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How Do I Read My Utility Bill?

We get this question often from clients confused by the details on their energy bills. With varying rates and usages, figuring out what you owe—and if what you owe is accurate—is complicated. Here are some tips on making sense of your utility bil Read More...
 

Could My Business Benefit from a Utility Rate Analysis?

Energy audits are commonplace for residential and commercial facilities. While energy audits can help you save energy, they may not make a big difference on your utility bill. That’s because energy audits lower consumption, not rates. Here are few Read More...
 

Overcharges from Energy Billing Errors: An International Problem

Errors on a few hundred utility bills is a serious problem. Errors on nearly 4 million bills is a billing disaster. That’s exactly what happened in the United Kingdom last year. The cost of the overcharges? £300 million. That’s an average of £7 Read More...
 

How Many Utility Bill Overcharges and Errors Are You Missing?

Recently, Burlington Electric Department (BED) in Burlington, Vermont, made an unusual and commendable move. It wrote a letter to the city of Burlington and the University of Vermont outlining massive errors on their utility bills. The errors led to Read More...
 

The Misperceptions of Unlimited Exemptions

For most companies, growing and expanding your manufacturing facility means that business is going good. The demand for your product has increased so much that you need more space to accommodate your client base. Your company is thriving and the last Read More...
 

The Effects of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma on the US Energy Industry

All eyes were on Hurricane Harvey as the epic storm approached the gulf coast of Texas in late August 2017. Companies in the oil and gas industry were especially concerned. Offshore drilling in the gulf is a major oil producer for the United States, Read More...
 

15 Ways to Eliminate Errors and Overcharges on Gas Bills

Tired of poring over your gas bill every month to find the errors your utility company missed? Here’s a look at our top tips for eliminating errors to avoid paying too much on your gas bill. 1. Utility Rate Options: Most utility companies offer Read More...
 

14 Common Billing Errors on Utility Bills

SM Engineering has been reviewing electric, gas and water/sewer bills since 1982. We review thousands of bills each year and we’ve seen bills from all 50 states. Some of the most common errors that we see are: 1. Utility Rate Options. Most of the u Read More...
 

What’s the Difference between a Utility Bill Audit and an Energy Audit?

Utility costs are often one of the biggest expenses a business can incur, but lucky for you, these costs aren’t fixed. There are several ways you can reduce your utility costs, two of which include conducting an energy audit and a utility bill audi Read More...
 

Three Ways to Save Your Business Money NOW!

Every business would love to cut costs, but it’s not always clear what line items need to be slashed to do so. Sometimes, however, you don’t have to slash any line item to save money. Rather, changing a few habits around the office is all you nee Read More...
 

A Case Study in How SM Engineering Advocates for You for Better Electricity Rates

Did you know that it’s your responsibility as a customer to find the best utility rates for your business? That’s right—your utility providers are under no obligation to make sure you’re paying a competitive rate. Here’s how SM Engineering Read More...
 

Did You Know You’re Responsible for Your Electric and Gas Utility Rates?

It’s true: utility companies are under no obligation to offer you the most competitive rate available. That means you’re responsible for researching and choosing your company’s electric and gas rates. Choosing the wrong rate can result in thous Read More...
 

What Are All Those Taxes and Fees on Your Florida Electricity Bill?

We recently got an email from one of our clients in Florida. “What are all these taxes and fees on my electricity bill?” he asked. We get this question all the time from clients in Florida and across the country. Here’s a rundown of the taxes a Read More...
 

The Tale of 101 Meters

Businesses with multiple locations have a lot of moving parts. When you’re managing staff and putting out fires at multiple locations, it’s tough to find the time to look for errors in your utility bills. But as a south-central Minnesota grain co Read More...
 

I Have to Pay How Much?! Understand Your Utility Bill Fees So You Don’t Get Nickel and Dimed.

Ever been surprised by how much you pay for utilities for your company? You’re not alone. Busy business owners usually don’t have the time to scrutinize their utility bills. But a close look often reveals where extra costs are coming from. SM Eng Read More...
 

A Sewer Meter Runs Afoul in Iowa

It’s obvious when your facility experiences a sewer backup. But if your sewer meter ran afoul, how would you know? A malfunctioning sewer meter can cost you thousands of dollars a year. Just ask Foam Fabricators Inc. in Fort Madison, Iowa. The Chal Read More...
 

Does a Trump Presidency Spell the End for Renewable Energy? Energy Companies Say No.

President-elect Trump has given environmentalists and other champions of renewable energy cause for concern. He’s called climate change a hoax, promised to gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and pull the United States out of the Paris Ag Read More...
 

Energy Supply and Energy Prices under the Trump Administration

“Trump Digs Coal” proclaimed signs at Trump rallies across coal country during the 2016 presidential election. During his campaign, Trump promised to weaken federal regulations of the fossil fuel industry, invest in energy infrastructure, and put Read More...
 

Don’t Throw Money Down the Drain with Excess Sewer Charges

Cities charge manufacturers for what their facilities discharge down the drain and through municipal sewer systems. Your bill fluctuates depending on the amount you discharge through the sewer system. For many manufacturers, sewer charges can add up Read More...
 

How the Flip of a Switch Saved $60,000 a Year in Utility Costs

The utility bill experts at SM Engineering have seen just about everything. After a utility bill audit, we’ve found facilities that are maximizing their energy savings and companies that had to make substantial investments to reduce utilities costs Read More...
 

Will Trump’s Election Affect Your Electricity Bill? Probably. Here’s How.

We’ve just wrapped up what seemed like an interminable presidential election. Many Americans are happy to put November 8 behind them. But for your utility bill, the election is really just the beginning. The policies of President-Elect Trump will a Read More...
 

