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EnergyCAP Blog

Barry Kroeker

How ENERGY STAR Calculates Your Building Rating

In a previous blog, we discussed the value of the national CBECS survey in assessing the energy efficiency of buildings in your property portfolio. Today, we are going to look at the process by which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) and other data and processes to develop its national ENERGY STAR building rating. And if you’re not yet tracking your building energy use with ENERGY STAR, here are five good reasons to get started!

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Barry Kroeker

Utility Bills Plus Interval Data—A Marriage Made in Heaven

Utility bills vs. interval data. Two very different types of information. The forest vs. the trees. The whole pie vs. a 'byte'. These two sources represent distinct value streams for the modern enterprise. The smart energy manager can realize and leverage the value of each, and added value accrues when you bring them together—a kind of energy management marriage made in heaven. That's the premise for the first of another round of monthly Energy Leader Webinars sponsored by EnergyCAP.

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Chris Heinz

Kroger's Energy Management Strategy [Video]

The Kroger Company is the largest grocery retailer and the 23rd largest company in the United States. With $100 billion/year in revenue, Kroger has been serving shoppers for 131 years. But Kroger doesn't just serve up tomatoes and squash. (Photo courtesy of www.mydaytondailynews.com) Kroger has served up almost 35% in energy reductions compared to its baseline year in 2000. How have they done it?

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Leah Laughlin

How Dirty is Your Electricity?

Did you know that one kWh of electricity used in Denver may emit almost four times as much carbon dioxide as one kWh used in Buffalo? Those indirect (Scope 2) emissions are what the Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) is now calling carbon pollution.

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Barry Kroeker

EnergyCAP Unmasked: Finance Department

Small but mighty, the EnergyCAP finance department wields the power of the purse with precision and purpose. Today’s blog introduces our two-member Finance team. 

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Barry Kroeker

New Features in EnergyCAP Release 3.3.1

Today's blog introduces three new software features that are part of the 3.3.1 Release of EnergyCAP. This version just became available to EnergyCAP-hosted clients last night, and will be rolled out to all our clients in the coming weeks. We hope you find these features useful, and we look forward to your comments and suggestions for future innovations.

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Chris Heinz

Utility Bill Processing [Infographic]

In our 35 years of helping organizations track their utility bills, we've seen all kinds of utility bill processes. Some have been complex, while some have been simple. Some have interfaced with external systems, while some have kept to themselves. Some have been free, while some have been paid. Drawing on our experience, we created the Utility Bill Processing infographic. Where does your organization fit in?

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Barry Kroeker

EnergyCAP’s New Resource Library: An Overview

Many of our blog readers know that we launched our new website this month. As blog co-author Chris Heinz pointed out recently, the new site provides much better access to a wide variety of content resources. In today’s blog, we will briefly review the seven major content areas of our new online resource library. Nearly all of our primary content resources can be accessed from the Resources page of our website: www.energycap.com/resources.  We have divided up the resource library into seven major areas:

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Barry Kroeker

The Excitement of New Beginnings

In any field, including energy management, there can be real power and opportunity in new beginnings. I took a trip to Wilmington, Delaware, last Saturday to hold my first grandson for the very first time. We saw him in the hospital on day two of his adventure outside the womb, and I have to say that the experience was very special and delightful for me. I’m not sure what he thought of the experience, because he wasn’t talking any language I could understand. In fact, he wasn’t communicating much at all, but that didn’t change my very positive attitude. And my daughter and son-in-law were obviously in a similar frame of mind.

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Chris Heinz

My Seven Favorite Things About Our New Website

Great news! We’ve totally redesigned EnergyCAP.com to better serve our website visitors. While there are many things I like—no love—about our new website, I'll highlight my seven favorite things:

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Chris Heinz

What If Energy Management's Not Your Passion? The Difference Between Jobs, Careers, and Callings

Among our blog audience, there are readers who are absolutely head-over-heels-in love with managing energy. They think energy, they speak energy, and they have cute energy quotes in their email signatures. But not all of our blog readers are passionate about managing energy. Can they still be successful in the energy management industry? Or is passion absolutely essential for energy managers?

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Barry Kroeker

Takeaways from the Better Buildings Summit

We weren't in attendance at the annual Better Buildings Summit held in Washington, DC in late May, but we know folks who were there. This annual conference is generating a fair amount of buzz and online content, so we thought we’d answer some questions, and share some information for your reference.

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Barry Kroeker

New People at EnergyCAP, Inc.

The EnergyCAP team is up by four this summer, thanks to the addition of two new full-time staff members and two temporary summer employees. We’d like to introduce them, and share their expertise and responsibilities in today’s blog.

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Chris Heinz

How Loudoun County Schools Avoided $58 Million in Energy Costs [Video]

Loudoun County Public Schools is one of the fastest growing school districts in the nation. Located near Washington, DC, they serve 70,000 students. But energy use and cost have not been keeping pace with enrollment. As a result of their 20-year energy management program, energy managers at Loudoun County Public Schools have documented $58 million in avoided energy costs. How have they done this? Watch this short video from this year's Catalyst Training Conference and find out.

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Barry Kroeker

Two New Features in EnergyCAP Online

EnergyCAP clients who attended this year's Catalyst Training Conference were excited to hear of new software features. In today's blog, we highlight two of them: Interval Data Charting User-Defined Fields

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Chris Heinz

How a Curious Castle Connects to Our Clients

The most interesting castle in Ireland has something in common with our newest EnergyCAP clients. See if you can guess what it is. If you visit the Castle Ward House in northern Ireland, you'll find an intriguing building.

