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 £72 per customer.

Why did UK utility bill customers get overcharged?

We weren’t surprised to learn that the errors on the UK utility bills happened to be some of the most common errors we see on American utility bills every day. See our last blog post for a closer look at some of them.

Approximately 1.4 million of the overcharged customers were charged the wrong tariffs on their utility bills. This is a common error that we see in the United States. Utility companies manage thousands of customers, from single homeowners to large manufacturers. It is easy for them to make mistakes when applying complicated local, state, or even federal taxes to your bill. And without an expert eye, tariff and tax errors are extremely difficult for consumers to catch.

The next most common error was the application of incorrect fees. Other UK customers reported being charged twice for the same bill and having incorrect amounts direct debited from their accounts. Still others caught incorrect meter readings, resulting in extra charges and costs.

Correcting these utility bill errors took time and patience.
With such a large number of customers affected by these complicated mistakes, it took time, patience, and perseverance to correct the errors and refund the overcharges. A study that followed up with affected customers found that half of respondents waited at least two weeks for a resolution. Some 10 percent were still waiting for their bills to be resolved.

At SM Engineering, we help our clients identify and resolve utility bill errors, saving them thousands of dollars annually. Our experts have years of experience analyzing utility bills for errors. We work with your utility company on your behalf to eliminate errors, optimize your billing scheme, and save you money.

We complete our audits at no cost or obligation for you. If we find errors, you can hire us to resolve them for you. We are compensated out of the savings you gain from working with us. In other words, we don’t get paid unless you get paid.

Contact SM Engineering today to schedule your utility bill audit.

Peterson joined SM Engineering Co. as Senior Staff Engineering. He worked on a variety of projects in the Midwest with regard to energy audits and utility rate analysis and installation of boiler controls by Tour & Anderson. Mr. Peterson also published several Technical Papers for the Minnesota Multi Housing Association on boiler operations. Find him on Google+