Elmira College Saves Big with Utility Bill Review

Elmira College

As a trusted energy advisor it’s extremely important to review all aspects of a client’s total energy spend; from insuring the utility is billing correctly, having an effective purchasing strategy that delivers the largest economic benefits while minimizing client’s risk, to ensuring the client is using their energy efficiently.

Ron Appleton,

Senior Energy Advisor, Usource


Elmira College is nestled in the southern region of New York state. The college is noted as among the oldest colleges still in existence today. With its substantial history comes older architecture, and a need for some creative ideas on how to reduce energy costs. Elmira College became a Usource client in 2017, and with that new relationship came the wealth of knowledge and services that Usource provides. Usource advisors reviewed utility bills and usage data, and discussed goals and objectives with Elmira to develop an energy procurement strategy.


While analyzing Elmira’s energy data and documents, Usource completed a utility bill review. During this review Usource advisors look for discrepancies in supplier and utility costs, as well as sales tax exceptions and rate code accuracies. In Elmira’s utility bill review, Usource noticed an error in the service class.

It is not uncommon to have incorrect sales tax or supplier pass-through charges on utility bills, or be assigned an incorrect rate code from a utility – and any one of these could be costing company thousands of dollars each year. A company’s service class dictates the rate at which the utility customer is billed by their utility company. The service class is classified by the amount of kilowatt-hours of demand that a customer uses in a given month. The client’s utility company had classified the college inaccurately.

Seeing this utility bill error, Usource found the correct classification and began researching the process for getting it corrected for the client, and understanding the amount of future savings Elmira College would see once the issue was fixed.


Usource worked with the client’s local utility company and the client to have the service class changed. This resulted in a $22,000 refund from the utility for past payments made and a $30,000 annual savings on their future energy delivery costs.