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How much will SM Engineering charge us for this service?
That’s the beauty of this system. You don’t pay us anything out of your current budget. Our fees are 50% of any savings or refunds we find for you. Fees are due only after you have received the actual savings.

How will SM Engineering work with us?
It’s simple. Send us your most recent monthly utility bill for electric, natural gas, water and sewer for a free initial analysis. If we find that your bills are in order, we’ll return them with a note stating that you’re being charged appropriately, and that’s it. If we find errors, we’ll notify you by sending you an authorization to audit and monitor your utility charges. Read it over, sign it, mail it back, and we’ll begin the process of researching billing adjustments and claiming refunds. We can also work with you to find potential savings from tax credits based on your business and engineering processes.

Why are businesses overpaying on their utility bills?
Many factors figure into utility bills, and each type of utility constructs their rates differently. As a result of the complexity of this process, many companies rely on the utility companies to select their rates. SM Engineering works with rate structures on a daily basis. Our access to information and our experience are the best resources you’ll find to reduce your charges.

How do utility overcharges occur?
Billing errors and overcharging commonly occur due to miscalculations or misapplied rates, tariffs, demand charges, fuel adjustments, surcharges, and the like.

Are utility companies deliberately overcharging companies?
Certainly not. Almost every instance of overcharging results from human oversight or computer error. The complexity of the billing process and the thousands of accounts each utility company bills monthly contribute to this potential for errors on your bills.

Couldn’t we analyze and audit our bills in-house?
Most companies do, but it is impractical and inefficient to spend the time, training, and hours of research necessary to accurately analyze bills for each utility. This is SM Engineering’s area of expertise. Our staff is trained on the latest rate structures and types, and we have quick access to the needed information through our extensive utility database. We apply our cumulative experience to making sure you’re paying as little for your utilities as you should be.

How do I know if I qualify for a sales tax exemption?
Exemptions vary by state. Each state has issued a set of guidelines that are left to interpretations. Good knowledge of building design, building operations, engineering, and environment related issues helps in determining the highest exemption allowed.

How can SM Engineering assist me with a sales tax exemption?
SM Engineering has been doing predominant use studies since 1984 and has extensive knowledge of state laws, engineering, and the legal proceedings in this matter. We are staffed with professional engineers and certified energy managers to provide these studies. See a brief requirement for each state. (Link to Examples of Studies required by different states)

Where do I send my sales tax exempt information?
Our staff helps to prepare all the necessary documents and studies for your signature before they are forwarded to the State or utility company for review.

How do I know that I completed the forms correctly?
SM Engineering staff has extensive experience with preparing and completing the necessary paperwork.

Where can I check to see if my exemption was accepted?
SM Engineering communicates with the State or utility company to check the status of your account. SME has a good idea of the time it takes for the review process with different states and utility companies.

How long is my tax exemption status valid?
The exemption forms need to be updated if:

  1. Your operation changes significantly
  2. You add machines and/or change the square feet
  3. Your hours of operation change
  4. Depending on the state and utility company, the exemption forms may need to be updated every one to four years