Your power bill invoices are due every month, and many businesses make the mistake of believing they are being billed correctly. Some organizations, in fact, have an account management staff in place to monitor and record their invoices each month. This offers firms the false sense of safety that their invoices are being inspected every month to guarantee they are proper.
A utility audit is a thorough inspection of all-electric, gas, water, and sewage accounts. The audit identifies billing errors and assesses the effectiveness of rate plans. Unfortunately, the majority of individuals are unaware that a utility and telecom audit is even a possibility. So, today, we’ll go over what a utility audit is and how it might benefit you.
What is the Purpose of a Utility Audit?
A thorough bill audit entails digging deeper into your utility accounts to ensure that the utility providers are charging you at the lowest feasible rate.
The purpose of an audit is to guarantee that your accounts are at the most advantageous rates depending on your:
- Load distribution graph
- Usage time
- Business type
However, the focus should not be solely on whether your accounts are on the best rates, but also on things like numerous added charges and riders linked with the electric bills.
The frequently overlooked unnecessary costs that lead to higher expenses that can at times last for multiple monthly invoices being another key factor.
What Does a Utility Audit Include?
A utilities and telecom audit consists of three parts:
Research – We review all service agreements and your billing history to gain a comprehensive picture of not just what you’re now paying for but also what your genuine service needs are.
Review – We undertake a remote evaluation of all elements of your utilities and telecommunications procedures. We interact with site managers to resolve service issues, and we contact your service providers if there appear to be billing problems.
Recommendation – We provide your customized solutions after assessing your services. We may be able to bargain your contracts or offer other, less costly service providers. We will execute the ideas on your behalf only after you have given us your complete permission.
This approach is designed to identify every possible savings opportunity accessible to you to cut and remove costly or excessive utility and telecom services.
There are hundreds of utility audits out there, but we all have the same goal: to save our clients money on utility and telecom costs. Specific methods may change from auditor to auditor; therefore, the audit process described below may not accurately represent the methodology of every auditor.
How Can Applied Utility Auditors Help Your Business?
If you are looking for a utility audit in New Jersey, we are the right choice for you.
We begin our utility audit procedure by gathering all of the papers required to examine your utilities. First, we require a year’s worth of utility bills, including electric, gas, water, and sewage. It may feel like a long time, but it is vital. Looking at the last 12 months of data provides us with the background we need to determine your current bench line expenses.
We may usually begin with only the most recent invoice copy for each account and then obtain previous invoice copies from your utility vendor’s online billing site. Most businesses can provide us with invoices or log-in credentials within a few hours.
Once we have all of the relevant documents, we compare the energy use figure to the current meter reading. If there is a mismatch between these figures, it would be the first sign that anything is wrong. We seek billing mistakes. Looking into the last year’s spending trends reveals a lot more about price variation.
After reviewing the documents, we may take a step back and assess rate structures, patterns, and tax exemptions. Many businesses have unproductive rate structures, and you may be unaware that alternative rate structures are accessible to you. Therefore, we examine all options available to you to help you stop overspending.
Our utility audits identify the areas where you’re overpaying and the remedies you’ll need to cut back. In addition, we give you extra savings potential after reviewing all of your utility and telephone bills.
This is a follow up letter from our channel partner AT&T to one of our CPA clients in N.J.
AT&T is one of our seventy-five partners providing Cyber security, Cloud, IT, VoIP, bandwidth and more to CPA’s, professionals and businesses in the USA.
This is just one example of what we provide, with our 35 years of consulting services, as channel partners and agents with our vendors. There is never a fee to you the end user.
Great speaking with you. We have an exceptionally large portfolio of cybersecurity services. Attached are a few product briefs. I think we have an opportunity to start with some quick value with our consulting services, then grow as we continue to partner with some of our other solutions.
The below services are the ones we discussed at length, they will skyrocket your visibility and ongoing security maturity and at a great price point.
Please let me know if you have any questions and how you would like to carry this conversation forward.
AT&T Managed service powered by Qualys (MVP-Qualys): 500 assets $10,000 annual.
