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Failing the Eyeball Test

Bithgroup Technologies, a consulting firm based in Baltimore, MD, has used EnergyCAP as the foundation of their Energy Information Services operation since 2007. They have processed hundreds of thousands of utility bills through energy auditing software. Corey Culbreath, Bithgroup’s hands-on Director of Energy Information Services, recently shared how he identified a major client billing problem without having to run a single EnergyCAP report. He found the problem while performing the eyeball test—a quick visual review of customer data via EnergyCAP’s exclusive PowerView™ charts. {{cta(’03e9539f-8347-4383-ab6f-58993575a78d’,’justifycenter’)}}

Background – Energy Savings Incentive

A Maryland-based medical center operates in a deregulated energy market. The local utility vendor distributes electricity and natural gas, and the electricity is provided by a separate supplier. In response to an incentive offered by its local utility vendor, the medical center installed an on-site generator, resulting in a scenario wherein monthly readings are recorded for three separate meters: 

  1. Vendor-supplied electricity
  2. Vendor-supplied natural gas 
  3. On-site electricity generation

Monthly meter readings are recorded by the local distribution company and shared with the supply vendor.

Problem – Unexpected Energy Data

Given the scenario outlined, one would expect an increase in natural gas use as it is used to power the on-site generator. In return, the use and cost of vendor-supplied electricity should decrease, because the medical center is now generating a portion of the electricity it consumes. A visual review of the billing data presented in EnergyCAP PowerView charts revealed a different picture—the medical center’s electric bills were increasing.

Further investigation revealed that, while the local distributor invoiced the medical center only for vendor-provided gas and electricity, the deregulated supplier was charging for electricity used and generated by the medical center. Corey’s team analyzed the medical center’s historical billing records and found that the incorrect billing process had been in effect for a period of at least three years.

Resolution – Utility Service Credit

Corey presented his findings to the medical center’s supply vendor, and following an internal investigation, the vendor acknowledged the error. A short time later, the medical center received a billing credit in excess of $255,000.

Kudos to Corey and the entire Bithgroup team for a job well done. Bithgroup’s long-term dedication to EnergyCAP is greatly appreciated. And thank you, Corey, for illustrating the value of the PowerView charts and the importance of visual utility bill audits.

Download our eBook, 20 Ways to Find Utility Bill Savings, for more energy- and money-saving tips. And if you have an EnergyCAP success story you would like to share, please tell us about it in the Comments section below.