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Chris Heinz

12 Value Streams of Interval Data [Video]

Meter interval data can be useful for a variety of reasons. How many reasons can you think of?  In this 5-minute video from the 2015 Catalyst Training Conference, Steve Heinz shares 12 value streams of obtaining meter interval data for effective energy management.

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Leah Laughlin

Coldest Winter in 15 Years? Weather Data Shows it Depends on Where You Live.

Walking through the streets of State College, Pennsylvania, this past winter, I often found myself quoting Disney’s Queen Elsa under my frozen breath, “The cold never bothered me anyway.” Mind over matter, right? That’s what we told ourselves as we pushed through a brutal winter while our hearts longed for warm sun, lush green grass and the blooming flowers of springtime here in Happy Valley. But as we look at temperature data from cities spread across the lower 48 states, many citizens probably didn’t mind this winter as much we did!

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Barry Kroeker

5 Reasons to Track Building Energy Use in ENERGY STAR

At our Catalyst Training for Savings conference last April, EnergyCAP CEO Steve Heinz outlined five reasons for tracking your buildings' energy use through ENER

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Chris Heinz

Energy Insights from the Philippines

I was recently in the Philippines to speak at some conferences and set up student sponsorships. Although the purpose of my trip was not work-related, the subject of energy was on my mind. I suppose that’s not surprising when energy management software is the family business. Here are three lessons about energy from my trip to the Philippines.

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Barry Kroeker

EnergyCAP Unmasked: Customer Service

Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver, and the other, gold. The Girl Scout campfire song is old, but the sentiment is current, especially in business: It’s wonderful to find a new customer, but even better to keep your existing customers so happy that they keep coming back for more. At EnergyCAP, our Customer Service team has the challenge of doing exactly that. In today’s blog, we unmask the EnergyCAP Customer Service department.

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SJ Bergman

Phoenix Airport Visit Highlights Energy Opportunities

EnergyCAP Senior Project Manager SJ Bergman visited Phoenix, Arizona, earlier this month as part of the City’s EnergyCAP software implementation process. Today’s guest blog will focus on energy management plans, practice, and opportunities at the Sky Harbor International Airport. In my experience in performing ASHRAE Level 2 energy audits, I've seen that airports can potentially provide rich opportunities for energy efficiency. So when Paul Sylvia, Acting Energy Management Engineer for Aviation Facilities, offered to show me some of Sky Harbor International Airport's energy saving and sustainability initiatives, I was happy to take him up on his offer. After all, Sky Harbor is "America's Friendliest Airport"!

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Steve Heinz

5 Must-Run EnergyCAP Reports

EnergyCAP utility bill management software has about 300 “canned” reports, so new users often ask me, "How do I know which reports to run?” Today’s blog highlights five reports that you might not even know exist. But I’m betting that when you see them, you will see real value for your organization. I first shared these reports at our annual Catalyst Training for Savings conference last month. If you haven't attended a Catalyst training yet and you are using our software, I recommend that you set aside the time and funding for next April to take advantage of this valuable resource.

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Barry Kroeker

Musings on Football and Energy Management

In January of this year, the NCAA settled a lawsuit with Pennsylvania Senator Jake Corman, restoring 112 victories to the record books for the Penn State Nittany Lion football team, and restoring Joe Paterno’s place in history as the winningest college football coach. This was big news here in State College, Pennsylvania, home to the Penn State University Park campus and the Nittany Lions. How did Paterno achieve his phenomenal record (409-136-3, .749 pct.), and can we learn principles for a winning energy management program from his example?

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Barry Kroeker

So… what’s YOUR Problem with Presenting?

Presentation = Opportunity A presentation is an opportunity to share your grand idea. It’s a (relatively) brief moment in time to shine the spotlight on your vision, and to get the support and recognition that you deserve.

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Chris Heinz

If You Missed It...

About 120 EnergyCAP users from North America recently gathered for the Catalyst Training Conference for hands-on training, networking with other users, one-on-one meetings with staff, new feature demos, and fun social events. In case you missed it, here are some highlights, including the Catalyst Spoof video:

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Barry Kroeker

EnergyCAP Unmasked: Operations Department

They're the geekiest of the geeks. Superheroes of cyberspace, they're known for a techno-speak vocabulary that is just short of incantation. They mysteriously appear and disappear from secure server rooms like Clark Kent from a telephone booth, keeping odd hours to perform their computer network miracles at times when the demand for bandwidth is lowest. They're the Operations team (Ops) at EnergyCAP. Today’s blog unmasks their valuable activity on behalf of our staff and our clients.  

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Barry Kroeker

We Did It Again!

For the fifth year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized EnergyCAP, Inc. with a 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award. This year it was the Sustained Excellence Award for our continued leadership in stewarding our environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. EnergyCAP, Inc.'s accomplishments were formally recognized yesterday in Washington, D.C. at a special ceremony for 128 award winners in a variety of categories. Blaine Clapper, our Assistant VP of Sales, was on hand to receive our award. EnergyCAP was honored for:

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Steve Heinz

Why Bother With Accruals?

Today’s blog is on one of my favorite topics—accruals. Oh, no; I lied. Let’s face it—accruals are rarely anyone’s favorite topic. As an engineer, I tend to look at accruals as an accounting exercise that really doesn’t add anything to the energy management picture, so why would anyone even bother? The short answer is that for those in accounting departments and those dealing with budgets and Profit & Loss (P&L) statements, accruals are very important and very necessary. But there are also some tangible benefits on the energy management side.

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