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EnergyCAP Blog

Barry Kroeker

Recent EnergyCAP Releases Add Value for Clients

In recent weeks, EnergyCAP has released two upgrades for EnergyCAP Online (ECO). This blog highlights new features and enhancements that have brought additional value to our clients.

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Jared Matthews

How Automated API Testing is Helping EnergyCAP Clients

Jared Matthews is Software Quality Assurance Engineer at EnergyCAP. As EnergyCAP, Inc. has taken its software products online, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have assumed increasing importance in our product development and quality assurance testing. This blog is about EnergyCAP’s API development, and exciting changes in our quality assurance processes that are making our online software versions more robust and useful for our growing client base.

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Barry Kroeker

The Right to Energy

Big ideas often have small beginnings. Today’s blog is about one such beginning, and it has to do with energy and human rights. But we’ll start our story with a different kind of beginning—a meeting of rebels in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1776. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...” Thus begins the second paragraph of what is arguably one of the greatest political documents ever penned, America’s Declaration of Independence.

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Barry Kroeker

GMU's Energy Management Reboot Saving Big Money

George Mason University had begun its journey into computerized utility bill tracking in the 1990s, but its software solution, Faser Energy Accounting®, had been acquired by Enron®. After the Enron bankruptcy scandal, the university needed to reboot its energy management program. GMU’s Energy Manager, Patrick Buchanan, summarized the situation as follows:

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Barry Kroeker

Highlights from Last Week's AccuWeather Webinar

It was spring break for Penn State students here in State College, PA, last week, but our team was hard at work producing a new webinar, How AccuWeather Data Provides Value to Energy Managers. Our CEO, Steve Heinz, teamed up with AccuWeather’s Director of Business Development Lou Seidel, to discuss how you can get the most up-to-date and accurate weather data, and turn that information into savings for the energy management program at your organization.

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Barry Kroeker

Check out EnergyCAP’s Top Ten Blogs

We haven’t run our “10 Top EnergyCAP Blogs” feature for quite a while, so we are presenting it now. These are the most-read blogs published in the last 14 months. Take a look through the list and click on the link(s) to view any that might offer value to you!

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Barry Kroeker

How AccuWeather Data Provides Value to Energy Managers

Today’s blog is a promotion for an upcoming live event webinar featuring EnergyCAP’s CEO Steve Heinz and Lou Seidel, Director of Business Development for AccuWeather. The webinar, sponsored by Energy Manager Today, is titled How AccuWeather Data Provides Value to Energy Managers, and will be held at 2:00 PM ET on Wednesday, March 9 (just one week from now).

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Barry Kroeker

Tucson Two-Step [New Case Study from EnergyCAP]

In today’s blog we share highlights from a new case study by EnergyCAP. Municipal and regional government readers will take particular interest in this implementation-focused story about a major city that jump-started its energy program with utility bill management software. As the title of this blog (and the case study) suggests, Tucson, Arizona's software implementation was not without challenges. In some ways, it really was a dance, going two steps forward and one step back as stakeholders grappled with legacy processes, organizational issues, information silos, and even personnel changes. But in the end, the opportunities outweighed the issues as the City's new energy manager successfully negotiated multiple management challenges, discovering immediate and long-term payoffs.

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Barry Kroeker

8 Things You Can Do With Energy Management Software

Today we introduce a new energy management infographic available from EnergyCAP. And whether you are a customer or a first-time visitor, this resource may remind you why you would want to acquire or maintain a software tool for your energy program.

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Barry Kroeker

Good News! A/P and GL Export is Coming in ECO

 Good News! A/P and GL Export are coming to EnergyCAP Online, and soon—maybe even this month.  Our developers are confident that EnergyCAP Online (ECO) 3.4.2 (with a tentative release date in late February for select clients) will include a functioning A/P and GL Export that will duplicate functionality that had previously been available only in the installed version of EnergyCAP Enterprise, including all filter options currently available in EnergyCAP Enterprise. Not only that, but there are some valuable enhancements.

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Barry Kroeker

Primary Election 2016: What’s an Energy Voter to Do?

The caucuses are closed in Iowa, and the political pundits are already busy prognosticating about what happened there and what will happen in the New Hampshire primary election next Tuesday. If you don’t vote in either place, you know that election fever is soon coming to your state or commonwealth, county, municipality, and precinct. It’s a presidential election year, and if you are registered to vote, you’ll have the opportunity to determine who represents you in the fall elections. So who do you choose, and how do you choose? What’s an energy voter to do?

