As Utility Auditors, we see this kind of outrageous over-billing often. $115 million, in this instance, will be refunded thanks to rarely seen sanctions against this type of behavior.
If you believe your business or investment property has been overbilled – on any utilities – do not hesitate to contact a Professional Utility Auditor – Immediately. Applied Utility Auditors offers no – risk services. We only get paid if you get a refund. Don’t get over your head in overhead.
Call Paul Today: 877 208 0021
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
JCP&L rates to drop slightly after ruling
March 18, 2015 Last updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 5:29 PM
By DAVE SHEINGOLD
Staff Writer |
Electricity users in six Passaic County communities and all of Morris County will see their rates drop slightly in the next few months following a ruling Wednesday by state regulators that sanctioned Jersey Central Power & Light for overbilling customers, but also let the company recoup money spent repairing damage from major storms.
In a unanimous vote at a meeting in Trenton, the Board of Public Utilities ordered JCP&L to refund $115 million to customers through the rate reduction, mostly to cover overcharges for power grid maintenance throughout its northern and central New Jersey territory from 2008 to 2011.
But the board also ordered that ratepayers pay for $736 million JCP&L spent restoring power following Superstorm Sandy and other bouts of severe weather since then that caused blackouts of up to two weeks.
The net result of formulas that parcel out those expenses over varying periods of time will be a $34 million cut in the company’s annual revenue and a drop of 1.2 percent, or $1.68, in its average residential monthly bill, according to the board. The exact month when bills will drop has not been set, but should come this spring, said BPU spokesman Greg Reinert.
JCP&L’s 1.1 million customers include 15,400 in six Passaic County municipalities – Wayne, West Milford, Wanaque, Pompton Lakes, Bloomingdale and Ringwood – and 197,000 in Morris County.
“Today’s order ensures that JCP&L is providing safe and proper service at just and reasonable rates, while also securing and being mindful of the company’s financial integrity,” said BPU President Richard Mroz.
The decision represents a middle-ground between a $207.5 million revenue reduction sought by a state consumer advocacy office and a request by JCP&L for a rate hike to cover increased expenses and storm-related costs.
In January, a state administrative law judge largely sided with claims by the office, known as the Division of Rate Counsel, that JCP&L used complex accounting techniques to return too much profit to its parent company, FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, OH. The judge said the issue of storm costs should be addressed in a separate proceeding.
The BPU, however, combined both matters into one.
The ruling was criticized by Stefanie Brand, director of the Rate Counsel’s office, for rejecting the office’s request for retroactive rate cuts and postponement of storm-cost repayment.
“I’m disappointed,” she said. “It’s still a reduction. But I think they should have taken into account the fact that ratepayers had been paying too much for a number of years. They could have phased this in.” She declined to say if the order would be appealed.
Ronald Morano, a spokesman for JCP&L, said the company would review the order before commenting, but noted that it planned $254 million in improvements this year. Those include new circuits, upgraded utility poles, flood-proofing around power transfer stations and tree-trimming around power lines. The latter effort is aimed at a key problem in the company’s largely suburban and rural territory.
Wednesday’s ruling ends an unusually long-running case involving claims that disputed, in highly arcane terms, the write-offs, equipment depreciation and other accounting techniques used to set rates that generate JCP&L’s revenues. A key issue was whether JCP&L collected too much to cover its federal taxes and then used that money to offset taxes owed by other FirstEnergy subsidiaries.
Brand’s office also accused the company of improperly cutting costs, especially on grid maintenance and tree-trimming. JCP&L responded with a case of its own, seeking rate hikes.
As many New Jerseyans, Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers have come to discover over the winter, the relatively new marketplace for third party suppliers of electricity has not been as great in practice as it may have been in theory.
Many third party suppliers, it seems, have been inexplicably driving up prices on consumers, claiming increased costs due to winter weather — in spite of the non-inflated prices from the primary supplier. A Forbes Contributor went so far as to proclaim this trend a “new scam.”
How are they getting away with this dodgy practice? The marketplace, after all, allows customers to switch suppliers, right?
Unfortunately, switching suppliers can take months to finalize, and some of these companies seem to be exploiting that fact while banking on the docility of others. Late notices for bills threaten power shut-offs and this can also serve in the interest of these price-jackers as people are afraid to take any corrective action.
So what can you do?
Dispute the charges immediately. Switch suppliers immediately. You may also wish to contact your state’s Attorney General and Public Utilities Commission (or their equivalents). In Pennsylvania, the Attorney General is already looking into this matter, and the State Legislature is also launching an investigation.
