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CASE EXAMPLE

Utility Bill Analysis

A commercial office building received over $500,000 in utility bill refunds.

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The Full Story -  After month's of denial from the city, UCM presented legal provisions that led to over $500,000 in refunds and $220,000 annual ongoing savings.

UCM was retained by the asset manager of a 50-story, 600,000 square feet office building to analyze gas, electricity, water, and sewer expenditures.  UCM discovered that sewer charges were too high because they were based on water consumption, even though a significant amount of water evaporated through the building’s cooling towers.  UCM worked with the water and sewer provider to quantify the appropriate reduction in sewer fees.

 

UCM then turned its attention to municipal surcharges and taxes that were being assessed on gas, electricity, and water bills.  Based on the city’s municipal code and provisions in the state constitution, UCM determined that the building owner was exempt from the assessments.  When UCM brought its findings to the city’s attention, the city refused to correct the error because it was unfamiliar with the legal provisions that supported UCM’s view.  However, after several months, the utility approved the exemption, and UCM worked with the building’s utility providers to recover refunds of more than $500,000, and to eliminate the taxes and surcharges going forward to reduce ongoing costs by more than $220,000 per year.