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Company courts city for savings

Tony Procopio of ST Network gives a presentation on saving utility costs to the Johnstown Common Council last week at City Hall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — A Connecticut firm gave a presentation recently to the Common Council on possible utility savings for the city it says it can offer.

Tony Procopio and Kirk Horan, connected with the ST Network, outlined those potential savings for the council during its meeting at City Hall. The council made no immediate decision on whether to contract with the firm.

Procopio said the firm helps various entities such as organizations, schools, municipalities to recover money through errors in utility bills. Those types on bills are electric, natural gas and telecommunications, he said.

He said the concept of recovering utility cost reductions started over 30 years ago, with the development of proprietary software programs. Online charges are isolated to find errors and save the customer money, Procopio said.

Procopio said his firm breaks down utility bills into subcategories to find overcharge errors.

“We can actually recover refunds going back six years,” Procopio said. “It can be significant savings for people.”

Procopio said his firm has an up to 12 percent rate of savings for municipalities. He said refunds are negotiated ahead of time with the customer, with a 50 percent split. He said his company provides some of its donated revenue to the Navajo Nation, a Native American territory in the Southwest United States. He said some residents of the nation don’t have electricity.

He said his firm assists the Navajo Nation in a “very unique situation.”

Procopio said it may take his firm about six months to recover refunds.

“Telecommunications us actually the biggest culprit,” he said.

He said the standard contract with a customer is about 36 months, but sometimes it can be shortened to 18 months – a timeframe he said can probably work out for the city of Johnstown.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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