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District manager considering a utility audit to better manage costs from water and sewer bills

How to Manage Water and Sewer Bills Across Multiple Municipalities

There are multiple challenges in operating a successful and growing business across multiple locations. So it’s understandable that water and sewer bill costs may not always be at the front of your mind. The challenges of dealing with multiple municipalities and locations can be a lot to keep up with by any measure. Water and sewer bills may seem like a small part of your company’s expenses. But they may need more attention than you think.

Water utility costs are rising throughout the country to higher levels than have ever been seen before. In fact, CBS estimated in 2019 that Americans are paying 30% more for water and sewer today than a decade ago, far outpacing inflation. For your business, your water and sewer service may still just seem like a necessity that you can’t do much about the cost of. But not paying attention to your water and sewer bills is costly. You could potentially be hemorrhaging even more resources than you already owe to costly utility billing errors.

Municipal Water and Sewer Billing Errors

If your business has multiple locations or does commerce in multiple municipalities, you know that there’s rarely any real congruency between how the same systems function in different cities. This lack of standardization can make it extremely difficult to do business seamlessly between multiple cities or towns. It also makes it harder to notice when a municipality makes a mistake that could potentially cost your organization.

Some major cities have water and sewer billing infrastructures that are much more developed and robust than their smaller counterparts. But these municipalities aren’t dedicated utility companies. Unlike major regional or nationwide energy companies, municipalities have more urgent business than monitoring water and sewer billing. This can result in disorganized and poorly supported systems. In turn, this leads to errors that municipal systems pass on to the customer: you.

In 2016, The National Regulatory Research Institute found that only 15 states had regulations or rules defining municipalities’ rights and responsibilities in the use of electronic billing and water and sewer invoices. This means that most cities out there have no real organizational rules governing how they set up their water and sewer billing. Errors on any utility bill are more common than you may think. It’s even more severe when each municipality is piecing together its own solution. That means one city’s system isn’t likely to be even close to the other cities that you do business in.

Managing the Cost of Water and Sewer Billing Errors

When a billing error occurs, chances are it’s your business and not the city that will bear the brunt of the cost. A residential customer may notice an unexplained increase in their bill that needs to be rectified. But for many businesses who have multiple utility bills to keep up with, they may never notice the errors at all. These can eat away at your bottom line. But you can’t afford to bleed money for water that your business didn’t use. Those are funds you could utilize on other efforts.

Performing regular, detailed utility audits is the best way to ensure that you aren’t paying more than you should for water and sewer in each of your locations. To succeed as a company, you are continually auditing your own organization to make it more efficient and effective. Why would it be any different with your utility bills? As your business grows, you can’t afford to get out of touch with the real costs of doing business in each of your multiple locations.

Save Money on Water and Sewer Bills With a Utility Audit

A complete water and sewer billing audit can identify inaccuracies. This can save you money and make your company more efficient. After a utility audit, many businesses are shocked to find that they will receive significant amounts of refunds as a result of being overcharged previously. A billing audit could also spot issues that could raise your bill in the future. Then you can save even more. Collaborating with an expert utility auditor could save you money that you didn’t even know your company was losing.

Here at Util Auditors, we’re passionate about cost containment solutions that can help companies realize their full potential. We designed our water and sewer utility audit services to fully investigate exactly where your money goes. We can also help you implement cost-saving and recovery measures. Are you interested in having our expert auditors analyze your water and sewer bills to make sure you’re only paying what you owe? If so, then contact us today.

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