Simply put, a utility audit is a detailed, thorough analysis of all your utility bills, including electric, water, sewer, and gas. Executing a comprehensive utility audit finds billing inconsistencies and errors and examines your business’s rate plan for effectiveness. A utility auditor will evaluate your rate plans and suggest cost effective changes.
Utility providers do not go out of their way to make it easy for you to understand their billing system. Bills, codes, industry tariffs, and even utility terminology can be confusing and impossible for the layman to understand. Calculating what you should be paying is not simple for the novice either.
The Steps of a Utility Audit
A thoroughly executed Utility Audit will cover the following:
- Your energy usage numbers will be reviewed. Your energy bills should not vary wildly, especially when comparing month to month, and season to season expenses. Carefully auditing these numbers will find billing errors and ensure that you are not being overcharged or charged for the same period twice.
- Rate Structure Analysis. Your auditor knows that you are not simply forced to accept the rate structured assigned to you by your utility provider. They will have the expertise to review the different rate options available to you and select the one that fits. No utility company is going to do that work for you.
- Observe Growth Trends. Periodically certain utility bills surge, sometimes with good reason. If you are in a tropical climate, your energy bills may surge in summertime, and conversely, cold climates will see higher energy bills in the winter. Water bills should remain consistent. Utility audits will uncover these anomalies and go back to the utility company for answers.
The Utility Audit Process
A utility audit will require some work on your part in the preparation phase, but after that we do all the heavy lifting. We will need to look at all invoices from your utility vendors, for all your locations. We will assess each vendor for accuracy.
Next, we will conduct a market analysis of providers, regulatory requirements, your options, and compliance. The entire process takes 4 – 6 weeks. Once you approve our recommendations, we will contact your providers and make the contractual changes for you.
Why a Utility Audit Matters to Your Business
Research shows that over 90% of businesses are invoiced incorrectly at least once a year. If you manage a large business, these expenses can be astronomical. If you manage an SMB, one large billing error can evaporate your cash on hand and paralyze your business. Here are two examples of cost saving opportunities most businesses do not consider:
Water and Sewer: Some of the largest reductions we have helped our clients attain is regarding their water and sewer bills. Not only have we found billing errors, but we have also discovered costly leaks and helped them get credits.
Natural Gas: The gas industry has changed rapidly over the past few years, and there are methods we can use that eliminate some of the risk to your business when it comes to your gas bills.
Who Executes a Utility Audit?
A utility audit may be performed by an internal team, but it is likely that most of your team is swamped doing their regular jobs. Hiring an external contractor who specializes in utility audits is often the best bet. In addition to how busy your team is, there are other reasons to hire an independent utility auditor:
- A utility auditor is an expert at their work, and it will be easier for them to identify mistakes.
- An auditor has experience with a wide variety of contracts and will know how to negotiate with your utility providers. Can negotiate better with utility providers.
- Auditors are familiar with utility providers and know how to expedite the process.
Who Uses Them?
Large multinational companies, and SMB’s may benefit from an in-house auditor depending on the number of utility providers, number of accounts with providers, and total utility spend. Enterprise and SMBs also benefit from Utility Audits. We are experienced working with all three entities.
If you are spending more than $2,500 per month on your utility bills, an audit is highly recommended. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us by email, or call us at (888) 208-0020.
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash
1000’s of Customer’s Accounts Audited
Average Savings 17%
Get money back at no cost. Over 35% of utility, telecom, internet bills have errors. Do yours?
We review our clients’ utility/energy bills and determine if there are errors or
overcharges that have been paid, that can be refunded.
At no cost to you we have our staff analyze your bills to determine any incorrect charges, i.e.: classification, surcharges, tariffs, taxes, demand charges, etc.
Remember, this program is on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if you get your refund.
We provide in-depth auditing of utility bills to identify opportunities for cost control, to uncover errors, and to secure client savings and refunds. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Here are some examples of the refunds we have secured for our clients:
Request a Free Audit by completing the form below or clicking this button.
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As Utility Auditors, we see this kind of outrageous over-billing often. $115 million, in this instance, will be refunded thanks to rarely seen sanctions against this type of behavior.
If you believe your business or investment property has been overbilled – on any utilities – do not hesitate to contact a Professional Utility Auditor – Immediately. Applied Utility Auditors offers no – risk services. We only get paid if you get a refund. Don’t get over your head in overhead.
Call Paul Today: 877 208 0021
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
JCP&L rates to drop slightly after ruling
March 18, 2015 Last updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 5:29 PM
By DAVE SHEINGOLD
Staff Writer |
Electricity users in six Passaic County communities and all of Morris County will see their rates drop slightly in the next few months following a ruling Wednesday by state regulators that sanctioned Jersey Central Power & Light for overbilling customers, but also let the company recoup money spent repairing damage from major storms.
In a unanimous vote at a meeting in Trenton, the Board of Public Utilities ordered JCP&L to refund $115 million to customers through the rate reduction, mostly to cover overcharges for power grid maintenance throughout its northern and central New Jersey territory from 2008 to 2011.
But the board also ordered that ratepayers pay for $736 million JCP&L spent restoring power following Superstorm Sandy and other bouts of severe weather since then that caused blackouts of up to two weeks.
