Savings from day one
In the first week of implementing Utility Control, Azility saved the City of Liverpool $400,000. Within a year, the solution had delivered $1.2 million in electricity cost savings – and counting.
The City of Liverpool Council had successfully used Planet Footprint, now Azility, to monitor its energy usage – but prior to adding the Utility Control module, managing invoices was a time-consuming, manual affair. With nine departments approving payments of hundreds of utility accounts every month, significant time was being wasted and costly errors were being missed.
The manual process of managing so many utility accounts across diverse areas of responsibility meant countless, frustrating hours of scrolling through hundreds of pages to find the bills each unit was responsible for as well as manual data entry. Uncovering billing errors, knowing whether tariffs were correct for individual contracts or picking up costly spikes in consumption was a mammoth challenge.
The Azility Difference
In the same week Utility Control was implemented, Council was under pressure from its utility company to sign a new five-year contract for two large sites. It turned to Azility for expert help in negotiating a better deal; a couple of emails and a phone call later, and a significantly improved tariff was immediately applied to the new contract. This led to a $35,000 reduction in the first payment cycle and a saving of more than $400,000 each year of the five-year term.
Utility Control’s automated invoice testing also picked up duplicate invoices – each with different dates and invoice numbers – for the same accounts in a single billing period. Council was immediately alerted, avoiding a $70,000 overpayment that otherwise wouldn’t have been discovered until the annual audit.
With automated collection and comprehensive checks on every utility invoice, Council’s staff can now easily see which bills should be paid and which should be investigated for billing issues and consumption spikes. Approvals and processing that used to take several days each month now take just 10 minutes – saving about $40,000 in staff time and freeing them up to focus on what they’re really there to do.
“For the first time, all of our utility invoices are checked properly every month, and that has become incredibly valuable to Council. Azility question everything; if we need help they go directly to the source, and invariably we get a resolution within the hour. Their service team’s response to any query is always: ‘Yeah, we can do that!’ says Evie Roberts, Finance Officer, Liverpool Council.
In the past financial year, Liverpool’s electricity costs have been slashed by $1.2 million – a result its Finance Officer, Evie Roberts, credits to the partnership with Azility and Liverpool Council’s commitment to finding effective solutions to reduce energy consumption and costs.
According to Evie, “Azility is building momentum within Council to find better solutions to save money in energy and water costs, and the Analytics module really helps us build compelling business cases for more innovative solutions.”