Top 5 Reasons to Conduct a Utility Rate Analysis

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1. You Have Multiple Meters

If you have multiple electric or water meters, it is a good idea to have a utility bill audit performed. Multiple meters are billed a variety of rates. Rates are based on each meter’s usage, load, and meter size. Therefor factors that go into calculating each meter’s bill can be different. Experienced utility bill auditors will verify that each meter is on the correct rate. It is wise to have a utility rate analysis performed on each meter and re-calculate each bill to ensure it is correct.

2. You Use a lot of Electricity/ Water

The more you pay in electricity or water, the more chance there is for errors. A billing error on a high usage account can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. For example, an overcharge is multiplied by 100,000 if an account is billed for 100,000 kwh. To ensure that your account is billed correctly, we recommend that high usage accounts should be audited at least once every 5 years.

3. You Pay for Unmetered Lights

Utility companies bill unmetered lights on a flat rate per light, light type, and wattage. Therefore, it is easy to lose track of these factors. Over time, lights are replaced, but bills remain the same. If the utility company bills you for the incorrect number of lights, you could be overbilled. Cities, Counties, state agencies and other municipalities pay for a majority of the unmetered street lights that exist. Utility companies are horrible at keeping up with their lighting inventories. As a result, they frequently overcharge or undercharge their unmetered light customers. Other organizations, such as schools and hospitals frequently pay for unmetered guard lights. Utility companies frequently overbill customers on unmetered guard lights. A Utility Rate Analysis on your unmetered lights can uncover overcharges on your bill.

4. You are Sales Tax Exempt

Sales tax exempt organizations should not be paying for sales tax on their electric bills. In addition to sales tax, there are other taxes and fees you could be exempt for based on your facility location and facility type. Manufacturers in Texas are sales tax exempt on electricity if a predominant usage study is performed. Predominant usage studies document that a certain percentage of the electricity is used for manufacturing. A utility bill auditor can determine what taxes you should be exempt for and have your accounts set up for future exemptions. In addition to that, utility auditors can recover past tax charges billed in error on your behalf. A utility rate analysis can uncover rates available to certain customers, such as farmers, that will be beneficial to you and lower your bills.

5. You are in a Regulated Area

Overcharges occur frequently in regulated electric territories, contrary to popular belief. We find errors in regulated and deregulated areas. Texas deregulated the electricity market in 2002. Deregulation means you can choose your Retail Electric Provider. However there are still areas of the state where you are not able to make that choice. TriStem routinely finds billing errors in regulated and deregulated areas. Just because you are in a certain area, does not mean that you shouldn’t have your utility bills reviewed by an expert.