Utility Bill Audits – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why hire TriStem to audit your utility bills?
A: There are increased opportunities for errors on utility bills due to today’s complex systems. Unfortunately, the information necessary to detect those errors does not always appear on the bill. TriStem checks everything and anything that affects your utility bill.
Q: What are some of the things that TriStem checks during a utility bill audit?
A: Wrong rates, rates applied improperly, estimated meter readings, meter malfunctions, meters improperly installed, billing for meters that do not exist, billing for accounts that belong to others, wrong type or size of light, riders not applied properly, calculation errors, double billings, double payments, charges not allowed in the contract, contracts with erroneous terms, and tariff violations. We check all historical billing data available and also perform field checks on certain meters and facilities.
Q: How much does an audit cost?
A: For all audits our only fee is to keep a percentage of the actual refunds or savings obtained. If no refunds or savings are obtained, no fees are charged to the client.
Q: How long do utility bill audits take?
A: A TriStem audit is a forensic look at your utility bill. Each audit is unique, but on average a full comprehensive audit takes 12-18 months. We work independently and provide status reports so you know what is happening with your audit. Our clients can choose to be as involved or uninvolved in the audit process as they would like to be.
Q: How do we get started?
A: TriStem will provide the client with a checklist detailing each item needed to begin the audit. In general, we will need 1 months worth of your electric bills, a list of facilities and square footage, any service agreements you have with your utility providers, and a contact person at your organization who will serve as a point of contact for any additional information needed from TriStem. Before starting the audit, a consulting agreement is signed by both parties.
Q: When do we get billed for your services?
A: TriStem does not bill our clients until refunds are obtained from the utility company for over-billings. Once you receive the refund, we will send you an invoice for our fee. Invoices are sent for each refund obtained. Many of our clients receive multiple refunds from multiple utility companies over the course of the audit.