UCM’s success working with a wide variety of clients speaks for itself.
In their own words, clients from a wide range of industries share how UCM benefitted their bottom line.
From food and beverage producers to public agencies, educational institutions to national retailers, UCM has enabled a broad spectrum of clients to stop overpaying for utilities, recover refunds for past overpayment, and negotiate appropriate, lower rates moving forward. Here are some of their stories:
…Walmart retained UCM to analyze rates and tariffs for 116 electricity providers located in the eastern United States, quantify the potential switch to primary voltage level, and summarize the results. I believe that UCM's work was excellent and it demonstrated the firm's in-depth knowledge of utility rates and regulations. In my opinion, UCM is among the “best in class” for energy, tariff, and utility data analysis.
Senior Manager I – Walmart Energy Team
Walmart Stores, Inc.
As the nation’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger aggressively works to minimize utility costs, including the use of audits to ensure accurate billing. UCM’s work analyzing water and sewer costs at sites around the country helped Kroger to become aware of various billing issues, and to realize substantial savings.
Category Manager - Energy
The Kroger Company
…the Financial Management Department… contracted with UCM to review the City's electricity billing data and charges to identify billing errors, obtain refunds, and find ongoing savings opportunities on the City's electricity accounts with Southern California Edison. As a result of your company’s efforts, the City… realized savings of approximately $280,000… and expects to save at least $297,000 annually in the future. All of this has been achieved without major time commitments from City staff, and with no capital investments of any kind. I have enjoyed working with UCM and have been impressed with the firm's knowledge, experience, and professionalism.
Administrative Operations Officer
City of Long Beach
UCM used its knowledge of Southern California Edison (SCE) pricing to identify a discrepancy within their initial valuation of Santa Clarita's streetlight system. This discrepancy resulted in SCE issuing a revised valuation, reducing the total purchase price of Santa Clarita's streetlight system by $687,190. UCM's in-depth understanding of streetlight rates and costs has been very helpful to the City. UCM reviewed all of the City's electric bills and found numerous billing errors that resulted in significant savings. UCM's expert knowledge of SCE's rates and tariffs has helped assure that the City is paying the lowest amounts possible on these accounts. …we have been impressed with their knowledge of utility issues, the quality of work, and their commitment to service.
Special Districts Manager
City of Santa Clarita
The City of Yorba Linda hired UCM… to analyze its utility expenditures. Within 60 days, UCM had identified numerous billing errors and overcharges, and reported its findings to the city. Unfortunately, Southern California Edison disagreed with most of UCM's findings, and refused to grant the rate reductions. UCM remained confident that the changes were appropriate, and asked the city for permission to work through the California Public Utilities Commission to compel SCE to make the desired changes. UCM intervened… on behalf of the city, and after several months of testimony, hearings, and negotiations, the CPUC approved all of the rate changes. We expect that… these changes will save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even better, these results were achieved with no investment of capital or city staff time. UCM clearly has a thorough understanding of the utility regulatory process, making it possible for customers to challenge utility company policies that are unfair or incorrect.
Assistant City Manager
City of Yorba Linda
…the City of Chula Vista retained UCM to ensure that utility charges were being minimized. We did not expect UCM to uncover significant savings because the City works closely with its utility providers to reduce costs, but UCM's no-risk proposition seemed like a worthwhile check on these efforts. To our surprise, UCM discovered that the City was being overcharged by more than $40,000 per year. The firm's in-depth analysis uncovered billing discrepancies that had been undetected for many years, and within four months, they corrected the problems. Throughout the process, UCM was very easy to work with and clearly communicated and documented its results. The City of Chula Vista has had an excellent experience working with UCM.
Treasury & Business Manager
City of Chula Vista
…the District hired UCM to review the electricity charges on its Pacific Gas & Electric accounts. UCM discovered that the District had been overcharged on its largest account. UCM worked with PG&E to clarify the operations on this account and get it billed on the proper, lower rate. UCM spent countless hours with PG&E discussing the facts of our operations. Within a few months, UCM succeeded in getting the District a refund of over $300,000 from PG&E. Because of this change, the District has reduced its electricity costs by $90,000 per year. UCM made the review procedure easy. Throughout the whole process, UCM kept me informed of its progress with PG&E, and provided clear and accurate documentation on the refund and savings for this account.
Senior Water Systems Operator
Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California… provides drinking water to nearly 19 million people… an average of 1.7 billion gallons of water per day to a 5,200-square-mile service area. Metropolitan retained UCM to review its electricity expenditures. UCM analyzed more than 200 separate accounts and provided a written summary that detailed opportunities for savings. Within a few months, cost-saving changes to 40 of the accounts were implemented, and as a result Metropolitan has reduced its electricity costs by about $80,000 per year. UCM made the entire process easy. There were no up-front costs and little involvement from Metropolitan staff. UCM kept me informed of its progress, and provided clear and thorough documentation of the savings actually realized on our accounts.
Thomas E. DeBacker, CPA
Chief Financial Officer, Interim
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
…UCM worked with PG&E to correct an improper tariff classification that had been applied to one of our electricity accounts. In the end, California Family Foods received a refund from the utility of $791,000. For the past three years, electricity costs have been reduced by about $200,000 per year because of the rate changes that UCM made, and significant savings will continue to accrue for many years going forward. UCM has documented these savings thoroughly and accurately, giving me confidence in the level of savings that have been attributable to their efforts. The firm clearly has an in-depth understanding of utility rate and tariff issues that far exceeds the capabilities of typical business customers, and this expertise has resulted in outstanding results for California Family Foods.
