This global telecommunications carrier ranks among the top five U.S. telecom companies. Its diverse operations include wireless, local and long distance services with annual utility costs exceeding $100 million. To efficiently process and pay its utility bills, the company set up its own in-house Energy Team.
Using EnergyCAP Enterprise software, the Energy Team developed a method to track and pay the company’s 45,000+ monthly energy bills on time. They planned to review each bill for potential errors and provide the information needed to make demand-side energy management decisions.
To further reduce energy costs, they wanted to take advantage of deregulation in some states. Last but not least, they would work with utility suppliers to review invoices for cost-saving rate re-classifications. It didn’t take long before they realized they had bitten off more than they could chew.
The first obstacle was the sheer volume of bills. Invoice totals ranged from small fixed fees to thousands of dollars. Bills arrived in a multitude of formats, from EDI computer images to handwritten notes.
The Energy Team met their initial goals, but the huge volume of bills and rapid growth of company accounts made it impossible for existing staff to also research and review rates. It was time to call in the troops.
The tracking and payment system reached a stage where it might benefit from a comprehensive cost-savings review by an outside source. Cost Control Associates would do the work on a contingency basis: If nothing was found, there would be nothing to pay.
Using its Cost Recovery and Reduction program, Cost Control put its dedicated team of seasoned energy analysts to work reviewing each account. Using proprietary software that accommodated the client’s imaging system, they analyzed invoices from utility providers in 50 states.
Much to the client’s surprise, Cost Control Associates identified $2.5 million in refunds and annual cost reductions. With customer approval, they implemented the changes and verified the results. Fees were paid from the refunds and savings produced. The project made the Energy Team look good, too. After all, they realized the value of bringing in an experienced partner to strengthen the team.
“We’d already had good results in tracking and controlling energy costs, so we were uncertain how much Cost Control Associates could produce. $2.5 million in annual savings was quite an answer!”
Lisa Miller is marketing and communications manager for Cost Control Associates. She joined Cost Control Associates in 2015, bringing more than 25 years of experience in marketing and corporate communications to her position. Lisa earned her BA from Skidmore College. Learn more.