Billing & Bill Payment

  • May 04, 2015 | Angela Sun
    For some organizations, the days of manually entering utility bill data are over. These organizations have come to the realization that in this day and age, no successful business organization can truly grow with scale by conducting a vital part of its operations and processes through manual methods.
  • Apr 21, 2015 | Mei Shibata
    Over the past decade, customer engagement has become a buzzword among utilities. Customers want to know their energy use and want to be recommended ways to reduce use, they say. As a marketer and energy entrepreneur, I wholeheartedly agree that customers must be engaged. However, as an energy consumer, the current state of utility marketing bothers me.
  • Apr 01, 2015 | Rob Washington
    While most electric bills are correctly calculated, many customers and consultants have found that 1 percent or more contain errors.
  • Mar 20, 2015 | Steve Schultz
    We have a huge opportunity to help energy companies serve their customers more effectively. In less than five years, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) have completely changed consumer behavior and have become the #1 preferred digital channel. As we approach 2015, mobile is not something to think about as "coming in the future." It already happened and most energy companies are behind.
  • Mar 06, 2015 | Rob Washington
    Energy conservation is something that you can easily do with the help of your electricity bill. It is an invaluable tool that precisely tells you whether you are using your energy dollars appropriately or not. However, electricity bills are often quite complex and difficult to read or understand.
  • Feb 06, 2015 | Justin Segall
    There is a day every month that people receive a mystery bill from their utilities. It includes unknown items like Transmission Cost Adjustment, Interstate Pipeline, Demand Side Management Cost, confusing charts with no units or kWh and therms. What am I actually paying for? How can I lower this bill? Customers don't know where or how to take action.
  • Dec 09, 2014 | Eric Leiserson
    Moving customers away from the paper bill and onto electronic bill (e-bill) presentment delivery is a challenge for utility organizations. More and more, customers are receptive to the e-bill in place of the paper bill, but persuading them to make the switch and change their established finance routine is easier said than done.
  • Nov 21, 2014 | Sarah Battaglia
    Ripping open a heating bill during the height of the holiday season is worse than unraveling a string of twinkle lights. Since when does it cost more to heat a 600-square-foot apartment than it does to feed a family of eight? Alright, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm sure that's how most of us feel during the winter months.
  • Oct 23, 2014 | Katia Lundy
    Retail residential electricity prices across the U.S. rose in the first half of this year, averaging 12.3 per kilowatt hour, a 3.2 percent price hike from the same period last year. This is the largest six-month rise since 2009, the U.S Energy Information Administration has reported.
  • Sep 10, 2014 | Kim Gaddy

    The revenue assurance process is of vital importance to utility companies and should be viewed as more than a process full of tedium and toil. The effectiveness of the process substantially impacts the financial health and well-being of every utility. 

  • Sep 04, 2014 | Tom Hulsebosch
    Utilities face increasing pressure from stakeholders and communities to improve their financial performance and profitability by minimizing write-offs for uncollectible accounts. West Monroe Partners recently benchmarked clients to identify best practices used to improve utility collections performance. While collections performance is highly measurable, visible, and actionable, it is also influenced dramatically by local ordinances and challenges that are unique to each utility. Our benchmarking effort identified six best practices that utilities can employ to improve their collections performance. Some utilities are hesitant to change collections practices, fearing a corresponding drop in customer satisfaction. West Monroe's benchmarking found the opposite to be true -- generally, utilities that implement and strictly enforce collections policies have higher customer satisfaction.
  • Sep 02, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    The City of Modesto is the county seat and largest city of Stanislaus County, California, and they cover the region’s water works. For this issue of the Utility2Utility series, we spoke with Debbie Sewell, customer services supervisor, about going mobile.

  • Aug 19, 2014 | Gary Brooks
    For decades, multi-facility organizations have struggled with the frustrating task of collecting data from their disparate utility providers. With all the talk about big data, going green, sustainability and reducing energy costs, you'd think it would be easier than ever for organizations to access the energy data they need to make smarter, more profitable and eco-friendly energy decisions.
  • Jan 15, 2014 | Devon Bass
    A group called Texas Ratepayers' Organization To Save Energy has issued a report critical of the prepaid electricity industry in Texas. Prepaid electricity is a relatively recent product made possible by the prevalence of smart meters today. The plans work much the same was as prepaid cell phone plans, in that customers put money into an account upfront to pay for their electricity usage. As they use electricity their accounts are reduced by the cost of the electricity.
  • Nov 22, 2013 | Douglas Picadio
    In today's environment, everyone is being tasked with doing more with less. A company's decision to add resources, re-allocate resources or cut resources all become reactions to the same basic mandate, streamlining for efficiencies. Such mandates lead to the big question, what functional areas within a company lend themselves to process streamlining?
  • Sep 30, 2013 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    When we talk about billing issues, we usually discuss all the new and shiny high-tech ways customers can pay their utility—from online widgets to mobile phone apps. But there is still a large portion of the population that loves low tech and wants to walk in cash. As mobile apps become more prevalent, however, face-to-face locations to pay utility bills have begun to close more rapidly. So, what’s a utility to do to make those cash-carrying customers happy?

  • Aug 14, 2013 | Scott Shugarts
    After four straight years of electric bills increasing, experts at the US Energy Information Administration are predicting that the average American consumer will be paying a little less for electricity this summer. While the cost of electricity generation continues to steadily rise, lower predicted temperatures should lead less people to crank up the air conditioning in their houses.
  • Jun 12, 2013 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    From the customer perspective, have utilities evolved? Do they offer what a customer wants? Are they making in-roads into the crowded consumer mindset or simply adding to the consumption “noise” that customers wade through every single day?

  • Jun 09, 2013 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    AMERIgreen Energy is a wholesale/retail energy marketer, a new breed that sits between generator and customer. This Lancaster, PA-based wholesale energy provider supplies petroleum and biofuels products and services as well as propane, motor oils, risk management and marketing solutions. Here’s where they come into the fringe of the electric utility market: In addition to that list above, they also offer direct-to-consumer electricity and natural gas.  We spoke to Seth Obetz, co-founder of AMERIgreen about his unique position in the utility industry and how he markets to retail customers outside of the traditional vertical utility concept.

  • May 17, 2013 | Eric Leiserson
    Going green has become a topic of ongoing importance, with consumers increasingly seeking out businesses that employ environmentally responsible practices. Many environmental initiatives, including the delivery of renewable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions, are high-level long-term goals, however, utility companies should not overlook another green technology that resonates with consumers: electronic bill payment.