Beautiful woman shopping in clothing store.This chain of American department stores operates more than 1,000 department stores across the country. More than 100 years old, the well-regarded brand has been serving families with home essentials ranging from clothing, shoes and accessories to appliances, kitchen wares, and bath and bedding.

The Challenge

Because the company was experiencing pressure on profit margins and could not add staff, management sought outside expertise to help reduce and manage energy costs for the chain. Rates and billing plus budgeting and forecasting were their two areas of focus. The client knew the project required exhaustive tariff research and analysis to ensure rates and other billing components were optimized for 3,000+ utility accounts.

It had been more than five years since they had done an in-depth energy review. Senior management wanted accurate, reliable budget information and a better understanding of where rates were going. To exercise more financial control, they wanted to budget energy consumption and unit costs.

“It is a welcome change to have a highly responsive, knowledgeable partner. We are comfortable knowing we can rely on Cost Control Associates to help meet our goals.”

The Solution

Cost Control Associates came to the rescue with the expertise of a dedicated workforce experienced in analyzing and managing energy costs down to the last penny. As part of the firm’s Historical Energy Cost Recovery and Reduction Program, its analysts reviewed the client’s past electric, gas and water/sewer bills. They determined the most relevant, cost-effective rates, uncovered errors in past billings and tracked down refunds.

By taking advantage of Cost Control Associates’ Budgeting and Forecasting Services, the client realized that Cost Control analysts had vast knowledge of regulated utility rates. They were also familiar with the budgeting tools available through the client’s own bill processing and payment vendor. Cost Control Associates produced hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds and annual cost savings. The client opted for a fixed fee payment and recouped its program costs within one year.

With this kind of success, the company was eager to sign up for Cost Control Associates’ Ongoing Rate Analysis Services to track and maintain the best rates going forward. Now that their budgets are on target, the client can free up staff for more critical tasks. Cost Control Associates delivered on-time solutions, accurate budgeting tools and significant energy cost savings.

“We knew what we needed, but we didn’t have the manpower.”

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