Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs for Tenants/Owners & Property Managers
FAQs For Tenants/Owners
There are a variety of factors to consider when reviewing your bill. Consider the following:
What type of home are you in?
The characteristics of your home can have a large impact on the amount of water or electricity used, 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%.
What has the weather been like where you live?
In the Spring and Fall in most of the Midwest, temperatures are more moderate, which means your A/C and heat do not have to run as much to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This leads to lower energy bills. In the summer and winter, temperatures are more extreme, meaning that your air has to run longer to keep your home cool, and your heat has to run longer to keep your home warm. This will lead to higher energy bills due to higher usage.
Is your apartment thermostat 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.
Did you have gas heat where you previously lived?
The majority of apartment 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 your electricity bill to compare costs at your new community.
Were you previously being billed for electricity and water separately?
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 electric and water bills.
Were you previously being charged a flat rate for water?
Many properties charge a flat rate for water. They will take the total usage of the property and break down the charges based on the square footage of each unit. If your home instead has an individual meter, you will be billed for your actual individual usage.
Do you have any faucets that are dripping or toilets that are constantly running?
Dripping faucets and running toilets may not seem like a big deal, but they can lead to surprise high water bills. It’s important to get issues like this fixed by either calling a plumber or your property management maintenance team.
Actual usage is calculated with a meter read system. The sensors track the consumption as it is being used. Your usage data is based on actual reads (when applicable) instead of averages or estimations each month.
Your actual usage is the difference between the Prior Meter Read, and the Current Meter Read. Electric usage is always in kilowatt hours (kWh) and water usage is either in Gallons or Cubic Feet.
All metered services are billed from your actual usage and charged at public rates, per Public Utility Commission of Ohio rules and regulations. In some cases, residents may be charged a flat water/sewer rate each month if individual meters are unable to be installed at the current time. It is based on the total community usage.
On your bill, each line that includes a Meter Number and an Actual Usage number refers to each different utility that you consume that we provide billing services for. For example, electric and water.
For your convenience, we combine them into one bill for ease of payment.
As a condition of the partnership between PEM and your property, PEM applies the same or lower rate to your water and electric usage as the local host utility (AEP) 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 (AEP). If you would like to check our rates against AEP you may go to:
To calculate your rate for each utility, take the total amount of charges from each host utility, and then divide that total amount by your total usage for that specific utility. You may see multiple charges. These are broken out for you for the sake of transparency, so you can see what of your total amount are customer fees, what parts are for the generation (power plant) of the utility, transmission (power plant to substation) of the utility, etc, but you must add them all together to properly calculate your rate.
We list these charges in this way to be in line with if were receiving your bill straight from the host utility provider.
Start by creating an online account here. Within your online account, you can sign up for automatic payments via Electronic Bank Transfer (ACH), or Credit Card.
If setting up an automatic payment after the 8th day of the month, the payment will not pull for the current month, and a second one-time payment must be made for the current month. Your autopay will begin the following month if setting up after the 8th.
Please note that if you sign up for auto-pay your payment will automatically withdraw from your account 2 days before the stated due date.
PROCESSING FEES FOR PAYMENT METHODS:
ELECTRONIC BANK TRANSFERS
There is a $1.00 Processing Fee for ACH Electronic Bank Transfer payments made by bank account and routing number.
$0.01 – $50.00 = $1.49 Processing Fee
$50.01 – $100.00 = $2.94 Processing Fee
$100.01 – $150.00 = $4.39 Processing Fee
$150.01 – $200.00 = $5.84 Processing Fee
$200.01 – $4000.00 = 2.99% Processing fee
No, Pioneer Energy Management has no affiliation with DOXO. We do not recommend that our customers use DOXO’s services to pay their utility bills. This could result in late fees or disconnection notices as DOXO does not notify Pioneer of any payments made, and Pioneer does not receive your payment from DOXO until weeks after the due date.
Transmission and distribution charges are common charges from the host utility provider that you’ll see on your bill.
A transmission charge is a cost to deliver electricity from the power-generating facility. Electricity is moved from natural gas, coal, or nuclear power plants to the utility’s electric substations.
If you see a distribution charge on your bill, this accounts for the local poles and wires that distribute electricity to your home.
Common area usage (CAU) is the energy and water usage of the shared or common areas of your property. 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 PEM bill for the common area usage, rather than including these charges in your base rent. These charges are also typically outlined in your lease.
Sometimes, depending on the development, it is not an option for a property to be a direct customer of the City Utility or a Host Utility Company like American Electric Power (AEP).
Other times, a host utility may provide the energy to your community, but your community may hire Pioneer Energy Management to help with the large task that is reading meters, billing for consumption, and collecting payments. We are a service provider who can help with all of that, plus offer direct Customer Support for tenants.
All payments made in the online portal or over the phone with customer service incur a payment processing fee. This is simply the cost of processing the transaction. PEM does not profit from this charge. If you would prefer to make a fee-free payment, you can mail in a check or money order. Another option is to send your payment via BillPay through your bank.
- Connect all appliances directly to the generator.
- Don’t connect the generator’s electrical output to any home or building electrical circuits.
- Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.
- Avoid contact with bare wires and terminals.
- Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in any damp or highly conductive area.
- If you have a transfer switch (permanent connection) installed for a portable generator, contact a licensed electrician.
- Permanently-installed generators should always be installed by a licensed electrician.
- When purchasing a gas-powered generator, also buy a battery-operated carbon-monoxide alarm.
- Don’t use gas-powered generators in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, like inside a garage or a home.
- Keep gas-powered generators away from open windows, including neighbors’ windows, so deadly exhaust does not enter anyone’s home.
FAQs For Property Managers
You have two options to report a tenant moving out.
1) If you use our Community Manager Portal, you can process move-ins and move-out with the click of a button.
2) If you do not use our community manager portal, you should use our Property Manager Move Out Request Form to submit your move-out(s) for your property. You can either submit a single move-out by filling out the form, or you can submit batch move-outs by uploading an Excel spreadsheet file. Our Customer Support Team will receive your submission and process your move-out promptly for you.
You have two options to report a tenant moving in.
1) If you use our Community Manager Portal, you can process move-ins and move-out with the click of a button.
2) If you do not use our community manager portal, you should use our Property Manager Move In Request Form to submit your move-in(s) for your property. You can either submit a single move-in by filling out the form, or you can submit batch move-ins by uploading an Excel spreadsheet file. Our Customer Support Team will receive your submission and process your move-in promptly for you.
As a property manager, you will receive monthly reimbursement reports that show the summary of money collected from tenants to pay for water and/or electric at your property. In the reimbursement report, you will see information like “Summary by Date,” “Summary by Billing Type” and “Summary by Payment Type,” referring to check, e-check, online payment, etc. Please contact our Operations Manager at 614.442.7100 and she can walk you through your reimbursement report, answering any questions you may have.
High usage in a vacant unit can happen for a variety of reasons. There may be a leak in a faucet, toilet, or hot water tank, there may be a malfunctioning meter, or contractors and other vendors might be consuming energy in the unit. Contact our Customer Support Team at 614.442.7100 and they can help you dive into the specifics of a vacant unit to determine why high usage is being recorded. We’ll try to resolve the issue for you so the unnecessary high usage is stopped.
If you notice a street light that needs to be repaired or if you have another service-related request please email email@example.com to submit a request for repair.
Absolutely, contact our Customer Support team and we’ll run a report for you!