The State of New York opened the state’s electric and natural gas industries to competition in the 1990's. Changes in these markets have provided an opportunity for consumers to choose their supplier of energy. New York residents and organizations can shop for energy the same way they shop for anything they consume — by comparing prices. We've noticed many organizations are not doing their homework; therefore, they are paying more than they should.
Did you know it's common for New York organizations to have more than 50 suppliers who will compete for their business at any given time!? We feel most organizations are only receiving a quote from one supplier.
It pays to look at all suppliers, because the cost can vary widely and your organization can get locked into a contract that is not in its best interest. It's best to have an independent cost consulting company, like ICC, help you by submitting over 50 RFQ's and performing a cost-benefit analysis.
Be careful, because there are companies who will submit bids for you, but will receive a kick-back from the supplier you choose. Using ICC is different; we only earn compensation if you realize a cost savings. We are independent and will only work in your best interest.
Keep in mind there are times when it makes sense for organizations to stay with obtaining supply from their incumbent utility company (i.e. National Grid).
In summary, it pays to compare and perform a comprehensive analysis.
Contact us with questions. Good luck.
#energy #ESCO #energysupply #costsavings #energychoice
The price for service listed on wireless companies’ website is rarely the one you end up paying at the end of the month. For starters, there are federally mandated charges, plus state and local taxes — as well as surcharges imposed by the carriers as a way to recover the costs of divvying up the money to the required agencies. In fact, there are over 75 different “fees” your carrier can charge. The average U.S. wireless customer pays nearly 20% in federal, state and local fees.
These extra charges are on the rise, so let's take a look at just six of the 75+ fees on your cell phone bill. While reading, remember you can contact us for a no-charge, independent and expert review of your organization's cell phone charges. We're nice, helpful people looking out for your best interests!
1. Universal Service Fund Fee (USF)
All providers must contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund. The money is used to help schools, libraries, rural health care providers and telephone companies that operate in high cost areas by giving them discounts on telecommunications services. While prepaid service providers like Cricket and MetroPCS absorb the cost, the Big Four carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) pass that cost along to you. Wireless customers pay about $5 billion annually in Federal Universal Service Fund surcharges. The FCC regulates this charge and adjusts the fee quarterly based on the fund’s current balance.
2. State Taxes
These taxes are billed to your primary “usage place,” — generally your residence or business address. However, if you’ve moved out of state and kept your number, check with your carrier to see if they’ve updated your bill. Sometimes if they don’t upgrade a tax code, you may be getting taxed incorrectly. That could make a difference if you’ve moved to a state with lower taxes.
3. State Telecommunications Excise Surcharge
Many states, New York among them, levy specific sales and excise taxes on telecommunications services. Overall, customers in New York state pay an average of 24.36% in federal, state and local taxes on their wireless bills, according to the Tax Foundation.
4. 911/Emergency Response Fees
The carriers are authorized (and at times, required) to collect these fees from customers to help local governments pay for emergency services such as fire and rescue. The fees are generally billed as either an amount per telephone access line or a percentage of revenue.
5. Regulatory Charge
Despite the name, regulatory charges are not government-mandated. Instead, they are surcharges that you get charged to help the carrier defray the costs of federal, state and local regulations.
6. Administrative Charge
Administrative charges are similar to the regulatory charges, but more nebulous. They’re generally billed as fees used to cover the costs paid to other carriers when talking to someone on a different network. These fees can (and do) change from time to time.
U.S. lawmakers have proposed bills aimed at curbing some of the excessive fees and surcharges, but the bills have not gotten much traction.
Contact us for a no-charge, independent and expert review of your organization's cell phone charges. We have the time and expertise to ensure your organization is being billed accurately and cost efficiently. Let's make sure your money is well-spent.
#cellphone #wireless #Verizon #att #tmobile #sprint #telecom #telecommunications #costsavings #cashflow #mobile
Your waste hauler is in business to make a profit. Do you believe your waste hauler would recommend the most efficient and least expensive options for your trash and recycling services?
Every organization produces trash and recyclables as part of their daily operations. As a result, every organization needs to hire a reputable waste hauler to deal with their refuse handling. Traditionally, you must also rely on your waste hauler to make recommendations for how much service you need, and how much you should pay for those services. Letting your waste hauler recommend service levels and pricing shifts the bargaining power to your waste hauler.
Integrity Cost Consulting has a proven record of analyzing our clients’ particular circumstances and making pricing and service level recommendations to secure the lowest pricing, while maintaining appropriate service for your type of organization. We can restructure any existing contracts, so that your organization is being billed accurately and cost efficiently going forward. We are only compensated if your organization realizes a cash flow improvement. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation, http://www.integritycostconsulting.com/contact.html
We realize everyone is busy and no one wants another project, but what if we told you there was a greater than 80% chance your organization was being overcharged for utility, telecom, and waste costs. How long would you wait to find out? The costs of waiting could be significant.
We recently met with a small manufacturer who wasn't interested in our services when we first made contact nearly 16 months ago; however, since we know we can help nearly every organization we contact, we didn't give up keeping in touch with this organization. We remained "professionally persistent" by sending periodic emails containing useful information.
