole house for those days? This is definitely the easiest way to do it, but should I be charging them just for business-related utility usage?

indydebi Posted 10 Sep 2009 , 9:25pm
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieMakinMomma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolynlovescake

What I do is every January/February is take the utility bill from December and view it. It shows our annual monthly average. I then do the math dividing it down to get a close calculation of a per day use.

On my calculations spreadsheet I just enter how many baking days the order will take and have it auto calculate for me.



Wouldn't this method have you charging customers the energy use of the whole house for those days? This is definitely the easiest way to do it, but should I be charging them just for business-related utility usage?




When you run a business, you are not charging the customer JUST for the lights when you are in the kitchen. There is a base utility bill needed and it's the cost of doing business. Any facility needs ongoing heat, A/C, water usage, etc. Surely you're not going to measure each cup of water and charge the client for that, are you? No, you're not. I have to pay light bills and gas bills, etal, if I have any orders or not. Any business does not turn the heat on JUST when they're in the store ... the heat runs constantly, as it does in your house. It's part of the cost of doing business. It's called overhead.

So I think the suggestion of figuring an average cost of utilities per day, then using number of "working" days is a very fair calculation.

cas17 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 2:36am
post #7 of 9

thanks op and all who answered as i have been trying to figure this out as well. i just love CC!

CookieMakinMomma Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:52am
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieMakinMomma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolynlovescake

What I do is every January/February is take the utility bill from December and view it. It shows our annual monthly average. I then do the math dividing it down to get a close calculation of a per day use.

On my calculations spreadsheet I just enter how many baking days the order will take and have it auto calculate for me.



Wouldn't this method have you charging customers the energy use of the whole house for those days? This is definitely the easiest way to do it, but should I be charging them just for business-related utility usage?



When you run a business, you are not charging the customer JUST for the lights when you are in the kitchen. There is a base utility bill needed and it's the cost of doing business. Any facility needs ongoing heat, A/C, water usage, etc. Surely you're not going to measure each cup of water and charge the client for that, are you? No, you're not. I have to pay light bills and gas bills, etal, if I have any orders or not. Any business does not turn the heat on JUST when they're in the store ... the heat runs constantly, as it does in your house. It's part of the cost of doing business. It's called overhead.

So I think the suggestion of figuring an average cost of utilities per day, then using number of "working" days is a very fair calculation.




Point well taken. This is the stuff I needed and I'm glad I'm getting schooled by the best! I knew utilities were important, I just didn't know what to to about 'em. (as for water, duh) Just to clarify, does this apply if I am not really baking much? I'm in the very early stages of business-hood and my home-use of the oven far outweighs the business-use so far. Sorry if I sound naive or inexperienced, I'm just trying to learn how to do it right. No point in starting a business if I'm going to half-arse it!

Also, what do I do right now until I know my usage history?

CookieMakinMomma Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 1:13pm
post #9 of 9

Anyone else? Are there any other methods for estimating utilities expenses? Thank you all so much for your help!

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