Watch your back bills

Talking to a couple of our consultants this week it’s becoming clear that all the major energy companies are keen to claw in every penny they can in these hard times, which is why they have set up teams whose remit is to go back over business energy bills for up to 6 years. We’ve seen a number of cases in which these teams are generating new bills for old, and claiming tens of thousands of pounds from their business clients. The good news is that these bills are frequently wrong for a wide range of reasons so, if you know what you’re doing, you can get them reduced or even cancelled. At Auditel, of course, we do know what we’re doing and have good contacts and relationships with all the major energy suppliers so have had great results for our clients caught in this trap.

For example, one of our clients, the owner of luxury holiday home parks, received a £57,000 back bill for one site dating back to 2004, when they acquired it. A thorough investigation revealed a number of billing and administration errors which, when coupled with some tough face-to-face negotiation with the supplier,  brought the invoice down to £21,000, an overall reduction of 63%. Another, food distribution, client received a final bill for a site they had moved out of 15 months previously. The bill was demanding just over £32,000 based on the fact that the energy company had misread the meter for the 5 years our client was in the building. However, after much  time-consuming negotiation we were able to halve this demand.

It pays to check your invoices

One of Consultantswas back with us for some continuing professional development training this week and while catching up on general news he happened to mention a £1,073 rebate on a gas overcharge he’s just identified for a small client.

This might not seem too significant, but for an organisation that usually spends about £1,903 per year on their gas supply it could have made a big difference to their budgeting for the year. The error occurred when a new meter was fitted at the client’s premises and the gas supplier took an incorrect reading – or rather made an incorrect assumption from their reading – which made it look as though they had used twice as much gas as they actually had. As is the case in many companies, the client themselves hadn’t picked this up – after all, it’s not a huge amount and they didn’t have the time, internal resource or expertise to check every detail on every invoice every month.

Of course, now they have an Auditel consultant working, essentially, as another member of their management team, they have got all of these things and a rebate from the gas supplier. What’s more, because Denis will be checking all their invoices going forward, they also have peace of mind that if it happens again, there’s no chance of it slipping through the net unnoticed.