Are cities paying too much for their energy bills?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Taxpayers could be paying too much for their cities utility bills.

That’s why the City of Buffalo and Niagara Falls are having their electric and gas expenses analyzed. Crews are also examining the street lights which cost up to 40 percent of a cities energy bills.

“We’ve been hired as forensic auditors and consultants to review all of their utility billings to verify their accuracy” said Thomas Ranallo, the President of Troy & Banks.

The audit is looking for ways the cities and taxpayers can save.

Troy and Banks, a local utility and telecommunications consulting company, did a study in Buffalo about 10 years ago and discovered they had nearly $2.1 million dollars in overcharges. The money was refunded to the city.

“Typically the overcharge is going to reduce the annual bill to the municipality which would result in a reduction of their tax bill” said Ranallo.

Now they’re at it again. Auditors started by mapping out each city and taking inventory of what’s in your neighborhood. Then they compare it to what the city is being billed and determine if they’re being charged correctly. Ranallo said so far he’s seen significant discrepancies.

“You find wattage based discrepancies. The bill saying it’s a 250 watt, when its only a 150 watt”.

They’ve also found that municipalities are being charged for street lights that aren’t even there or lights they don’t own.

The Buffalo study should be done in two weeks. Afterwards the findings are sent to the utility company. In this case it will go to National Grid.

Once they’re done the city should know whether they’ll get a refund or not.

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