The unfortunate truth about your utility bills is that they can come with a multitude of common errors that can hurt your business’s bottom line. To avoid overspending on your utility bills, it’s best to be educated about the topic so that you can better understand and detect inappropriate pricing.
Common Billing Errors:
Here is a list of some of the most common billing errors that can be found on your utilities bill.
- Confused Rates
- Meter Multiplier issues
- Incorrect taxes
- Incorrect late fees
- Incorrect classification
- Meter reading issues
- Paying with the wrong meter(s)
- Physical issues with your meters
Each of these can lead to overspending, especially if you leave them alone to build up without notice. Now that you understand what an error could be, it’s time to find out how to spot them.
Rates can change day to day, season to season. The best practice you can employ is to become familiar with the kind of rates your provider gives you depending on time. It’s common for providers to charge you the incorrect amount for the time of day in which you’re using your utilities.
We recommend closely monitoring your bills to track your usage. There are multiple real-time analytics solutions you can employ as well. By having a collection of recorded data available to you, you can better understand your consumption and avoid confused rates in your bills.
A meter multiplier is often used to invoice you accurately as the actual voltage used is often too large to be registered on your meter itself. However, multipliers can succumb to faulty formulas or incorrect number placements, resulting in huge price discrepancies. Smaller businesses and providers are much more likely to run into these errors compared to large companies where automated systems make errors less likely to occur.
It’s common for businesses to apply for different tax rates when it comes to their utilities. It’s best to be aware of the tax policies and incentives that your region employs so that you don’t get billed with the wrong rates. If you don’t understand your tax rates, you can always hire someone to help advocate for you!
Incorrect Late Fees:
Be sure to understand when your bills are due so that you can avoid this simple error. A quick call to your provider can often sort out this issue.
Utility providers often provide rates to their customers based on the classification of their property. The three common classifications are Residential, Commercial, and Industrial. There can be special rates for different kinds of customers as well based on demographic and economic development. As a business, you don’t want to be paying the wrong classification of rates because you may be charged more or you might miss out on special rates.
Meter Reading Issues:
Your meter reading your usage incorrectly can cost you an exorbitant amount of money. You don’t want to be on the receiving end for an error that you had no control over, so it’s best to stay vigilant by reading your own bills instead of relying on your meter.
Meter reading errors can happen due to installation errors, communication failures, damage, and more. It’s unfortunately going to be something that might come up at one point or another, which means another practice you should employ is to have your utility provider do regular check ups on your meter.
Paying for the Wrong Meter:
This issue is more common with multi-location businesses, such as franchises. When there are multiple locations, there are multiple meters. Don’t pay for another person’s meter just because your provider made an error in billing the wrong address! Keep a close eye on your bills as your business expands.
We hope this article has helped you understand where your utility bills may encounter errors. After all, the best defense against excessive prices is to be educated and vigilant about potential issues. Of course you can always work with us at Watchdog Management Services and have our professional expertise keep your business on the right track!