August 18, 2022
Metering electricity in campgrounds is something that most people relate to monthly stays, but I think we’re seeing a change in the industry. There are a lot of things going on with electricity that make it right for some change.
First off, electric cars. I have seen personally that people go and plug in their electric car at the campsite. What should we do about that? What if they’re spending the night and legitimately plugging their car in? Most places don’t have any expenses for electricity on a daily or weekly stay. So do we look the other way? Is there a surcharge? How do we decide when too much electricity is more than their fair share?
Well, I think we’re going to see some new policies coming. I am also already seeing some campgrounds have a charge, a daily charge for charging an electric vehicle at your site. Now, how do you police that? That’s a whole new thing.
There are also other things going on with a lot of bigger motor coaches now using just a lot more electricity. You may see some big motor coaches come in with three air conditioners, the doors wide open, 65 degrees inside their R.V., And 90 outside. They wouldn’t do this at home, but they do it in their R.V. It’s a matter of people thinking about the fact that I’m not paying the bill. So why should I conserve? I think we’re going to see a trend of moving towards metering electricity for all stays in parks.
Now, what does that mean from a cost perspective? Well, first, you also have an increased cost of electricity right now based on all the fossil fuel crises in our country. So that, along with metering, may be the impetus for change in the campground industry.
If we talk with folks over at wild electric, I’ve dealt with them, and they are putting in meters like crazy at sites. With the metering, if it’s digital and doesn’t require a lot of human intervention, that could be an easy change that will come to both daily and the weekly site stays at campgrounds. Now the campground owner’s cost means you have to switch out your utility pedestals to include the ability to monitor. You also need to include that into your reservation system and ensure that there’s a way to handle the electricity billing automatically. And without a lot of, a lot of human intervention, it has to be something that is integrated into your point of sale and your reservation system.
But take a look around and assess what you’ll do long term. Please don’t wait for it to become a problem before you start thinking about solutions. You know, this one’s coming; let’s open up the conversation. If you have a policy at your park about how you charge for charging electric vehicles or excess electricity, please let us know. Let’s get the conversation started.
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Donna Bordeaux, CPA with Campground Accounting
What happens when you send two CPAs out into the relaxing outdoors to camp? You get CampgroundAccounting.com. Donna and Chad have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial CPAs. They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams. They camp and travel across the country every chance they get, so it’s just a natural fit that they focus their CPA skills on helping campground owners throughout the USA grow their businesses and minimize the impact of taxes. They understand the key performance indicators and specialized issues that face RV park owners every day.