University refunded over $200,000 for improper fee on water-sewer bill.
The Full Story - UCM searched public records and the utility company's financial statements to reconstruct the rate structure.
UCM was hired by a major public university to analyze its utility costs. UCM secured substantial reductions in gas and electricity charges, but it was the millions of dollars spent on water and sewer service upon which UCM focused its attention.
UCM researched how the local water and sewer utility developed its rates, and the specific components that went into the total rate that was charged. The university’s water and sewer bills provided no itemization of charges or other details, so UCM relied on public records searches and the utility’s financial statements to reconstruct the utility’s rate structure. Through this process, UCM discovered that the water and sewer rates included costs for upgrades to the utility’s infrastructure, and these capital facilities fees could not be charged to public entities like the university.
Using UCM’s findings, the university’s counsel was able to revise the utility’s rate structure to eliminate the capital facilities fees, and water and sewer costs were reduced by more than $2 million.