Real Talk About Utility Audits: What are They?

Think of a utility audit as your ticket to substantial savings. Most companies are overpaying for their utilities and telecom services; you don’t have to be one of them!

A utility audit is an extensive analysis of all electric, gas, water and sewer bills. The audit finds billing discrepancies and reviews rate plan efficacy. 

There are three parts to a utility and telecom audit:

  • research,

  • review,

  • recommendations

Let’s take a deep dive into audits so that you can understand exactly how they can benefit you and your company. 

Research: Gather Information for Utility and Telecom Audit

Utility and Telecom Audit Programs are easy and effective

In our utility audit program, we first gather all the documents they need to review your utilities. For most companies, this means we need 12 months of bills for all utilities: electric, gas, water, and sewer. 12 months may seem like a lot - but it’s what’s needed for an exhaustive overview. 

Oftentimes, we can get started with just the most current invoice copy for each account and then pull the historical invoice copies from the utility vendor’s online billing portal.  

Looking at 12 months of history gives us the context we need to evaluate what your benchline costs currently are. 

(Curious if our extensive audit program could be a fit for you? Schedule a quick, informal call today!)

Review: Examine All Utility and Telecom Bills and Options

Utility and Telecom Audits Are Easy And Effective

Once we have all necessary documentation, we do the following for each location or property:

  1. Analyze the energy usage number vs. the current meter reading. Is there a discrepancy in these numbers? Is one much larger than the other? That would be the first indication that something is off. 

  2. Look for billing errors. Do your rates or fees jump in the past year? Are there typos? Does everything add up like it should? Looking over the past year of expense trends makes price fluctuation much clearer. 

After we’ve reviewed the documentation, we’re able to take a step back and evaluate rate structures, trends, and tax exemptions. 

A lot of companies have inefficient rate structures - and you may not realize that a better rate structures are available to you. We look at all opportunities available to you so you can stop overspending. 

We also evaluate growth trends - and not just once. Price jumps may happen seasonally, as with electric bills. But there can be other reasons for utility price hikes. The utility supplier may have made a mistake, or you may have just renovated one of your buildings. A third-party auditor will find the delineation between charges that are fair and those that are questionable. 

Continuous auditing (in which current bills are compared against historical growth trends) ensures that any future mistakes are found and corrected. 

A good utility auditor won’t just stop with examining bills, rate structures, and trends. They’ll also look into tax exemptions. Different cities and states have different exemption opportunities in place, so a utility auditor that goes above and beyond will find the best options available to you. 

Does this sound like a lot? It is, but a professional auditor will know where to look for the best cost reduction opportunities available to you. Most audits take a 30-90 days, which in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that long. A month or so is all it takes to find hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in cost reduction opportunities. 

Recommendations: Take Advantage of Savings Opportunities

After we’ve looked over all of your utility and telecom bills and reviewed additional savings opportunities, we present them to you.  We always show the bottom line: how much you can potentially save in each utility area by taking these recommended steps.

And based on your unique situation, we may show you some or all of the following:

  • Different vendor recommendations

  • Rate structure options

  • Tax Exemption options

  • Credits due 

The findings vary, but identify cost reduction opportunities for over 80% of the companies that engage our services. (It’s true - most companies could benefit from an audit!)

A Utility and Telecom Audit Program Is Easy and Effective

If you knew only 2 hours stood between you and savings, would you wait?

Our utility audit program takes very little of your time. Most companies can assemble and send us the needed documentation in 1-2 hours. Then we do all the work for you and present you with solutions - actionable next steps that allow you to take advantage of savings. 

You may not have the time or expertise to complete a thorough utility audit, but you can absolutely reap the benefits of one. Utility audits can massively benefit your bottom line - and can ease any residual fears you may have about billing mistakes and price spikes. 

Could more industries benefit from audits? Let us know your thoughts below!