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Home > Leadership > City Comptroller > Press Releases > Schroeder selects firm to assist in street light audit

Schroeder selects firm to assist in street light audit

Schroeder selects firm to assist in street light audit

Buffalo-based Troy & Banks is national leader in utility audits

With roughly 32,000 street lights, electric bills totaling more than $16 million per year, and a complex set of laws and regulations governing utilities, Buffalo Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder knew that an audit of the city’s electricity costs would require some outside help. 

“With the manpower and expertise required for this type of audit, we knew we needed a firm with extensive experience a solid track record for getting refunds for its clients,” said Schroeder.

After a competitive bidding process that resulted in proposals from across the nation, Schroeder found the winning bid in his own backyard.  Buffalo-based Troy & Banks, a national leader in utility audits, has performed more than 10,000 utility audits in all 50 states.  Its client list includes the United States Postal Service, M&T Bank, the University at Buffalo, Amtrak, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Proctor & Gamble, the New York State Department of Transportation, New York Stock Exchange, General Electric, and Calspan.

But it was the company’s experience in Buffalo that really impressed Schroeder.

“Troy & Banks efforts in the 1990s led to a $1.5 million settlement with the city’s electricity provider,” said Schroeder.  “This company knows the city’s electrical infrastructure and the laws governing it.”

Equally impressive as its experience was Troy & Banks price.

“We don’t pay a dime unless we get money back from National Grid,” said Schroeder.  “The city only pays for these services if a refund is recouped or a reduction on future billing is achieved.”

According to the agreement, the city will pay 33 percent of refunds up to $100,000 and 25 percent of refunds from $100,001 and above.  For any reductions in future costs resulting from Troy & Banks, Inc. analysis, the fee is 25 percent of the amount saved each month for 18 months.

“Troy & Banks usually charges its clients 50 percent of refunds, but our competitive bidding process resulted in the company offering an even better deal for the taxpayers,” said Schroeder.

The comptroller said that he will ensure these types of audits are performed periodically in the future, as there is six-year statute of limitations on overbillings.

“We don’t want to miss out on refunds down the road, so we will make sure this type of audit is done at least every six years,” said Schroeder.

Schroeder credited Common Council members Richard Fontana and Christopher Scanlon for initiating the audit by sponsoring a resolution earlier this year.  He also thanked public works commissioner Steve Stepniak for his assistance throughout the process.

“This is a team effort, and we are all committed to making sure the city gets a fair shake on its utility bills,” said Schroeder.