Water usage in most retail store locations is usually fairly low as there might be 1 or 2 washrooms for staff and public use. For that reason, retailers will often simply pay their water utility bills without paying too much attention to the actual consumption. Compared to other utilities, the cost is relatively low so why should time be spent on analyzing the data?


As part of our Utility Data Management services offering to one of our large retailer client, we audit their water utility bills. As a result of those audits, one of their locations was flagged for an increase of 350 cubic meters in water consumption for a 3 month billing period. That’s when we launched an investigation into the issue.

Action Taken

  1. The store in question was contacted to find out if they knew of any plumbing issue and they said that a toilet flush handle had been replaced so they thought it should go back to normal.
  2. We kept monitoring and noticed that there was no reduction and contacted the location again.
  3. A work order was created to dispatch a plumber onsite and have the toilet inspected and repaired.
  4. The account was then moved to 3 months monitoring which saw the consumption return to normal.

Results of Investigation

As a result of the investigation initialized by Powerhouse, our client was able to find out the real issue which was a leaking toilet.  The toilet was replaced and further water consumption costs were avoided. Had the water consumption not been monitored, our client would have believed that the issue was fixed by changing the flush handle when in reality, the problem was still present. The total water consumption increase was measured at 360 cubic meters over 3 months which translates to an annual cost avoidance of $1,200.00 by repairing the leaking toilet.


As seen in this case study, there is value in monitoring all of your utilities, including you water bill. Since there are many “mechanical” issues that can occur with water lines and fixtures, it is the one utility where over-usage can be discovered rather quickly and repairs can be made immediately to avoid future cost increases. In fact, as it is the case for most water leaks, if left unattended, issues tend to get worse over time and the leaks keep increasing. By auditing every bill, we can help catch and fix those water issues quicker. Could your money be slowly dripping away? Contact us and let Powerhouse help you regain peace of mind.

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