Forensics-the glitch that keeps on taking
Tuesday 3rd January 2017
While changes in legislation throw up new kinds of opportunities on a constant basis, forensic analysis itself is nothing new. At this point, it’s rarer to encounter a customer who hasn’t had at least a broad-toothed comb run through their historical energy invoices by an independent consultant. Those who haven’t have certainly missed a trick. Energy suppliers themselves are certainly up to speed with these exercises; rebate claims have rained down on them for many years.
Mistakes will always happen, and E2 will always be here to catch them. That’s why our clients engage us to interrogate their monthly invoicing, and that’s why energy supplier hold times aren’t strangers to the half-hour mark. But forensic analysis isn’t about identifying random, sporadic quirks, typos or instances of ‘forgot to carry the one.’ More often than not, it’s the same systemic failures from the same culprits that are thrown up; holes that have not been plugged, billing model oversights that have not been addressed. You might have engaged a TPI for a forensic analysis some years ago; it doesn’t follow that the supplier has cleaned up their act as a result.
So why aren’t these issues resolved? To our mind, the question is one of incentive. Is your supplier going to make resource available to fix a system fault that overcharges its clients? Too often it’s the utility industry ‘tree falling in the woods’ question. If you’re over-billing the client, but they don’t notice, do you care? To their credit, many suppliers do. But ask yourself, if left to their own devices, do you trust your energy supplier to take good care of your bottom line?
For more information on Forensic Analysis, and how E2 can support you in this, please see the Energy Services section of the website.
Mike Stafford, Head of Energy Services