According to Accenture, 82 percent of companies are looking to cut costs to fuel growth. It makes sense. Between the financial uncertainty of the past few years (revenue dropped 27 to 30 percent in most industries during 2020) and the tangible tensions surrounding digital transformation and digitization, freeing up costs to invest in technology, strategy, and resilience just makes sense. But where should you look? Most businesses struggle to find areas of cost-cutting that won’t impact productivity or long-term growth. Here’s a hint: 70 to 90 percent of companies are currently being overcharged on their utility bills. That unfortunate statistic is why thousands of companies choose to leverage a utility audit program to save serious cash each year.
But what are utility audits? And what’s a utility audit “program?” In this guide, we’ll look at utility audits, utility audit programs, and some of the advantages of utility audit programs compared to traditional audits.
What Is a Utility Audit?
Every business pays for utilities. In fact, utilities can eat up to 25 percent of business owners’ total operating expenses. Utility audits provide an end-to-end analysis of utility bills (i.e., gas, electric, water, sewage, or waste) to uncover discrepancies, remediate errors, and cut costs.
Unfortunately, your end-of-month utility bills aren’t always accurate. Not only are 3.6 percent of all invoices inaccurate (these are your bills), but human errors, meter issues, and programmatic mistakes plague utility bills. This isn’t a problem that’s “going away” anytime soon. Back in 1982, a Washington Post exposé found that some businesses were sending hundreds of letters per year to utility companies to correct mistakes.
Sure — nowadays, there are smart meters and data-driven readings. But technology isn’t foolproof. In fact, a recent study by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) found that over 50 percent of smart meters had readings that were significantly higher than the actual amount of power consumed. Some meters even had readings 582 percent higher than the actual usage. From sewage and electricity to water and waste, utility errors and issues can cost a ton of money.
What Is a Utility Audit Program?
Utility bill audits are on-off events. And they’re incredibly useful. We’ve helped companies save hundreds of thousands of dollars with one single audit. But utility errors don’t end after that audit. Utility audit programs provide ongoing utility audits via an end-to-end utility auditing service. So, why would you need an ongoing service? What’s the advantage of a utility audit program over, say, getting three random utility audits each year?
3 Unique Advantages of Utility Audit Programs (Compared to Traditional Utility Audits)
Let’s start by saying this: we believe that utility audits are incredibly powerful. We use them every single day to help companies save serious dough. But utility audit programs do have a few key advantages over their little cousins. These include:
1. You Catch Ongoing Mistakes
Up to 80% of utility and service billing statements contain errors. Yes, a utility audit will catch these errors. But it will only catch them once. Chances are, you’ll have an error or two next month, and the month after, and the month after that. Utility audit programs give your business ongoing support and value throughout their billing lifecycles. Similar to credit card audits or telecom auditing, we highly recommend companies leverage utility audits on an ongoing basis. It will maximize their cost-cutting capabilities.
Hesitant? Try a one-off audit and check out the benefits. Trust us — you’ll want to make an ongoing commitment once you see the savings.
2. Utility Programs Help Support Brand-Wide Cost-Cutting Promises
We often see businesses flock to our utility auditing services during cost-cutting cycles. But, once they see the initial cost-cutting benefit, they often return to business as usual. Did you know that presenting a brand consistently across all platforms boosts revenue by 23%? Well, the same type of thing happens when you’re consistent about reducing waste in your business. Consistency is key. It helps you build a culture of waste reduction, cost-cutting, and efficiency.
Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of B2B companies admit they have consistency with branding and company culture-driven efforts. Utility programs breed consistency and help you commit to the long-term strategy of cost reduction.
3. Utility Programs Create Tangible Relationships
At Util Auditors, LLC, we’re firm believers in business-to-business relationships. When we work with companies on an ongoing basis, we can better identify needs, areas of opportunity, and specific goalposts to smash.
Yes: one-time utility audits are an awesome way to reduce some costs. But we can’t really dig deep into the DNA of your company and address some of the more nuanced and intricate utility-related issues via a one-time program. It’s just not possible.
Utility auditing programs allow us to spend more time getting to know your business. It gives us the ability to find unique and hidden ways of helping your business reduce utility waste — including focusing on some of the “intangibles” surrounding utility bills.
Take Control of Your Utilities With Util Auditors
You pour blood, sweat, and tears into your business. The average CEO spends 9+ hours per day working, and small business owners regularly have 60+-hour workweeks. You likely spend a significant chunk of those hours trying to grow your business and scrape together every possible dime for new and exciting innovations and strategies. So, don’t throw your money down the drain on utility bills. While those utility bills may not seem “game-changing,” the costs add up fast. We’ve helped businesses free up millions in cost savings simply by fixing their utility issues.
Are you ready to fix your utility bill programs? Are you tired of wasting sweat only for errors, mistakes, and billing issues to drain your hard-earned dollars? We can help. At Util Auditors, LLC, we help thousands of businesses grapple with their utility issues. And we can help you, too. Contact us to learn more about our utility auditing services and programs (including our industry-leading credit card processing audits). Let’s take back control of your finances.