The net result of formulas that parcel out those expenses over varying periods of time will be a $34 million cut in the company’s annual revenue and a drop of 1.2 percent, or $1.68, in its average residential monthly bill, according to the board. The exact month when bills will drop has not been set, but should come this spring, said BPU spokesman Greg Reinert.
JCP&L’s 1.1 million customers include 15,400 in six Passaic County municipalities – Wayne, West Milford, Wanaque, Pompton Lakes, Bloomingdale and Ringwood – and 197,000 in Morris County.
“Today’s order ensures that JCP&L is providing safe and proper service at just and reasonable rates, while also securing and being mindful of the company’s financial integrity,” said BPU President Richard Mroz.
The decision represents a middle-ground between a $207.5 million revenue reduction sought by a state consumer advocacy office and a request by JCP&L for a rate hike to cover increased expenses and storm-related costs.
In January, a state administrative law judge largely sided with claims by the office, known as the Division of Rate Counsel, that JCP&L used complex accounting techniques to return too much profit to its parent company, FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, OH. The judge said the issue of storm costs should be addressed in a separate proceeding.
The BPU, however, combined both matters into one.
The ruling was criticized by Stefanie Brand, director of the Rate Counsel’s office, for rejecting the office’s request for retroactive rate cuts and postponement of storm-cost repayment.
“I’m disappointed,” she said. “It’s still a reduction. But I think they should have taken into account the fact that ratepayers had been paying too much for a number of years. They could have phased this in.” She declined to say if the order would be appealed.
Ronald Morano, a spokesman for JCP&L, said the company would review the order before commenting, but noted that it planned $254 million in improvements this year. Those include new circuits, upgraded utility poles, flood-proofing around power transfer stations and tree-trimming around power lines. The latter effort is aimed at a key problem in the company’s largely suburban and rural territory.
Wednesday’s ruling ends an unusually long-running case involving claims that disputed, in highly arcane terms, the write-offs, equipment depreciation and other accounting techniques used to set rates that generate JCP&L’s revenues. A key issue was whether JCP&L collected too much to cover its federal taxes and then used that money to offset taxes owed by other FirstEnergy subsidiaries.
Brand’s office also accused the company of improperly cutting costs, especially on grid maintenance and tree-trimming. JCP&L responded with a case of its own, seeking rate hikes.
As many New Jerseyans, Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers have come to discover over the winter, the relatively new marketplace for third party suppliers of electricity has not been as great in practice as it may have been in theory.
Many third party suppliers, it seems, have been inexplicably driving up prices on consumers, claiming increased costs due to winter weather — in spite of the non-inflated prices from the primary supplier. A Forbes Contributor went so far as to proclaim this trend a “new scam.”
How are they getting away with this dodgy practice? The marketplace, after all, allows customers to switch suppliers, right?
Unfortunately, switching suppliers can take months to finalize, and some of these companies seem to be exploiting that fact while banking on the docility of others. Late notices for bills threaten power shut-offs and this can also serve in the interest of these price-jackers as people are afraid to take any corrective action.
So what can you do?
Dispute the charges immediately. Switch suppliers immediately. You may also wish to contact your state’s Attorney General and Public Utilities Commission (or their equivalents). In Pennsylvania, the Attorney General is already looking into this matter, and the State Legislature is also launching an investigation.
Are you a business owner or CEO? Is your business spending way too much on energy?
Let Applied Utility Auditors LLC dispute these and other utility overcharges on your behalf.
Contact Paul Steberger of Applied Utility Auditors Today.
Our telecom bill auditing discovers and obtains refunds as well as reduces your future bills.
All we need is one month’s bill and we do the rest.
You will reduce your telecom/ internet bills or we are not paid our contingency fee.
We have over 38 years of telecom experience which enables us to expertly review you r telecom bills from all carriers/ internet providers. We examine bills and contracts including AT&T, Paetec, Sprint, Verizon, and Broadview to name a few. We have an excellent track record in finding errors / solutions for the following:
AT&T ABN contract review and billing error discovery.
The ABN bill in our opinion is very complex and difficult to understand. We recently reviewed an AT&T ABN bill and, secured over $100, 00.00 in refunds for an international co. based in NJ. See other customer stories.
Renegotiate carrier contracts including AT&T ABN contracts, Paetec, Sprint, Verizon etc
We have secured contract price reductions exceeding $60,00.00 per year on two and 3 year AT&T ABN contracts. Also a recent review of a 50 employee New Jersey company, with a $3,000.00 monthly telecom/internet bill, yielded a 32% monthly savings or $12,000.00 per year.
Eliminate excess capacity and lines that you are paying for.
We find that more than 50% of the companies we audit/consult for have either the wrong services or circuits and 30 telephone lines. One client only required 1 T1 and 12 telephone lines. The savings were over $1,500.00 per month.
We designed one of the first private interconnected telephone system for a public school in Northern New Jersey in 1974.
This provided a feature rich solution while saving over 20% in annual costs. We designed/consulted for thousands of lines to the business community, the health care industry [nursing homes, and the assisted living industry].
We developed a software solution for the health care industry
This integrates the low voltage systems [alarms, fire and smoke, door entry control, and wireless monitoring systems] as a turnkey solution. This provides a cost saving solution as well as addressing a life safety issue in that any LCD telephone becomes an auxiliary annunciator panel