“Most people get an energy bill and just pay it, without asking themselves what they might do to get the costs down,” says Joseph Borza. But even if an entrepreneur did ask, they’d likely not know how to find the answer. That’s why Borza cofounded his company EnergyElephant: The two-year-old, Dublin, Ireland–based startup’s software analyzes utility bills, then comes up with a plan for reducing fees based on local regulations and costs. That might involve rearranging office or factory hours to take advantage of cheaper rates, renegotiating with a utility provider or resolving billing errors.
The service costs €360 (or $397) per month, which seems pricey -- but some early clients say the savings outweigh the price. One customer, the professional association Engineers Ireland, says it has saved a couple thousand dollars so far. And thanks to a Supreme Court decision this year, American companies should be particularly interested in examining their bills: This past January, the court confirmed that if people aren’t using power during peak times, they can demand and receive reimbursements from their utility providers. The idea is to incentivize users to reduce energy during peak demand, to avoid blackouts and brownouts. So, now the question: What’s in your bill?