Unlimited Vulnerability / CIS Compliance Scanning, Continuous Monitoring, Threat Protection, Unlimited Passive / Active Scan Engines, Unlimited Host Agents, Unlimited PCI-ASV Scans
Qualys (MVP-Qualys) Patch Management Add-On: 300 assets $4,800 annual.
Patch Management – This is an optional add-on to the vulnerability scanning component above and leverages the host agents to provide patching on Windows assets
External Penetration Testing: <32 IPs $4,500 NRC, optional retest $2,000
Penetration testing seeks to exploit the vulnerabilities identified to gain access to critical systems, sensitive information, or a specified trophy. This assessment will be conducted from an external perspective.
Internal Penetration Testing: <32 IPs $5,500 NRC, optional retest $2,000
Penetration testing seeks to exploit the vulnerabilities identified to gain access to critical systems, sensitive information, or a specified trophy. This assessment will be conducted from an internal persp
REPRINTED FROM ADVERTISERNEWSSOUTH.COM
NEWTON — Local law firm Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Pasculli, Hinkes, Wojcik, Gacquin, Vandenberg & Hontz is celebrating its 50th year of service to northern New Jersey residents.
The law firm was founded in 1964 by current partner Sanford Hollander, along with Albert Trapasso, and Frank Dolan. It originally employed five other staff members in addition to the three partners.
The firm was originally housed within the Sussex & Merchants National Bank Building on Spring Street. A short time later, the business moved across the Newton Town Square to 40 Park Place, the site it has occupied ever since.
According to Hollander, the keys to the firm’s success have been its ability to evolve as the law has evolved, and by taking advantage of the opportunity to hire attorneys who are specialists in their fields.
“In the beginning, we were generalists, as were most lawyers,” Hollander said. “Although Frank Dolan was a superior trial lawyer. When I came back to Sussex County there must have been 35 lawyers in the entire county. There were more cows than people.”
Hollander says law has changed with the expanding role of government creating rules and regulations.
“It’s incomprehensible how much they have proliferated over the past 50 years,” Hollander said.
He specializes in real estate transactions, estate planning and administration. The firm has continued to expand and now numbers 10 attorneys, along with 10 support staff. Each attorney is able to focus on an area of specialty, such as family law, elder law, workman’s compensation, personal injury, land use, bankruptcy, and other issues.
“There is a unique family spirit in this law firm,” Hollander said. “Everybody likes each other. We strive to serve the best interests of our clients and the public.” He is quick to add, “But that doesn’t mean that we’re not fierce advocates! We work very well with each other and with our clients. We’re always looking for lawyers who will be compatible with us and fit into our culture and philosophy.”
As Utility Auditors, we see this kind of outrageous over-billing often. $115 million, in this instance, will be refunded thanks to rarely seen sanctions against this type of behavior.
If you believe your business or investment property has been overbilled – on any utilities – do not hesitate to contact a Professional Utility Auditor – Immediately. Applied Utility Auditors offers no – risk services. We only get paid if you get a refund. Don’t get over your head in overhead.
Call Paul Today: 877 208 0021
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
JCP&L rates to drop slightly after ruling
March 18, 2015 Last updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 5:29 PM
By DAVE SHEINGOLD
Staff Writer |
Electricity users in six Passaic County communities and all of Morris County will see their rates drop slightly in the next few months following a ruling Wednesday by state regulators that sanctioned Jersey Central Power & Light for overbilling customers, but also let the company recoup money spent repairing damage from major storms.
In a unanimous vote at a meeting in Trenton, the Board of Public Utilities ordered JCP&L to refund $115 million to customers through the rate reduction, mostly to cover overcharges for power grid maintenance throughout its northern and central New Jersey territory from 2008 to 2011.
But the board also ordered that ratepayers pay for $736 million JCP&L spent restoring power following Superstorm Sandy and other bouts of severe weather since then that caused blackouts of up to two weeks.
