male hardware store workerThis chain of retail home improvement stores operates more than 1,400 stores serving more than 13 million customers in the U.S. and Canada. When people need skilled help for home remodeling projects, they turn to the on-staff professionals who lend the best advice. When the store chain turned its attention to cost control, they also called in the experts.

The Challenge

The management team was hesitant at first. They had had a bill-paying service for several years, and that service claimed to provide a complete solution, including bill audits and cost management strategies. The retailer assumed they were also benefiting by vigilant review of their rates, tariffs and taxes on energy bills.

Cost Control Associates knew better. They understand that most bill-paying services are bid on a per-unit cost basis, with the contract usually going to the lowest bidder. Faced with thin margins, the bill payer often can’t afford to provide extra services such as a thorough review of bills or a detailed rate analysis and review.

“Cost Control Associates delivered substantial energy cost savings for our stores. They were the right choice, and we will use them again.”

The Solution

This is exactly the situation in which Cost Control Associates can deliver its best results. Management wanted to find new ways to reduce costs but assumed there was little to gain by having a second company review their bills. They were persuaded by Cost Control’s high success rate and extensive experience in reviewing energy costs for other retail companies. Because the company’s bills and other data were well-organized and accessible, the client’s time investment was low.

Cost Control performed its analysis work on a contingency basis, which meant the client would incur no costs until refunds and savings were produced. Cost Control Associates offered its Energy Cost Recovery and Reduction program which uses proprietary software and a unique “team analysis” approach. The retailer agreed to a pilot program involving 122 stores.

Cost Control Associates produced refunds and savings in annual energy costs that added up to six figures. Because two-thirds of the cost savings were found in cost reductions, these savings recur annually. Given the small size of this pilot project, one can only imagine the millions of dollars to be saved across the entire store chain!

“Our current energy bill payer assured us they were providing a close and constant review of our rates and overall costs.”

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