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Pottsgrove To Scour Utility Bills For Cash

POTTSTOWN PA – Pottsgrove school directors aren’t yet sure how much money, if any, the district might earn in conducting an audit of its utility bills during the past three years, but board members agreed to the procedure Tuesday (Jan. 26, 2016) with an attitude of “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Director of Facilities and Physical Plants Jeffrey Cardwell, who earlier served in a similar position in Philadelphia, recommended the audit to be conducted by an outside firm as one way Pottsgrove might find refundable cash from bills it has already paid.

Cardwell suggested the district pursue a contract with the Eric Ryan Corporation, a company whose website describes it as “a nationally recognized utility auditing firm specializing in cost reduction through bill analysis, establishing usage trends, energy procurement, utility rate reviews, and energy consulting.”

State laws allows the district to look for and seek to adjust billing errors, incorrect pricing and other problems in utility invoices it paid during the past 36 months. Ryan has been doing that work since 1990, according to its webpages; Cardwell encountered it during his stint in Center City.

The agreement would specify that Pottsgrove keeps 75 percent of all savings Ryan finds; the company would be compensated by keeping the remaining 25 percent. Otherwise, Cardwell told directors, “it’s a no-cost contract.”

“To me it sounds like a no-brainer,” board President Rick Rabinowitz said. His colleagues agreed.

Rabinowitz questioned whether the district could perform the work itself. It probably could, Cardwell replied, but it would be labor-intensive, and the district might miss some savings that trained and experienced auditors might not. “I get that,” the president said.

No start date was proposed.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Jan. 26 meeting):

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