Are you a business owner or CEO? Is your business spending way too much on energy?
Let Applied Utility Auditors LLC dispute these and other utility overcharges on your behalf.
Contact Paul Steberger of Applied Utility Auditors Today.
Our telecom bill auditing discovers and obtains refunds as well as reduces your future bills.
All we need is one month’s bill and we do the rest.
You will reduce your telecom/ internet bills or we are not paid our contingency fee.
We have over 38 years of telecom experience which enables us to expertly review you r telecom bills from all carriers/ internet providers. We examine bills and contracts including AT&T, Paetec, Sprint, Verizon, and Broadview to name a few. We have an excellent track record in finding errors / solutions for the following:
AT&T ABN contract review and billing error discovery.
The ABN bill in our opinion is very complex and difficult to understand. We recently reviewed an AT&T ABN bill and, secured over $100, 00.00 in refunds for an international co. based in NJ. See other customer stories.
Renegotiate carrier contracts including AT&T ABN contracts, Paetec, Sprint, Verizon etc
We have secured contract price reductions exceeding $60,00.00 per year on two and 3 year AT&T ABN contracts. Also a recent review of a 50 employee New Jersey company, with a $3,000.00 monthly telecom/internet bill, yielded a 32% monthly savings or $12,000.00 per year.
Eliminate excess capacity and lines that you are paying for.
We find that more than 50% of the companies we audit/consult for have either the wrong services or circuits and 30 telephone lines. One client only required 1 T1 and 12 telephone lines. The savings were over $1,500.00 per month.
We designed one of the first private interconnected telephone system for a public school in Northern New Jersey in 1974.
This provided a feature rich solution while saving over 20% in annual costs. We designed/consulted for thousands of lines to the business community, the health care industry [nursing homes, and the assisted living industry].
We developed a software solution for the health care industry
This integrates the low voltage systems [alarms, fire and smoke, door entry control, and wireless monitoring systems] as a turnkey solution. This provides a cost saving solution as well as addressing a life safety issue in that any LCD telephone becomes an auxiliary annunciator panel
DID YOU KNOW that utility companies often have more than one rate for commercial/business clients?
GUESS WHAT. They don’t hand out the best rates automatically. Customers must seek better rates for themselves.
The process of finding the best and most appropriate rate can be tedious – and frankly – as a business owner, you’re already busy running your own business.
This is where Applied Utility Auditors can help. We find overcharges for 80% of all clients.
You might be reading this because your business was referred to AUA or because we’ve contacted you about conducting a utility audit and you have questions.
We’re fortunate that the majority of our customers come from happy client referrals.
Here are a few quick points:
First, when you’re with Applied Utility Auditors, you’re in good hands.
Our team has over 75 years of collective experience in auditing:
• Water/sewer services
• General bill auditing
Second, our job is to find:
• Incorrect rate group assignments
Third, we get to work by:
• Auditing your invoices
• Analyzing usage
• Identifying the errors
Fourth, you reap the benefits:
• Cost and service recommendations are made
• New rates are negotiated with the utility provider
• Everyone’s favorite part: You score a REFUND!
• We continue monitoring your utility bills monthly basis to ensure accuracy
How Does Utility Bill Auditing work?
• Audits are performed on a contingency fee basis
• No errors = no charge to you
• Begin by sending us a copy of a utility bill
• In 2-6 weeks, we’ll have our results and recommendations
What about the money?
1. The refund will either be a check or a credit on future bills.
2. Issue a check to AUA for 50% percent of the refund received.
3. Enjoy your savings! Remember, this is money you have already spent.
The AUA Team looks forward to working with you and adding to your bottom line.
IN CEDAR GROVE, NJ
Kirit Kothari, of Cedar Grove, N.J., isn’t an abnormally thirsty person. Nor does he have an exorbitantly large lawn or garden — nor, for that matter, a personal water park in his backyard.
But somehow, according to a bill he’s received from the Cedar Grove township’s water department, he owed $10,457.90 for water and sewer fees incurred through January, February, and March of 2011. That adds up to nearly 1,000,000 gallons of water for a home of two people. For comparison, an Olympic-sized swimming pools holds about 630,000 gallons…Read More on this and Other Crazy Water Bill Stories from the Huffington Post Here.
You may be surprised to know that this is an area where we have discovered some of the greatest savings for our clients. Not only do we perform the functions normally associated with electric and natural gas auditing, but we are expert in finding and repairing leaks and securing significant refunds/credits. LEARN MORE