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Top 5 most common reasons for overcharges in utility billing


Legitimate but lesser known tax exemption rules for utility users – ones that often “fly under the radar” because they’re not routinely recognized by the authorities – continues to be the single biggest source of significant energy refunds for large property owners.


So says Michael Steifman, CEO of UtiliSave, the country’s preeminent optimizer and auditor of utility data whose New York-based company has generated over $450 million in energy refunds and credits to its clientele since its founding in 1991.

UtiliSave, which currently services over 16,000 properties nationwide and represents such prominent real estate owners as SL Green, Silverstein Properties, LeFrak, RFR; corporations like Xerox and Pepsi; and institutions including large hospitals and universities, recently analyzed its client records to determine the five leading reasons for overcharges or mistakes in utility billing.

“Our motivation for this type of study and documentation was simple,” stated Steifman. “Although huge amounts of money are at stake, most property owners automatically assume their utility bills are correct, or even if not correct, there is little they can do to affect the outcome and don’t bother to question whether they’re paying more than they should. I think we’ve proven that can be a very costly error in judgement.”

Besides its focus on little known tax exemption rules – an area originated and successfully pursued by UtiliSave for a number of its clients – the following round out the company’s “Top Five” most common reasons for utility bill overcharging:

#2) Errors in data collection for all energy types, including electricity, gas, steam, etc.

#3) Actual mathematical errors that result in billing that is not calculated properly

#4) Charges for unused services

#5) Bills that do not reflect user’s contract terms

According to Steifman, common errors and miscalculations in utility billing literally “are just the tip of the iceberg and offer the potential for tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in savings to property owners throughout the United States,” he stated.

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