A utilities expense audit helps to achieve a reduced utility bill. Each utility bill, such as gas, water, and electric, can undergo an audit to result in significant cost savings for the resident or business. Particularly for companies that manage more than one building, reducing utility costs is important.
Many managers typically pay a utility bill without review, but there can be errors that cost the company serious money. An in-depth utility expense audit requires an expert, but there are certain things to look out for when reviewing the bill yourself. Here are five things to look for in the utility expense audit.
1. Review the Numbers in a Utilities Expense Audit
Look to make sure the energy usage number is in the same vicinity as the current meter reading; these two numbers should not vary widely. Also, review that the previous number of energy usage matches what was charged on last month’s bill. Be sure to record this each month to avoid being overcharged or charged twice for a same time period.
2. Look at Rate Structures
There is a range of rate structures available to companies, not just what the utility company assigns. Review different options to find the most cost-effective rate, as the utility company will not do that research itself.
3. Monitor Growth Trends
If a certain utility bill surges, there might not be a good reason. Water, for example, should remain relatively constant. Electric will go up or down with seasons, so if there is an unexplained surge in cost, go back to the utility company for an explanation. If there is any sort of anomaly with the bill, always ask for a reason why.
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4. Research Tax Exemptions
Utility companies may overlook certain tax exemptions for businesses, so do the research to make sure those are accurately reflected in the final bill. These tax exemptions vary by city and state, so be sure to research as exemptions can change as well.
5. Check for Clerical Errors
Get out a calculator and check to make sure all of the math is correct. Numbers can get inverted, calculations can be wrong, so be sure to check the math before paying the bill.
Auditing utility bills can result in cost savings and refunds. Additionally, this type of audit can be used to identify high utility usage areas within a company, who can then take actionable steps to reduce use.