Chief Financial Officer
California Family Foods
Retirement Housing Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides housing and services to more than 16,000 older adults, economically disadvantaged families and people with disabilities. The housing industry is full of fixed and rising costs. We worked with UCM to analyze our utility bills, which resulted in $200,000 in savings per year. They also obtained refunds totaling more than $250,000. The process was easy and efficient, and the staff worked quickly and diligently on our behalf.
Vice President of Operations
Retirement Housing Foundation
UCM negotiated with utility representatives and other interested parties to secure lower electricity rates on our behalf. These lower rates are reducing annual operating costs by more than $125,000, and we expect these benefits to continue indefinitely. UCM also obtained a $456,000 refund for past overcharges on Great Western Growers’ account. UCM has been easy to work with and… clearly has a thorough understanding of the intricacies of utility rates and regulations.
President & CEO
Great Western Growers
As a large electricity user, PIRMI has always worked closely with PG&E to reduce costs. In spite of this, UCM was able to propose and implement changes that resulted in a $1.25 million refund, and reduced ongoing electricity costs by more than $250,000 per year. …UCM continued to work with PG&E and the CPUC on keeping our electric rates as low as possible. I have enjoyed working with UCM and have found all of the UCM personnel to be professional, knowledgeable, and helpful.
Pacific International Rice Mills
UCM represented 33 association member hullers, who comprise approximately 50% of the California almond hulling industry, in a complaint case against PG&E before the California Public Utilities Commission. …UCM challenged PG&E's long-held interpretation of a tariff that rendered hullers ineligible for agricultural electric rates, and sought refunds of the resulting overcharges. After two years of hearings, briefs, and appeals, the hullers prevailed. As a result, the participating hullers… received refunds of more than $6 million, and reduced their ongoing electricity charges by roughly 20-30%. Both AHPA and the hullers have been extremely impressed by UCM. The exceptional result achieved speaks to UCM's unique capability and competence.
Almond Hullers & Processors Association
UCM identified PG&E overcharges affecting some 33 different CCGA member organizations operating over 70 different gin facilities and filed a complaint case with the California Public Utilities Commission. UCM's work on the case has been outstanding in all respects. Its planning and preparation for the case reflected foresight, thoroughness and a complete command of the subject matter. It handled the hearing process – which involved direct testimony, cross examination and oral argument – with impressive skill and professionalism. And the numerous legal briefs that UCM has filed in the case have been exhaustively researched, convincingly argued, and carefully thought out. In addition to its adept handling of the CPUC complaint case, UCM has been easy to work with and always willing to “go the extra mile.”
Earl P. Williams
California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association
I am writing to commend UCM on the outstanding service it has provided to the Transamerica Pyramid. …prior to my tenure at the Transamerica Pyramid, UCM succeeded in recovering over $500,000 for the Pyramid for utility billing errors that had been ongoing for more than 15 years. Partly based on this past success, I hired UCM again… to review, analyze and (if appropriate) recover local taxes imposed by the City of San Francisco. Once again, UCM's services have been remarkably profitable for the Transamerica Pyramid. As a result of UCM's services, the Pyramid recovered refunds of Business Taxes totaling $106,277. In addition, the City recently approved a refund of Parking Taxes that we expect to total approximately $237,000. From start to finish, UCM has handled every aspect of the recovery of these taxes… while keeping me informed at each step.
Vice President, Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group
ECHO is a non-profit organization that represents over 1,400 homeowner associations consisting of 155,000 dwelling units throughout California. …ECHO employed UCM to represent it in a California Public Utilities Commission rulemaking proceeding. As a result of UCM's representation, the CPUC modified the tariffs so as to permit apartment and condominium owners the option of selecting commercial rate schedules for electric accounts that serve common areas. This tariff change will result in electricity cost savings… of approximately $18 million per year. We have been thoroughly impressed and satisfied with UCM's representation of ECHO. UCM has exhibited expertise in utility regulatory matters, diligence in its pursuit of ECHO's objectives, responsiveness to our requests and inquiries, and forthrightness in its dealings.
Executive Council of Home Owners
UCM reviewed Producers Dairy Foods utility service… and discovered overcharges on several electricity accounts. After PG&E refused to correct the problems, UCM initiated a formal complaint through the California Public Utilities Commission. (Ultimately), the CPUC ordered PG&E to grant the rate reductions that were originally sought by UCM, and to pay a significant refund to Producers. We expect that the rate changes that were made will substantially lower Producers' electricity costs for many years into the future.
Producers Dairy Foods, Inc
…the University of California Hastings College of the Law retained (UCM) for the purposes of reviewing and analyzing the College's utility expenses. Since that time, we have been extremely pleased with… the results that have been achieved. UCM has effected major changes in the way utility companies bill the College. This has been accomplished without Hastings having to be part of the negotiations. For a minimal investment of the College's time, significant gains have occurred. The College is anticipating tens of thousands of dollars in annual savings on electricity, gas, water, and sewer costs because of UCM's work. Of course, the $167,000 refund recently paid to the College for a billing error… was particularly impressive. We look forward to additional benefits to Hastings as UCM's work continues.
David N. Seward
Chief Financial Officer
University of California Hastings College of the Law