The net result of formulas that parcel out those expenses over varying periods of time will be a $34 million cut in the company’s annual revenue and a drop of 1.2 percent, or $1.68, in its average residential monthly bill, according to the board. The exact month when bills will drop has not been set, but should come this spring, said BPU spokesman Greg Reinert.
JCP&L’s 1.1 million customers include 15,400 in six Passaic County municipalities – Wayne, West Milford, Wanaque, Pompton Lakes, Bloomingdale and Ringwood – and 197,000 in Morris County.
“Today’s order ensures that JCP&L is providing safe and proper service at just and reasonable rates, while also securing and being mindful of the company’s financial integrity,” said BPU President Richard Mroz.
The decision represents a middle-ground between a $207.5 million revenue reduction sought by a state consumer advocacy office and a request by JCP&L for a rate hike to cover increased expenses and storm-related costs.
In January, a state administrative law judge largely sided with claims by the office, known as the Division of Rate Counsel, that JCP&L used complex accounting techniques to return too much profit to its parent company, FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, OH. The judge said the issue of storm costs should be addressed in a separate proceeding.
The BPU, however, combined both matters into one.
The ruling was criticized by Stefanie Brand, director of the Rate Counsel’s office, for rejecting the office’s request for retroactive rate cuts and postponement of storm-cost repayment.
“I’m disappointed,” she said. “It’s still a reduction. But I think they should have taken into account the fact that ratepayers had been paying too much for a number of years. They could have phased this in.” She declined to say if the order would be appealed.
Ronald Morano, a spokesman for JCP&L, said the company would review the order before commenting, but noted that it planned $254 million in improvements this year. Those include new circuits, upgraded utility poles, flood-proofing around power transfer stations and tree-trimming around power lines. The latter effort is aimed at a key problem in the company’s largely suburban and rural territory.
Wednesday’s ruling ends an unusually long-running case involving claims that disputed, in highly arcane terms, the write-offs, equipment depreciation and other accounting techniques used to set rates that generate JCP&L’s revenues. A key issue was whether JCP&L collected too much to cover its federal taxes and then used that money to offset taxes owed by other FirstEnergy subsidiaries.
Brand’s office also accused the company of improperly cutting costs, especially on grid maintenance and tree-trimming. JCP&L responded with a case of its own, seeking rate hikes.
As many New Jerseyans, Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers have come to discover over the winter, the relatively new marketplace for third party suppliers of electricity has not been as great in practice as it may have been in theory.
Many third party suppliers, it seems, have been inexplicably driving up prices on consumers, claiming increased costs due to winter weather — in spite of the non-inflated prices from the primary supplier. A Forbes Contributor went so far as to proclaim this trend a “new scam.”
How are they getting away with this dodgy practice? The marketplace, after all, allows customers to switch suppliers, right?
Unfortunately, switching suppliers can take months to finalize, and some of these companies seem to be exploiting that fact while banking on the docility of others. Late notices for bills threaten power shut-offs and this can also serve in the interest of these price-jackers as people are afraid to take any corrective action.
So what can you do?
Dispute the charges immediately. Switch suppliers immediately. You may also wish to contact your state’s Attorney General and Public Utilities Commission (or their equivalents). In Pennsylvania, the Attorney General is already looking into this matter, and the State Legislature is also launching an investigation.
Are you a business owner or CEO? Is your business spending way too much on energy?
Let Applied Utility Auditors LLC dispute these and other utility overcharges on your behalf.
Contact Paul Steberger of Applied Utility Auditors Today.
“U.S. top court declines to revive New Jersey sports betting law” reads a recent Reuters Article
The Federal Court pointed to a federal law which grandfathered only a few states into maintaining their sports betting practices back in 1992 – while giving other states one year to opt in.
Well, who is surprised that NJ fell asleep at the wheel on that one. In the Pre-Pocono-Casino era, NJ was happy as thin-crust pizza-pie to stick with what they were already best at in AC. Years later, with the gamblers flooding to newer out-of-state casinos, NJ finds itself up against the Federal Government wagging their finger in a confirmed “No.” And are only left to cry in Paula Cole fashion, “Where did all the gamblers go?”