What’s in Store for Winter Energy Supply and Prices

Much of the United States experienced a warmer-than-normal autumn this year. But even when temperatures are balmy, demand for fuel increases in winter. Here’s a look at what natural gas price and supply trends may look like over the next few months Read More...
 

Natural Gas Prices Will Likely Rise This Winter, So Lock In Your Energy Rates Now

Low prices at the pump are a welcome sight for most Americans. Falling gasoline prices can help American business with fleets save money. But there is an unwelcome consequence of low gasoline prices: high natural gas costs. The Connection between Oil Read More...
 

Legal Rulings: A Look at Indiana’s Industrial Tax Exemptions

SM Engineering loves saving businesses money, whether we help you find savings on your utility bills or help you understand legal rulings in your state that could save you money come tax time. Here’s a look at two Indiana industrial tax exemption c Read More...
 

Americans Are Using a More Diverse Mix of Energy Sources, According to This New Study

A 2016 study by the US Energy Information Administration found that Americans are using a more diverse mix of energy sources. The trend has implications for the future of energy use and costs in the United States, so it’s worth a closer look. Coal Read More...
 

New Electricity Bill Rate Saves 10 Percent: Case Study in Utility Savings

Recently, SM Engineering had the opportunity to help a fertilizer manufacturing company save 10 percent on its electricity bills. Here’s a look at how we did it. The Client: A Manufacturer Seeks Utility Savings South Carolina-based manufacturing co Read More...
 

Will the Shale Gas Boom Save US Manufacturing?

The health of US manufacturing has been a hot topic this year as both presidential hopefuls use the issue as a talking point for the upcoming election. Many think US manufacturing is on the decline, but new research finds US manufacturing is recoveri Read More...
 

Why Meter Size Matters: A Case Study in Utility Cost Savings

Saving money on your manufacturing facility’s utility bill isn’t just about increasing energy efficiency or even negotiating lower utility rates. Sometimes, you can find considerable savings by assessing and updating the physical equipment that m Read More...
 

The Case of Too Many Electricity Meters: Is Your Company Guilty?

Expanding your facilities is a sign that you’re doing something right. Business is booming and you need more space to meet demand or house your growing team. Often, it’s more cost-effective at the construction phase to add a meter to the new spac Read More...
 

Some States Allow Customers to Choose Their Own Electricity Providers. Is Yours One of Them?

For decades, utility companies have enjoyed little—if any—competition within their markets. Most states regulate utilities so consumers only have one or two options when selecting utility providers. But recently, more than a dozen states and Wash Read More...
 

Oil Prices Took a Tumble after Brexit. What Does the Future Hold for the UK Oil Industry?

On June 24, the United Kingdom announced it was exiting the European Union after a referendum vote to leave the group narrowly passed among UK residents. The momentous decision threw the UK and global economies into turmoil. The value of the pound pl Read More...
 

Should You Stay with Your Utility Company or Switch to a Third-Party Provider?

In April, the Office of Consumer Counsel in Connecticut released a report on residential utility billing. It found residents paid $58 million more purchasing electricity from third-party suppliers as opposed to utility companies. The findings raise a Read More...
 

Save Money on Utilities with a Billing Audit

Q&A with Satya Garg, President of SM Engineering Property Management Vendor Guide is committed to helping our readers improve their bottom line. One area where we see significant potential cost savings is by auditing multi-family housing utility Read More...
 

Average Electric Bills – How to lower them in a small business?

Average electric bill vary from one business to another, but one thing that’s common in every electric bill is its ever increasing cost. Winters are around the corner and are soon going to affect the electric bills of every business in U.S.A. For o Read More...
 

Energy Saving Opportunities in Compressed Air Systems

Many companies use compressed air as a multipurpose resource in their manufacturing plan, but the use of this resource comes at a high cost to the consumer. Did you know that only 10% of the electric power consumed by an air compresses is used to rai Read More...
 

7 Easy Tips for Saving up to 40 percent on Your Water Bills

You have most likely heard the saying “A little bit now goes a long way later.”    It makes sense, but how often do we act upon this idea?  With the correct end goal in mind, we can more easily apply the initial steps that will better us off Read More...
 

GREAT TIPS FOR WATER MANAGEMENT FOR APARTMENT BUILDINGS

Before we get into implementing any plans to cut down the water waste, the first step is to look at the usage for the last 12 months. WATER AUDIT The average water used by apartment buildings per unit is as follows: Per Unit First Resident 75 gallons Read More...
 

An in-depth look at errors and overcharges on utility bills

Virtually every case of overcharging is the result of human or computer error. When you consider the complexity of the bills, and the thousands of accounts that a given utility company has to process each month, it is not surprising that mistakes are Read More...
 

What is Utility Rate Analysis?

A utility rate analysis is not the same as an energy audit. An energy audit looks for lowering consumption by more efficient lighting and motors, and a change in operation. A rate analysis is analyzing the bills to uncover errors, overcharges and dif Read More...
 

How Electric Rates are Set Up

To understand electric rates, let us analyze the regulatory process. Utility costs are not based on the cost of production. In 1970, everybody was projecting increased use of electricity in the future and utility companies were building large generat Read More...
 

Predominant Use Study, Utility Tax Exemption & Refunds!

Predominant Use Study – Introduction Utility tax exemption is an incentive employed by authorities, to encourage company operations in their state. The requirements for these incentives vary from one state to another. However one basic qualificatio Read More...
 

Fight Energy Rate Hikes with Energy Savings Solutions

Minnesota customers of Xcel Energy are experiencing a nearly 5% increase in their electricity rates – with more increases likely in the near future. Other states are dealing with potential increases in natural gas rates. What can companies do t Read More...