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Chris Heinz

Using Negative Feedback to Your Advantage

We've all been in this situation before. Your supervisor asks you to step into her office, or your boss sets up an unexpected lunch meeting. All of the sudden, you're in an unwelcome feedback situation. Something has gone wrong and you're not sure how to respond. What do you do?

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Barry Kroeker

Excel Cheats for EnergyCAP Setup (Import) and Update Sheets

Today’s blog is specifically for EnergyCAP clients who are either in the implementation process or who are looking for better ways to make large-scale organizational changes to their EnergyCAP database.   We want to show you how to do things better—to “cheat” what could be a lengthy or tedious setup process by using Excel to import setup data or organization updates more quickly. And a big thank-you to EnergyCAP Senior Project Manager SJ Bergman for explaining these cheats to me!

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Barry Kroeker

News “Flash” – Catalyst 2016 is all about Progress

If he was still alive, Steve Jobs would probably have grinned at last year’s news that YouTube moved from Flash to HTML5 as its primary technology for delivering videos. Click here for a great article about YouTube’s four-year transition. And here’s the 2010 Steve Jobs letter that some say sealed the fate of Flash as a primary web development platform. But what does this have to do with energy management?

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Barry Kroeker

Bill CAPture Service Addresses Major Customer Pain Point

Does utility bill data entry burden you? It’s been more than a year now since we began promoting our Bill CAPture service here at EnergyCAP to provide efficient and relatively inexpensive ways for our customers to process their utility billing data. The support and interest we received up front from many long-time users of our energy management software gave us assurance that we were on the right track, and a long-term state government contract will be helping us to build out this robust program even more.

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Barry Kroeker

Nuggets of Weather Wisdom to Close Out the Old Year

In hopes of brightening your bleak mid-winter, we offer a few nuggets of weather wisdom from our latest Energy Leader webinar. Here are Steve Heinz's written responses to chat questions submitted by attendees during the session, which has been recorded and is available online: Why not throw another Yule log on the fire and settle back in your chair for an interesting read about energy and weather?

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Barry Kroeker

Nailing Your Utility Budget

Why rely on “guesstimates” when you can nail your annual utility budget with the right budget process? It’s all about accounting for variables, and weather is the biggest variable out there. But do you have a coherent and logical approach for correlating weather with your facility energy use? There’s a science to it. And like most sciences, it can be taught and learned. In this recorded webinar, EnergyCAP CEO Steve Heinz will be the teacher, and he will introduce a few guiding principles for utility budgeting.

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Barry Kroeker

An Up Close and Personal Budget Blog

Three years ago, Sales and Marketing (me) had a bit of a falling out with Accounts Payable (my wife). To be honest, it was a bit more than a falling out. It was a communication problem that was adversely affecting our marriage. No matter how I tried to “bring home the bacon,” we always were spending every dime and more, and our credit card debt was growing ominously. I was resentful and she was defensive. And if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, as the saying goes. We weren’t miserable, but we had recently made a commitment to really grow in our marriage relationship, and the money issues were getting in the way.

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Barry Kroeker

The Icing on the Cake

It’s usually nice to get those letters that start off with “I’m pleased to inform you …” It’s sort of the opposite of the “Dear John” letter. Sure, sometimes someone is just trying to sell you something, but often the news is genuinely good, and that was the case last month when we received our notification from Energy Manager Today that EnergyCAP, Inc. had won a Product of the Year award for our EnergyCAP energy management software. This wasn't the first national award we claimed this year, but the third. So in some ways, it was icing on the cake—a great way to cap a calendar year of progress and innovation. This most recent award has delighted me for three reasons:

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Barry Kroeker

The Nitty Gritty of Obtaining Your ENERGY STAR Building Certification

In today’s blog, we are going to run through the entire process of obtaining an ENERGY STAR building certification for your commercial building. Studies have shown that ENERGY STAR certified buildings: Have lower operating costs Are more marketable Contribute fewer greenhouse gas emissions to the environment Command higher rental rates Have increased asset value So there is real value in investing time and effort in the certification process. Here’s how you do it.

