Chelepis was hired by a Fortune 100 Telecommunications Firm to audit the wastewater bills for one of its Data Centers located in Missouri. Our audit consisted of an in-depth analysis of the utility bills for the facility and included meetings with the firm’s engineers to understand their equipment and how water was being used on site.
Our client had already taken steps to reduce its utility costs by installing additional meters and establishing an agreement with the Utility to receive reduced charges. Our review, however, concluded that a significant error existed despite the steps taken by the client and the Utility.
The error was not evident on the face of the utility bills. Rather, the error only became apparent after we factored in the results of our analysis, what we knew of the facility’s systems, and our knowledge of how water is typically used at similar Data Center facilities. When we consolidated all the data and information, we concluded that our client’s utility charges were substantially overstated.
Upon examination, Chelepis discovered that an error had been introduced into the Utility’s billing process. More specifically, the method the Utility used to gather meter reads had become flawed and went undetected for 5 years. From our scrutiny of the utility data and the onsite equipment, we calculated that our client was due an additional credit of about $250,000.
We compiled the facts and presented them to the Utility. After two months of discussions with the Utility’s representatives, which included the involvement of the city’s attorney, the Utility ultimately acknowledged their error and confirmed that a credit for the claimed amount would be issued in full. Our audit also resulted in a further reduction in utility charges of approximately $50,000 per year going forward.
During our audit, our client maintained normal business operations. We also fronted the funds for testing and installing new meters, so our client was never out-of-pocket. Accordingly, the historical credit and the ongoing savings we delivered required minimal effort, and no capital outlays, from our client.