Case Study – Dark Locations – Recovery of $30K

Case Study – Dark Locations – Recovery of $30K


For companies with multiple retail sites, locations may be closed for various business reasons, but the lease for the site remains and utilities must be kept active to ensure the property is secure and there is no risk of freezing pipes. Electricity must also be maintained to ensure proper safety for any persons that may be visiting the site for maintenance issues.

These “dark” sites must be observed closely as logic would dictate that usage and cost for all utilities should decrease as the site is not an active location, but this is not always the case.


A particular location closed for business and went “dark”. The location was flagged for abnormally high cost/usage in the summer of 2015, and upon further investigation it was determined that the electric utility provider had not been able to access the meter to take actual readings as the meter was located within the secured area. Therefore, the utility provider had been estimating the readings since the site went “dark”. These estimates were based on the usage from the previous year which was when the site was operational.

Action Taken

  1. We worked to provide the utility provider with access to the site and they were able to read the meter.
  2. The utility then processed an adjusted bill for the period in question based on the actual reading they acquired and credited all the charges that had been applied.

Results of Investigation

It was determined that the estimated usage had resulted in an overcharge of $30,308 since the site had gone “dark” and our client was able to obtain a credit for that amount.


Often, for large companies, utility bills are viewed as a regular cost of business and are paid without too much investigation into the charges. However as seen in this case, it is highly important to pay close attention to the usage charges when closing certain locations. Could you possibly be paying for utilities that you are not even using? Contact us and let Powerhouse help you regain peace of mind.

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