Utility Tariff Audit for Overages; Retail


An outdoor recreational equipment and clothing retailer came to ProKarma EMS looking for a firm to audit what utility providers were charging as per the Tariff code and catch possible errors.


The institution’s leadership had recently discovered some erroneous charges on their energy invoices. Upon further investigation, they found that even though they had been paying for the Tariff audit service, they weren’t getting that service delivered by their Expense Management provider. They decided to switch providers and came to ProKarma EMS Rate and Tariff solution in 2016. Its finance officials wanted to begin the process of getting a refund from its energy provider and establish tighter ongoing audit processes without reinventing the wheel.


The retailer turned to ProKarma, which has extensive experience in expense management and auditing, to conduct a historical utility and expense audit. ProKarma began by collecting the institution’s master data and 12 months of historical invoices. ProKarma implemented the full bill pay transition from the incumbent inside 45 days while ensuring there were no utility shut offs.

A key aspect of the engagement focused on the historical review of utility invoices especially on Time of Use (TOU) rates. ProKarma worked with the retailer to identify billing inaccuracies, such as pro-rata splitting of Winter vs. Summer charges during October and March.   The customer wanted early wins and instructed ProKarma to go after these rate schedules first. The ProKarma team worked on obtaining 15-minute interval data and after analyzing that against the Utility invoices made a case for refunds from the energy providers.

ProKarma then initiated the refund process by generating claim statements and case files and presenting it to the 4 energy providers, who agreed to give the institution a refund of up to $145,000 in the form of credit on future bills. The savings, combined with the findings from ProKarma’s analysis of bills and expenses, helped the institution better manage its energy and sustainability goals moving forward.

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