CES Helps Utilities Customers Recoup Overcharges

Share Article

Approximately 70% of companies—and 90% of nonprofits—are routinely overcharged on their utility bills. A new, risk-free program from Consumer Energy Solutions provides overcharged utilities customers a complete bill audit and recovery of much-needed funds.

News Image
In most cases, it can recoup a savings—sometimes a very significant savings—in what for many companies is a major cost of doing business.

An internal study by Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc. (CES) reveals overcharging of commercial customers by utility companies. According to CES, which has over two million residential and 300,000 commercial customers across the United States and Canada, approximately 70% of for-profit companies and 90% of nonprofit organizations are being overcharged on their utility bills. While the size of the overcharges varies from case to case, totals—and the potential for recovery—can be substantial. A school district in a small town in Wisconsin, for example, recently discovered that over a three-year period it had been overcharged more than $300,000.1

To help commercial and nonprofit entities identify and recover these overcharges, CES has created the CES Utility Recovery Program. The program begins with a detailed audit of all of the client organization’s utility bills, going back 36 to 48 months, checking for errors and overcharges. Once mistakes have been identified, CES presents its findings to the utility company, makes certain that the errors are rectified, and arranges for recovery, which can take two forms: either a refund or credit is processed, or the utility bill is reduced by the amount of the error for future bills.

Error sources. Mistakes in utility billing can result from a variety of causes, including human error, faulty equipment, and the application of incorrect rate plans. One of the most common problems, says CES, is tax misclassification. States derive a significant amount of revenue from utilities taxes, which are frequently—and mistakenly—collected from customers who are tax-exempt.

A second common source of overcharges is rate change errors. The exact amount a utility charges for a unit of energy can vary significantly. A third category of errors can come from mistakes in the metering process (reset errors, meter malfunction, recording and mathematical errors, etc.).

Three-stage process. The CES Utility Recovery Program begins with a data gathering stage, during which the CES team pulls together all the customer’s utility bills going back anywhere from three to four years.

This is followed by an audit, during which CES compares the current pricing structure against its database, based on company size, peak usage, industry, and other pertinent parameters. At the same time, every component of every bill is also scrutinized for errors of any of the types described above.

When errors and overcharges are found—which, in the vast majority of cases they are—CES processes the necessary paperwork to reclaim overcharges and adjust billing rates going forward. CES also provides client education to enable staff to identify and remedy billing discrepancies in the future.

“The CES Utility Recovery Program,” says Clouden, “is a win-win. At the very least, an organization can make certain it is not being overcharged for its energy consumption, at no risk and no cost. In most cases, it can recoup a savings—sometimes a very significant savings—in what for many companies is a major cost of doing business.”

About Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc.:

Headquartered in Clearwater, FL, Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc. (CES) is one of the nation’s foremost full-service energy consulting companies, with over two million residential and 300,000 commercial customers across the United States and Canada, including many Fortune 500 companies. Founded in 1999 by Patrick J. Clouden, CES transitioned in 2004 from selling primarily to residential customers to selling primarily to businesses. The company’s long-standing relationships with the largest independent energy suppliers in the U.S., coupled with its unparalleled knowledge of the industry, give CES customers access to the most competitive electricity and natural gas rates available in their area. CES is dedicated to educating its customers about the choices available to them as energy consumers, and to helping them, in a volatile energy market, to balance short-term savings against long-term risk. The company’s mission is to assist its commercial clients in better managing their energy costs so as to add to their bottom line. CES is an industry leader in providing its clients with effective strategies and solutions to reduce energy costs. References are available upon request. For more information, visit http://www.consumerenergysolutions.com.

1. Hardesty, Linda, “Utility Overcharges School $300,000,” Energy Manager Today, April 22, 2013. energymanagertoday.com/utility-overcharges-school-300000-091178/

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Karla Jo Helms
+1 (888) 202-4614 Ext: 802
Email >
Visit website