Utility audit – A company is a system that requires many parts to work together in unison to achieve its goals. Streamlining the interplay between the various sections helps get the maximum benefit out of their work. Every weak link in the chain will drag the overall performance of the entire organization down. This fact applies both to workers and the machines employed.
Both people and machines need resources to function, and these resources have a bearing on the overall profit margin of the business. Utility bills are the most ignored aspects of business operations that actually shouldn’t be. They directly indicate the performance of the company’s equipment and personnel and its overall efficiency indirectly.
The best way to ensure efficient use of resources like water, electricity, gas, etc., is to conduct an audit. Utility bill auditors perform a slew of procedures to check the utility resource consumption and the money going towards it. A good professional will help you gain good rewards as savings.
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Choosing the Right Person
The prominence of the auditing process for businesses has led to a glut of providers in the field. It can be a daunting task to select the best utility bill auditors for the job. There are measures that you can take to get yourself just such a person/agency. Such a hire will add to the cost savings that audits can give.
Auditors might market themselves as the best, but when the rubber hits the road they don’t necessarily deliver. Some market research helps narrow down and identify quality service providers.
The professional must know what to look for in your building to gauge its energy usage. They must also be aware of adopting the right methodology for the purpose. They must know about the tools used for the job, be it in terms of energy or cost.
Their expertise in the systems’ technical aspects will play a large role in determining how well they can do their job. Many critical systems are needed to run offices and factories. The larger the building, the more complex the systems will be. The auditor must be technically adept at identifying the systems and assessing their functioning.
Checking Their Qualifications
Utility auditors are required to be certified by a recognized agency to be able to perform the job. The US has certifying agencies that award certifications to those clearing their criteria. The most common organizations and the certifications they provide are listed below:
- American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Systems: Building Energy Assessment Professional
- Association Of Energy Engineers: Certified Energy Auditor
- National Association Of Energy Service Companies: None
Verifying if your auditor possesses any of these certifications will get you a qualified professional who knows the job. When hiring an auditing firm, verify the company’s credentials as well as those of their professionals.
Putting out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) can gain a list of potential auditors that match your needs. This method relieves you of the administrative burdens that typically come with a proposal request process. You can also take the help of references to verify the viability of hiring a particular firm.
You could also interview with the potential hire to assess their qualifications and professionalism.
Evaluating the Costs
High-priced auditors will defeat the purpose of hiring them in the first place. They will become a drain on your financials instead of working to stop such financial drains. There are some ways you can avoid paying more than you need to for getting an audit done.
Displaying a cost estimate in your RFP or RFQ is one way to get the cost under check. You will be likely to get an auditor at an optimal price. Don’t overdo it, as you could end up with no proposals at all. Leave some room for negotiations. You can pay a marginally higher price for a person you think is qualified and suited for the job.
You can discuss payment during contract negotiations as well. It is a good idea to hammer out a payment figure and mode before signing on it. There will be clarity for either party in this matter. Asking for an estimate up front based on preliminary assessment is another method of determining the cost.
Whatever the price you decide on, it must be of value for the task being conducted. Asking around for estimates helps with such evaluation.
Utility bills can be an unseen obstacle on the path to success for a company. They silently put a strain on the company’s resources that will prove detrimental in the long run. Commission the best utility bill auditors to save your business from such potentially disastrous drains on your resources.