Near the end of 2017, the organization hired a new CFO. The new CFO agreed to have us perform an invoice audit. Good thing they didn't wait any longer...their total first year savings/refunds will be over $45,000! They had been overpaying for many years; however, due to the statute of limitations, we were only able to obtain refunds for the past three years. Making matters worse, most of what we found was not refundable; meaning every month that went by prior to our audit, this organization was just throwing money away...most of the money they overpaid was lost forever, it can't be recovered.
Imagine the amount of money this organization lost due to inaction!
We highly recommend having your utility, telecom, and waste invoices reviewed by external, industry experts, like Integrity Cost Consulting, every 2-3 years. Our invoice audits are non-intrusive and it's easy to get started. We are only compensated if your organization realizes a cash flow improvement. Our audits provide our clients with peace of mind knowing they are being billed accurately and cost efficiently.
Contact us today for a no-obligation, 15-minute meeting to see if your organization has a need for our services, http://www.integritycostconsulting.com/contact.html. We guarantee it will be time well-spent. Thank you, have a profitable day.
You would think that when someone is offering a free service, there has to be a "catch", but if you work with Integrity Cost Consulting, there isn't one. We do not charge a fee for our analysis and it's easier than you think to have your utility and telecom spending verified by a group of independent, industry-trained professionals.
We've been auditing utility and telecom bills since 1991. Given our years of service, we know there's a high probability that your organization is being overcharged on one or more of your accounts. Here are the steps involved in finding out if you are overpaying for services:
1) You provide us with copies of your electric, gas, water, sewer, phone, internet, and data invoices and/or provide us with online "view-only" access to your accounts.
2) You give us authorization to correspond with your electric, gas, water, sewer, phone, internet and data providers.
3) We request additional account information directly from your providers. We'll request documents that you probably don't know exist, but your providers use them to generate their invoices to you.
4) Our 6-member audit team will review and analyze your invoices and all supporting documentation received. We'll review all line items and cost components of every invoice and document. We work off-site and will not interfere with your daily operations.
5) Using our expertise in understanding and interpreting tariffs, customer service records, billing codes, changes in the marketplace, etc., we identify errors, overcharges, and cost inefficiencies. We look for two things: refundable errors and monthly cost reductions (these are non-refundable items that will make you cost efficient going forward...these will reduce your future costs).
6) As soon as we find refundable errors/overcharges and cost reduction opportunities, we will bring these to your attention via email.
7) You review our findings and let us know if you want to pursue the refundable errors and make any changes to your accounts that will lead to monthly cost reductions. We don't initiate any changes without your approval.
8) If you say yes to the refunds and account changes, we work directly with your provider(s) to obtain refunds and make the necessary corrections to your accounts.
9) Regarding refunds, we know what you're entitled to, so we will handle all negotiations to secure the maximum refund possible. Typically, the statute of limitations limits the refund period to three to six years, but we'll go back as far as possible to recover as much of your money as possible.
10) All refunds go directly to your organization in the form of a check or credit.
11) Cost savings from all other changes made to your accounts will be realized in subsequent months, for as long as you have the service, possibly forever.
12) Our compensation is based on us uncovering errors, overcharges and cost inefficiencies. If we find nothing, we are owed nothing. If we find something, you agree to pay us a portion of your realized/actual cash flow improvements. As a result of working with us, your cash flow will either stay the same or improve, it will never be worse, since we never charge a fee for our analysis/audit. We improve client cash flow over 80% of the time.
13) The entire process usually takes 6-8 weeks. We'll have periodic questions for you, but the majority of the work is performed by our team. You could have significant improvements to your cash flow in just 6-8 weeks!
Are you ready to get started? Contact us to schedule a risk-free, no obligation meeting, www.integritycostconsulting.com/contact.html.
We look forward to talking to you!
Should your business or organization consider switching to a third party energy supplier (also known as an ESCO - Energy Services COmpany)?
We work with businesses and organizations to ensure they are being billed accurately and cost efficiently by their utility and telecom providers. One part of our cost efficiency analysis is our Request for Proposal (RFP) process for gas and electric supply. Before considering a switch to a third party supplier, make sure you have the best and most complete information.
Since we are independent and do not represent any suppliers, we review all available suppliers. We provide our clients with the best fixed and variable rates available. We then compare these rates to the rate being offered by their local utility, so that the client can make an informed decision. We recently requested over 80 RFPs for one of our clients in East Syracuse, NY (a beverage distributor). The client was very happy with our efforts.
Reviewing all available suppliers is important, because many companies offer to do the comparative shopping for you, but they might not review all available suppliers. The rates can vary widely from one supplier to another, so to protect your bottom line, we recommend reviewing all available suppliers, not just three or four, and especially not just one.
Would you like to see all of your options and optimize your costs? Integrity Cost Consulting can help verify your energy costs and third party supplier options; please contact us to schedule a risk-free, no obligation meeting, www.integritycostconsulting.com/contact.html.