Is Your Business Paying For More Electricity Than It Actually Uses? Here's How A Utility Bill Audit Can Find And Correct Errors

Owners of large commercial properties often pay a substantial amount of money each month for electricity. Paying for electricity is a simply a cost of doing business, but it's important to make sure that you're not overpaying. Unfortunately, billing errors can result in you paying more for electricity each month than you need to. Errors in electric bills are common due to the fact that calculating them is quite complex, especially when calculating bills for large properties that may be on a commercial rate schedule.

One easy way that you can check to see if your property's electricity bills are correct is to have them examined by a utility bill audit company. These companies compare the electrical bills you're sent with the actual rate schedule offered by your electric company in order to make sure you're not paying for more electricity than your property actually uses. To learn more about how electric bill errors occur and how a utility bill audit can help your business save money, read on.

How Do Electric Bill Errors Occur?

The most common reason why electric bill errors occur is due to faulty estimation of your building's energy usage. Electric companies don't have the staff necessary to check each meter in-person every month, so they rely on estimates in order to bill you for the electricity that your building uses. These estimates are typically based on past usage, and you can end up paying for more electricity than your building is actually using when the estimate is incorrect.

Billing errors can also occur when your business is incorrectly classified into the wrong rate schedule. Electric companies often charge lower rates for large businesses that use substantial amounts of electricity, so you may be overpaying for electricity if your property is not on the correct rate schedule for its size.

A malfunctioning electric meter can also result in billing errors. While it's rare for electric meters to fail, a malfunctioning meter will give incorrect readings when it's checked by the technician, which can result in higher electric bills.

How Does a Utility Bill Audit Service Find Errors in Your Electric Bill?

A utility bill audit service will examine your past electric bills in detail in order to spot potential errors. Your property's electricity usage will be compared to properties of similar size that share the same electric company, allowing the audit service to easily see if you're being overcharged. In addition, the rates that you're being charged by your electric company will be compared to their posted rate schedule, which allows the utility bill audit service to see if a calculation error resulted in you overpaying for electricity.

What Happens When You Find an Error in Your Bill?

If the utility bill audit service suspects that you have an error in your electric bill, they will contact your property's electric provider in order to resolve it. While electric companies place the responsibility of finding errors on property owners, they're almost always happy to correct errors once they are found — if they knowingly overcharge customers, they may face fines from your state's public utilities commission.

When your electric provider agrees that they overcharged you for electricity, they'll either send you a refund check or apply credit to future bills that you receive. In addition, you can expect lower energy bills in the future once the error has been fixed by the electric company, which means that a utility bill audit can result in both an instant payout along with savings over time.

If you think that your property's electric provider may be overcharging you, contact a utility bill service in your area and have your electric bills examined. This service is typically fast and inexpensive, and you only need to provide the company with past copies of your utility bills, which can be easily obtained from your electric company.