Utilities are one of those things that no business can avoid paying for. Unless you have taken it upon yourself to provide your own water and power, utility bills are just part of the cost of doing business.

That being said, it’s still important to examine your bill and make sure you’re only paying for what you’re actually using. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for businesses to be overcharged when the end of the month rolls around and not notice.

If you’re wondering about your utility bills, here are some signs you should start looking for.

1. The Bill Changes When Your Usage Doesn’t

4 Signs You May Be Overcharged On Your Commercial Utility Bill

Once you’ve been in business for a while, you know what it takes to keep the lights on. If enough time goes by, chances are good that if you go through your old utility bills, you’ll be able to ballpark the cost for any given month.

However, if you notice that your usage didn’t change, but your bill increased, that’s a red flag that something is amiss. There may be a logical explanation, but it definitely warrants a phone call to your provider.

2. Irregular Meter Readings

4 Signs You May Be Overcharged On Your Commercial Utility Bill

Most utility companies have a fairly standard practice when it comes to charging their clients. They send a representative to the property and that person reads the client’s meter. The numbers are recorded, then the client is sent a bill for the amount of power, water, etc. that they used according to the meter.

However, there are some utility companies that estimate what clients will use and charge them based on that instead. These programs are typically something a client can opt out of, but it may be necessary to contact the provider and say so. Otherwise, your business will end up paying what the utility predicted you would use, instead of what you actually used.

3. You’ve Upgraded, But the Price Isn’t Reflected

4 Signs You May Be Overcharged On Your Commercial Utility Bill

Businesses can take all kinds of steps to lower the amount of resources they use. This is true of businesses who replace their incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs, for example. If you’ve made changes, but those changes are not reflected in your bill, it’s important to have someone look at what’s happening. There may be problems with your meter, mistakes in your paperwork, or other problems that are causing you to pay more than your fair share.

4. Discrepancies Between Your Bill and the Utility Provider

4 Signs You May Be Overcharged On Your Commercial Utility Bill

Your bill is required to have all the information you need to understand why you’re being charged the way you are. You have the time period, your usage, the rate you’re being charged, and all the other factors that explain how the utility provider came up with the amount your business owes.

The problem arises when the information on the bill is not the same information on the company’s website.

If you notice a discrepancy between what’s printed on your bill and what the company claims is its up-to-date policies or rates, make sure it’s straightened out immediately. After all, if rates have gone down, but you’re still being charged the older, more expensive rate, then that needs to be seen to in short order.

These are, of course, just a few signs you might be getting overcharged on your utility bill. While it may seem paranoid, it’s important to remember that, as the customer, you need to be sure you understand what you’re paying for. Trust your utility provider, but verify what it’s telling you.