When you only understand your emissions based on averages for a given year or month (ie. relying on utility bills), you lack visibility into the time and location of that energy consumption.
To understand this, let’s look at what is typically happening when a company claims to be “100% Renewable.” In many cases, what they’ve done is tallied up their carbon emissions for the year and purchased unbundled Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset their emissions. The problem with that is that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, so they are in reality still emitting carbon, often in a different time and place than the offsets they purchased.
When you attempt to audit the data from this approach, you miss critical information such as the time and location. When data is based on monthly averages, you don’t get visibility into when and where clean energy is being procured and how it is offsetting load on an hourly basis. Because of this, using monthly averages can leave a company at risk of being accused of greenwashing.