Transparency and accurate billing data are essential to efficient energy solutions, and one organization that’s learning this the hard way is Baltimore’s Department of Public Works. The last update to the water billing system was in the 1980s. The result of such an old water metering process? Baltimore residents have experienced inflated water bills for years. In addition to inaccurate bills, the outdated system also resulted in irregular billing periods.
While the demand for transparency is forcing DPW to review its customer billing operations, the issue highlights the need for third-party management. “Owners need timely and accurate water bills. Owners need to have access to their utility meters with remote indicators in case BaltiMeter Billing cannot or doesn’t read,” says Peter Angerame, Vice President of utiliVisor, a leading energy advisory firm.
According to Mr. Angerame, a third party like utiliVisor would serve as the liaison for both parties: owners and the Department of Public Works. A third-party management firm would reference test meters for accuracy, audit bills, compare usage to previous data collected and to similar buildings, and represent owners to correct invoices. Furthermore, a third party works to reconcile BaltiMeter Billing invoices. When a reputable third party engages in this process, there are fewer tenant issues, and maximum revenue recovery is achievable.
For more details about Baltimore’s struggle, see Ethan McLeod’s article for the Baltimore Fishbowl.