The country’s leading forensic utility bill auditing company has some good news for owners of large real estate portfolios with high or escalating energy costs – when today’s advances in software technology and products are properly utilized, the likelihood of uncovering utility billing errors that can result in significant refunds and savings is 93 percent.
That figure is among the highlights of recent findings by New York-based UtiliSave, a specialist in utility data optimization, which serves over 16,000 properties nationwide.
The company, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, has been pioneering and utilizing its own in-house developed data analysis software since 1998.
UtiliSave found that energy overcharges for property owners who are spending a minimum of $2 million a year for utilities, including oil, water, steam, electricity, etc., ranges between 2.5 and 10 percent, or a potential savings or refund of between $50,000 and $200,000 annually.
The company also pinpointed the three most common errors made by utility billing departments as follows:
1) Billing data is misreported
2) Certain exemptions or special rates are not applied
3) Optimal rate is not given
“Taking a sophisticated, high-tech approach to scrutinizing utility bills is more ‘mission critical’ today than many property owners realize,” asserted UtiliSave CEO Michael Steifman, who noted that his company recently identified and secured a $400,000 refund on behalf of its client, the managing agent for a large class A midtown Manhattan office tower.
As part of its assignment, UtiliSave audited utility bills, analyzed data and conducted physical inspections of the property, including all water and fire meters.
After identifying issues of concern, the company presented its findings and detailed analysis to the water department.
At first its request for a refund was denied, however, UtiliSave effectively leveraged its knowledge of regulatory practices and strong negotiating skills to ultimately get a $400,000 claim settlement for its client.
According to Steifman, the largest client refund ever achieved by his company from a single energy bill audit was $2.5 million while the biggest one-year savings was $3.5 million.
Equipped as a total utility management partner, UtiliSave benefits not only large energy consumers, but also Efficiency Project Providers and ESCOs / Utility Companies.
Core products include BillAudit and UseAudit which analyze historical utility data to identify refund opportunities and operational inefficiencies, and Utility Management Interface (UMI) – a user-friendly platform that provides superior energy management.