Utility Bill Overcharges: And The Errors Just Keep On Coming
Last year, the city of Burlington, Vermont as well as the University of Vermont were given a huge surprise, when they were told by the Burlington Electric Department (BED) that they had been subject to substantial overbilling and some under-billing on their respective electric bills. In a statement concerning this issue, Burlington Mayor, Miro Weinberger said: “These errors were avoidable and should not have remained undetected for so many years – our customers should not have to worry about the accuracy of their bills.” To the credit of BED, the discovery led to an immediate, comprehensive review of its metering methods and billing procedures. Interestingly, preliminary results of the review indicated that the problem may have been connected to demand meters used for large commercial and industrial consumers. Coming on the heels of the Duke Energy debacle in Florida, the Burlington issue supports finding by the Department of National Utilities Refund, stating that an average of 79% of companies suffer overcharges on utility bills. This disproportionate percentage should serve as significant motivation to know if your company has been overcharged on its utility bills.
First of all, it is important to understand that the onus of detecting errors is on the client. Although most commercial entities believe they have the adequate controls and forensic accounting personnel in place to detect billing errors, the simple truth is that they do not. Only a highly trained team of utility auditing experts can accurately dissect every line item, identify overcharges, rectify mistakes, obtain refunds, and implement the appropriate controls to prevent overcharges in the future. Why? For starters, today’s utility bills are exceedingly complex and charges are vaguely explained. For example, did you know that a one line entry on a utility bill may be comprised of over 100 factors? Even the most fastidious financial professional, would find it extremely difficult to uncover, let alone examine the individual components that make up what may appear as a one-line charge on a utility bill. That’s where we can help you.
Orpical Energy’s Team of Utility Bill Auditors conduct:
- Telecommunications Audits
- Electricity Audits
- Gas Audits
- Waste Management Audits
- Water Audit
- Merchant Processing Audits (Credit Card Payments)
- Shipping Audits
- Workman’s Compensation Audits
These are not physical audits, so there will be no interruption of your day-to-day business operations. As our name indicates, we examine your bills only. First we will request one month’s bills related to the utility services you wish us to audit. Within 48 hours we will notify you regarding any errors we have identified. Then, we will request additional bills and proceed as follows:
- Using our expertise in rate analysis, we will review all the components used to determine your billing rate. In addition, we will also institute monitoring procedures to facilitate the timely identification of rate changes.
- We will conduct our own review of your energy usage practices to determine the most applicable tariff rates.
- Once we formulate a detailed understanding of your business operations, we will investigate and initiate any utility-associated tax exemptions to which you may be entitled. This process is important because these exemptions can amount to significant savings.
- Since we provide services across the country, we will can apply an integrated knowledge pertaining to your particular industry, to design and recommend utility-related budgetary strategies to ensure accurate billing, enhanced services and cost savings in the future.
- We will incorporate our in-depth knowledge and proven mediation skills to mitigate any areas of dissatisfaction and negotiate the best pricing paradigms for your operation.
- Finally, we will provide a thorough report documenting the full scope of our engagement, findings and recommendations.
During our years in business, we have saved millions of dollars for our clients. We are so confident in our services that we work on a contingency billing model. This means you pay no monies unless or until savings are determined. It’s obvious serious utility billing errors occur. We know we can fix them and guarantee our results. We also suspect you can do better things with your money than pay unnecessary charges for utility, credit card processing, waste management and workers compensation. In today’s economy, no entity can afford to be frivolous about spending. Orpical Energy’s Utility Bill Auditing Services….we’re here when you need us.