Utility Bill Processing – Why It’s Important

Calculator and Bills

Over 24,000 commercial customers were overcharged by Dominion Energy (Electric Service Provider here in Richmond, VA), from July 2013 – June 2016 that amounted to roughly $11 – $12 MILLION according to a report by Robert Zullo in Aug. of 2017, quoting Ann Wilder, a manager in the customer billing services department for Dominion Energy. After auditing thousands of utility bills we have come to the conclusion inaccuracies (due to provider and user error) in utility billing is a much larger issue, not only in Virginia, but nationwide. A much higher error rate is noted in “regulated territories” (areas where electricity must be purchased through a sole provider and not handled by a broker. Check out the map Here to find out if your area is regulated).

First Problem: User – Human Error

Option 1) Paperless billing – Automatic ACH withdraws – You’re paying a bill automatically that has never been reviewed! Only thing you’re preventing here is late charges.

Option 2) Paperless billing – Info. is reviewed , check is mailed out. Increased possibility for error including double payments, late fee’s etc.

Option 3) Paper bills – Info. is reviewed, file is stored, check is mailed out. On average this process is 20x slower (huge time waster) and room for financial exposure is largest.

In all 3 options above there is major room for error on the user side, with no checks and balances in place. Time is also wasted which drives up operational expenses and leaves other duties unattended.

Second Problem: Utility – Overcharges (See Intro. and Link To Report)

Every single invoice you receive from your vendors has a simple and explainable breakdown of Bill of Materials, Scope of Work etc. – EXCEPT YOUR UTILITY BILL!

POPQUIZ #1 – Did you know in Dominion Energy territory overpayments in the amounts of 1,2,5,10,20,25, or $35 are automatically recognized as a contribution to the EnergyShare program? While we value on the surface what seems to be a great program benefiting those in need, I’m sure you would like to be made aware of when you are donating tax-deductible funds to a great cause!

POPQUIZ #2 – Are you paying into a Rider? Is it mandatory that you do so? If you opt out of a rider, do you know your potential consequences? Riders are seemingly small charges on your bill that can add up quickly!

POPQUIZ #3 (Promise I’m done after this) – Are you on the correct rate schedule? Rate Schedules determine your base charge amount. Your rate schedule depends on factors such as zoning, organizational structure, and predominant use of the location(s). Knowing you’re receiving the lowest possible base rate is VERY important.

Solution: Hire VLED As Your Energy Advocate!

Expense reporting, analytics that drive actionable data, and increased profits! We can even capture overcharges going back 3+ years! Call us today to learn more about our Bill Processing and other energy services so you can take the guess work out of it all! 804-562-8606