Property Owners Overpay on Utilities by 15%

Mckay Luu | September 2, 2021

Property Owners Overpay on Utilities by 15%

Property owners across the nation are overpaying for their utilities by way of ineffective provider rates and errors. Utilities are one of the largest operating expenses for property owners and provider errors are on the rise, resulting in unnecessary overspending on utility expenses.

On average, property owners are overpaying for utilities by 15% or more. If provider invoices and rates are not properly audited, these common issues go undetected for the life of the account, costing owners thousands of dollars, while padding utility companies’ profits.

Many utility companies offer varying rate structures based on the account type, meter size, and historical usage. In some cases, accounts that are eligible for a more favorable rate could save thousands of dollars annually, but if owners are unaware of the opportunity, they are likely overpaying. Another common issue property owners face is costly rate errors made on the providers’ behalf. A rate error occurs when the provider is billing based on the most optimal or correct rate structure, but other factors of their calculations are inaccurate (meter multipliers, number of units, etc.), resulting in overcharging the account owner.

How do you know if you’re overpaying?

To identify utility-saving opportunities, there are several key factors that must be carefully evaluated. Determining which providers offer alternative rate structures and identifying if an account is eligible are just the first steps. To identify a rate savings opportunity, accurate data is needed to determine if an account is eligible. At minimum, this data set should include at least 12 months of historical invoices. For the average community, that is 192 invoices. This equates to over 10,000 invoices for an average-size portfolio. Gathering and inputting this information is a critical first step of a rate audit but may create a strain on internal resources when handling this in-house.

Gathering data for a rate audit is not only time-consuming but understanding the various rate options available and the nuances between providers can make an in-house rate audit feel impossible. Identifying rate errors is difficult if you don’t understand the current rate structure and how it’s being applied. These types of errors are easily overlooked by someone who is not trained or well versed in countless, different utility provider rate structures.

There’s an easier way.

Property owners are taking advantage of significant savings through Conservice’s comprehensive rate audits, performed by a dedicated team of expert Rate Analysts. As industry-leading experts, the Conservice Rate Audit team has saved hundreds of clients millions of dollars by identifying alternative rate opportunities and errors.

Conservice can perform thorough rate audits on water, sewer, gas, and electric provider accounts utilizing data from their robust expense management platform known as Synergy. Rate Analysts rely on accurate data, coupled with their inside industry knowledge and expertise, to make the most accurate and optimal recommendations—guaranteeing their partners are on the most favorable provider rate, saving them thousands of dollars annually. Conservice is also able to analyze if it is cost-effective to install a new provider meter (such as a demand meter) to be eligible to switch to time of use rates, which can greatly reduce energy expenses for high users.

Once a rate audit is complete, Conservice makes recommendations and with client consent, works directly with the utility providers to optimize the account. This process is essentially hands-off for the client, allowing property owners the benefit of saving thousands of dollars without the time-consuming task of dealing with providers and their red tape.

On average, accounts with identified savings cut costs by $4,961 per meter annually. For an average-size portfolio, this equates to over $210,000 in savings annually. In one recent example, Conservice completed a rate audit for a site located in Mountain View, CA, where they identified and corrected a water provider rate error. This resulted in over $60,000 in savings annually, and a provider issued credit in the amount of $159,000!

Savings produced by professional rate audits can have a significant impact on owners’ operating budgets, allowing more flexibility to invest in capital improvements or other important initiatives.

To learn more about rate audits and how you can save time and money, schedule a demo today. 

Mckay Luu

Mckay Luu

McKay is the Digital Marketing Manager at Conservice who likes to play tennis, pickleball, and spend time with his family.

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