Thursday, August 30, 2012

Press Release: Conservice Recognized Locally and Nationally For Major Growth


Logan, UT | August 30, 2012 – Conservice received recognition from two major magazines this month for their continued company growth. Inc. Magazine recognized Conservice for being one of the fastest growing companies in the country, while Utah Business magazine placed Conservice on the “Fast 50,” a list of the fifty fastest growing companies in the state. The utility management and billing company is based out of Logan, Utah and provides services to thousands of apartment communities, military neighborhoods, HOAs, student housing communities, and commercial spaces nationwide.

Inc. Magazine examines the growth of the private business market each year and identifies the 5,000 fastest growing companies based on revenue growth over the previous three years. This year, Conservice ranked number 2,451 with three-year sales growth of 99% while adding 183 jobs in that same time period.

Conservice has been on the Inc 5000 list five years in a row. “It’s an honor to see our company recognized nationally for this great accomplishment, which demonstrates the hard work and dedication of all the employees at Conservice” said CEO Dave Jenkins, who was recognized last year as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner in the state of Utah.

Utah Business Magazine selects the Fast 50 based on a combination of revenue growth and total revenue. In an award ceremony on August 29th, Conservice received placement as the 34th fastest growing company in the state. The company has received recognition on the Fast 50 list in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

"Now, more than ever, we depend on Inc. 500/5000 companies to spur innovation, provide jobs, and drive the economy forward.  Growth companies, not large corporations, are where the action is,” says Inc. Editor Eric Schurenberg.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Energy News Flash


The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has struck down the EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule.  This rule affected 28 states and has already caused multiple coal power plant closures.  The rule imposed penalties and standards for power plants that sent particles into downwind states.  The rule took effect January 2012 and was scheduled to increase penalties to their highest levels as of 2015.

The Court’s action will allow cost effective power production to continue nationwide, preventing sharp increases in the electric rates consumers pay in the short term. 

A second EPA rule is set to take effect in 2015.  The Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule places severe restrictions on coal power plants which will lead to further plant closures and higher consumer electric prices.

Conservice will keep you informed on these developments. We do everything possible to OPTIMyZE  energy costs for our clients.


Monday, August 13, 2012

How Can Property Owners Improve Conservation at Their Communities?

According to the National Climatic Data Center, July 2012 was the warmest month on record for the United States. In addition, the last 12-month period has been the warmest 12-month period on record for the country. Hotter temperatures generally lead to more energy and water usage. If you’re a property owner, you may have noticed higher utility bills in recent months. Now is the time to ensure conservation efforts are in place at your community.

CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL UTILITY PROVIDER
Many local utility providers offer conservation incentives and rebates to their customers. Right now the City of Dallas is offering a free toilet replacement program  in an effort to encourage residents to upgrade to water-efficient toilets. Rocky Mountain Power offers cash incentives to business owners for efficient new construction and major renovation projects. Most utility providers will list their incentive programs online, so be sure to check out their websites.

REMIND RESIDENTS TO CHECK FOR LEAKS AND REPORT THEM IMMEDIATELY
Sometimes residents may take days to detect a leak. Once a leak is detected, it may take them even longer to report the leak to maintenance. This could be occurring for a couple reasons. If residents aren’t paying for their water usage, they really don’t have an incentive to report a leak because it’s not costing them anything. Residents may also have a hard time finding the time to report a leak if the leasing office is hard to reach.

If residents aren’t aware of the importance of leak detection, property owners could be paying higher utility bills each month just because of unreported leaky faucets. Be sure to educate your residents via newsletters, community announcements, and bulletins that reporting leaks in important. Be available to take maintenance requests and provide residents with a way to leave a request after hours, either via your website, email, or answering service. Most importantly, be sure to thank residents when they report problems.

INSTALL SUB-METERS
When residents pay for their own utility usage, they have an economic incentive to conserve. Utility usage will decrease and so will your expenses. If you partner with Conservice for sub-meter installation and utility billing, you can even track daily consumption of all your units, identify high users, detect leaks, etc.

PERFORM AN ENERGY AUDIT
When it comes to sustainability, how does your apartment community rank? Would solar panels be a big energy saver for you, or would the costs outweigh the benefits? Is your lawn-watering schedule optimized for maximum efficiency, or is water going to waste? How long would it take before you experienced a pay-off if you upgraded your community to newer, energy efficient windows? There are a lot of questions, and Conservice can help you find the answers. For an energy audit, contact service@conservice.com. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Myths and Facts About Third Party Utility Billing


What Is third-party utility billing, and why do apartment communities partner with Conservice for utility billing?
There are a lot of complaints about third-party billing companies floating around the internet. Unhappy residents believe that certain billing practices are illegal. From service fees to high bills, something must be wrong with companies that ask residents to pay for their water, right?

For many years, utilities like water, sewer and trash have been included in the rent for residents across the U.S. Sometimes even gas and electricity have been included, or the apartment owner would bill a flat rate for these utilities on top of the monthly rent amount. Utility expenses continued to rise, causing property owners to raise rent prices. Conservation efforts were impossible and high rent prices had the potential to drive residents away. Third-Party Utility Billing came into the picture, and now property owners had another option. They could stabilize rents, promote conservation, and recover their water expenses.

Here’s how it works:
The billing company obtains the water bill for the apartment community. They deduct any common area expenses, and then divide the expense up by the residents, usually based on the number of occupants in the apartment, or another similar method. The apartment community can instead choose to install sub-meters in the apartment homes, and then the billing company can use the data from the meters to bill each resident for his or her exact utility usage.

Just as any billing company works, it costs money to generate a bill and operate a customer service center, so a service fee is often used to offset that cost. All other money generated is returned to the apartment community to help pay for their utility expenses.

It sounds simple enough, but looking at sites like ComplaintsBoard.com and RipOffReport.com, it is obvious many people tend to have a gripe with pretty much any 3rd party billing company. So let’s dispel a couple myths, at least as they relate to Conservice.

Third party billing is illegal.
Quite the contrary – third party billing is a completely legal way for multifamily owners, HOAs, campus apartments, etc, to recapture utility expenses. Our legal team is very experienced with all the local regulations, and each time we set up an apartment community on our billing program, the team goes to great lengths to ensure all billing practices meet the requirements for that city and state. Any time there is a legal dispute, our legal team reviews the dispute, reviews the regulations, and does everything possible to resolve the issue with the disputing party.

Something must be wrong with my bill since it’s more expensive than my bill at my old apartment or home.
Utility bills are different depending on the rate of the local utility provider, your billing method, usage, etc. Comparing your utility bill at one apartment community to your utility bill at another is sometimes like comparing apples to oranges. By looking at your bill or calling your billing company, you can get more information and better understand your billing method.

I am being charged a service fee – what a scam!
The majority of service providers charge a service fee to cover the cost of calculating each bill, mailing it, operating a call center, staffing employees, etc. This is a legal practice.

My bill went up…Conservice is stealing my money.
If your bill went up, it’s because the cost of water increased or more water was used. Conservice reimburses your apartment community for all the utility costs it collects.

If something is wrong with my meter, Conservice should fix it, right?
Many residents believe Conservice owns the sub-meters in their apartment homes. This is not the case. Rather, the management company owns the meters in each apartment home. Conservice cannot repair the sub-meters until the management company approves the repair and associated costs. Conservice notifies management about meters in need of repair on a regular basis. Conservice follows all local and state regulations regarding meter estimations. When Conservice has approval to repair sub-meters, we send a technician as soon as possible.