Considering a Utility Audit A Contractor's View

Every year, co-ops and condos in New York City pay millions of dollars in utility expenses, including electric, water/sewer, gas, and steam. Are you certain your building is paying the correct amount? What if it isn't? Without an expert audit, you may never know if your building is due refunds, savings, and credits from overcharges that appear in a surprisingly large percentage of utility bills.

A whole business sector has grown to supplement your management company's efforts and delve further into the highly specialized area of utility cost recovery to obtain funds on your behalf. The following is an objective look at whether this service is right for your building, and a primer to help you make the best selection of an auditor.

What Do I Have to Lose?

That depends upon certain factors:

Does the auditor work on a contingency fee basis? Some companies charge a fee for their service, regardless of whether they effect savings. The benefit of this arrangement is you know what the cost will be. The downside is that you pay for the service whether your building saves money or not, and there is no financial incentive for the provider to dig as deep as possible to effect savings. The auditor gets paid the same amount of money whether they save you significant dollars or no dollars at all.

Many auditors are paid only when they recover refunds, savings, and credits. In this case there is absolutely nothing to lose, with the potential - and their incentive - to secure significant savings.

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8 Comments

  • "Paying for utility costs without using a Utility Auditor and Monitor is like driving a car at night with the lights turned off" For all you energy, telecom and utility needs “It is cheaper to save energy than make energy”
  • Nora Lehman, Lehman Fisher Co on Sunday, May 30, 2010 7:43 PM
    This is a very good explanation of what an auditing firm should do. Have you any suggestions re: a firm that is located in Southern California, perhaps even in LA or Orange County?
  • I work for a utilities auditor and we guarantee a 15% minimum savings over 12 months. Our average is closer to 30%. It doesn't really matter how you choose an auditor. Just choose one. The sooner the better
  • Do you have any audit company referrals in California?
  • Generating Energy Storage & A Combination Renewable Energy System “It is cheaper to save energy than make energy” Any renewable energy system that is installed should have extra capacity and be able to convert water into hydrogen which will be used to power a hydrogen generator as a back-up power source. We should install a renewable energy system that utilizes solar & wind, when possible add geothermal to the mix. A design is needed for a renewable energy system that can generate electricity and heat water with a step down mixer allowing the system to provide water hot enough for radiant heating and at the same time utilize a step down mixing valve to reduce the water temperature to be able its use for hot water in normal consumption. A thermal renewable energy system may be able to provide both. Prior to sizing up a renewable energy system, an energy audit should be conducted and energy efficiency recommendations should be implemented, that includes changing habits in utilizing energy and utilities in general. Habitual changes can save between 20 to 50% of energy & utility consumption. When people are considerate not to waste, they save resources and money. YJ Draiman, Energy/Utility Analyst
  • I live in New York and was looking to get involved in the Utility Auditing industry. Does anyone know of a Utility Auditing company which would train someone or host an internship?
  • We are auditors in California and offer only FREE services. We also do the entire retrofit for free if the client qualifies. It's getting competitive out there.
  • I'm looking for utility bill auditors in southern California.