By Richard Rodgers of Dannah Investment Group and Tommy Bopp of Utility Bill Pro
Operating a business requires you to meet the needs of your clients, while remaining fiscally responsible to achieve profitability. As business managers and/or owners, you likely have a lot of bills piling up on your desk waiting for approvals. For most managers, a bill is quickly reviewed and signed off on as long as it mirrors previous charges. But what if you are overpaying for expenses?
It’s time to consider a utility bill audit. Below is a list of questions that often come up surrounding this topic:
What Is a Utility Bill Audit?
A utility bill audit is completed by a trained professional who reviews power, gas, water, phone and solid waste disposal bills looking for errors and overcharges.
What Is Required of Me?
All you need to provide is a copy of each utility bill you would like audited. Leave it to the expert to start digging to see what potential savings exist.
What Does It Cost?
This may vary depending on the utility audit professional; however, you should not pay anything up-front. If savings are found, you will share in the savings with your utility audit expert. If there are no savings, there is no charge. You will never pay anything out of pocket.
What Am I Saving?
When an error is discovered and corrected, two things happen. First, your monthly bills will be lower. Second, you will receive a refund. As an example, the audit might uncover $100 savings per month. Although that may not sound like a lot, this would typically result in a refund of over $4,000.
Your utility audit professional can help you by recovering past overpayments, correcting your current bills and monitoring your ongoing bills to prevent overcharges from happening again in the future.
Can I Do This Myself?
The complexity and technical nature of the billing process makes it almost impossible to determine the accuracy of monthly bills, rendering virtually any business unable to perform a thorough and accurate evaluation of its utility bills. Your utility audit professional has the time, expertise and experience needed to conduct such an audit because that is what they specialize in.
All states have statutes of limitations dictating how far back you can go to recover overpayments you’ve already made to utility companies. This means that each day that goes by is a day of potential refunds that is gone forever. You will never get that money back.
For those who may still be skeptical about the process, just take a moment to think about the electricity you have running while you are reading this article. What if you are overpaying for it? In addition, how often do you review your waste management bill to review each charge? Can you even understand all the line items on your telecom bills?
Why not take 10 minutes out of your day to compile your last month’s utility bills, send them to a utility audit professional and see if you can recoup overcharges — and save for years to come?