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Barry Kroeker

Treasure Hunting at Loudoun County Public Schools

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is a pretty special place from an energy management perspective. The district earned “ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year” in 2010 and 2011, and the Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence Award for the last four years. Over the last 21 years, LCPS has saved over $64 million in expected utility costs—equivalent to hiring over 1,300 first year teachers or educating over 5,200 pupils for a year. In addition, 62 LCPS schools have earned the ENERGY STAR rating (representing over 70 percent of LCPS schools and 6.5 million square feet). In today’s blog, I’d like to highlight the energy savings potential revealed and, at least in part, unleashed by their energy management software. It’s a little like treasure hunting—once you start digging, you’ll be amazed at what you find.

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Barry Kroeker

EnergyCAP Sales: UNMASKED

We’ve been blogging recently about personnel and departments here at EnergyCAP, and today we’d like to introduce you to our illustrious Sales team. Nationally, EnergyCAP sales are handled by five staff members who all work out of our company headquarters in State College, PA. They are responsible for pursuing marketing leads, attending trade shows, making contacts with prospect organizations, generating and processing RFI/RFP documents, and generally making the sales process as convenient, pleasant, and effective as possible for our valued prospects and clients. I think you will enjoy meeting them!

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Barry Kroeker

Help Creating Your Annual Utilities Budget

Today’s blog features Q&A from our recent Energy Leader Webinar on “How to Create an Annual Utilities Budget.” We start off with general questions relating to budgeting approaches, variables and philosophy, and then move on to EnergyCAP application-specific questions. The final questions are in regard to the new Budgets Worksheet module in EnergyCAP, which produces an Excel spreadsheet enabling users to model and adjust their utilities budget for each commodity and building.  And now, here’s the Q&A:

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John Lord

The Top 10 “People Factors” in Energy Management Success

John Lord is an Energy Education Specialist for Loudoun County (VA) Public Schools, one of the fastest-growing school districts in one of the nation's fastest growing counties. The district serves more than 70,000 students, and utilities are a big expense and an energy management opportunity. In the last two decades, the district has documented more than $60 million in cost avoidance attributable to energy management activities. In today’s guest blog, John shares the Top 10 “people factors” that have contributed to his organization's energy management excellence:

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Barry Kroeker

EnergyCAP Release 3.4.0 Offers ENERGY STAR Improvements

EnergyCAP 3.4.0 is now available for EnergyCAP-hosted clients! The first user to log in this week will see the update notice in the Login Manager and should click on the prompts to complete the upgrade.  This upgrade includes exciting improvements to the ENERGY STAR interface, as well as support for the optional custom report designer Plug-In for Excel®. Read on to find out more about the new features.

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Chris Heinz

Four Reasons I Close My Email While Working

I used to keep my email inbox open all the time while working. One monitor displayed my active project—a spreadsheet, document or web browser—while the other monitor displayed my inbox. This way I could stay on top of everything at the same time. I was king of the world. But then a coworker suggested I didn’t have to work with an open inbox. At first I didn’t trust him. It seemed unproductive, irresponsible, and rude. But one day curiosity got the better of me, and I closed my inbox. I liked it so much that now I always close my email during focused tasks. I think you will, too. Here are four quick reasons why:

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Barry Kroeker

How Utility Bill Data Can Save You Money—Part 4

In recent blogs, we’ve been looking at ways your utility bill data can save you money. Today we will focus on the unique opportunities available to large organizations—opportunities that actually grow in size/potential with the size of the organization.

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Barry Kroeker

How Utility Bill Data Can Save You Money—Part 3

In recent blogs, we’ve been looking at ways your utility bill data can save you money. Today we’ll see how the State of Maryland responded to a legislative energy mandate that had a very specific savings goal of 15 percent. How did they pursue that vision? We'll discover that data transparency and availability can translate into savings.

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Barry Kroeker

How Utility Bill Data Can Save You Money—Part 2

We're continuing our blog series on how utility bill data can save you money. Today we'll look at the City of San Bernardino, CA, and UniFirst Corporation. Seize Your Opportunities Disorganized energy data causes you to miss opportunities. In 2012, at the height of the recent recession, many government, city/county governments had cash flow issues. There were four California cities that declared bankruptcy, and one of them was the city of San Bernardino—population roughly 210,000. The city was looking for a way to save money and obtain additional revenue.

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