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EnergyCAP Blog

Barry Kroeker

Lipstick on a Pig? 12 Questions to Ask an EMS Software Vendor BEFORE You Buy

At EnergyCAP we’ve been involved in a few RFP processes where we knew that the chosen Energy Management System (EMS) software vendor was not going to be able to supply the goods and/or services required. The solution (and the price!) might have looked appealing at first glance, with lots of pretty charts and graphs, but if the client stakeholders would have taken a closer look, they might have discovered that Sales was putting lipstick on a pig. If you think you may be in the market for utility bill and energy management software, you owe it to yourself and your organization to ask potential vendors the hard questions. For each question, we’ve provided an explanation and an EnergyCAP benchmark to consider as a standard for your next EMS software RFP.

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Barry Kroeker

Miami-Dade County’s NACo Awards

At EnergyCAP, we are always delighted when our clients receive accolades for their creative use of our products. In today’s blog, we recognize Miami-Dade County in honor of their recent NACo awards. Read on for a detailed description of what they’ve been doing. You might get some great ideas for your next energy efficiency initiative.

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Barry Kroeker

An EnergyCAP Health Checkup: Plantar Fasciitus

Oh, your aching feet! As an energy manager, your feet might ache because there's too much load on them. Your buildings may have abnormal load also, and we can measure that using a load factor calculation. EnergyCAP’s AN12 report will help you spot an abnormal load factor. It’s a tabular report that shows your load factor (from 0 to 100) for each electric bill.

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Barry Kroeker

An EnergyCAP Health Checkup: Scintillating Scotoma

There really is a medical condition known as scintillating scotoma. It has to do with “seeing stars” often in association with a developing migraine headache. But if you’re using EnergyCAP, we really want you to see stars—ENERGY STARs, that is.  

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Barry Kroeker

An EnergyCAP Health Checkup: Diplopia

The second installment in our EnergyCAP Health Checkup series is for those clients who may be seeing double (diplopia) but haven’t figured out that their historical utility bill records have been contaminated over time by inconsistent record-keeping relating to meter units of measure. Here’s how this illness is spread. Cost and use data for a meter is keyed or electronically imported year after year, but no one checks to see if each bill for a single meter represents consumption with the same energy units.

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Barry Kroeker

Pebble Beach, Here They Come!

Today's blog is company news with a surprising twist. Our regular readers may recall a recent blog on automated testing by EnergyCAP's Jared Matthews. Jared had an interesting experience on the golf course with co-worker Terry Yoder last week, and we'd like to tell you about it. On Tuesday, June 7, EnergyCAP, Inc. chipped in half the registration fee to send a group of eight golfers to the local Audi quattro Cup tournament, held at the Toftrees Golf Resort & Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania. Jared and Terry thought they were just golfing to help out with a local charity event. Read on to discover what they received as a result of their participation!

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Barry Kroeker

The Cure for Database Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia can hit you right in the gut. It's that bad case of “indigestion” you experience as an energy manager due to bad utility bill data. So what's the cure for the bad data in your utility database? Audits and graphs. They are related but different treatment regimens. Let’s talk about audits first.

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Barry Kroeker

Are You Due for a Checkup?

EnergyCAP clients who attended this spring’s Catalyst Training for Savings conference were given a prescription for a healthy EnergyCAP user experience by CEO Steve Heinz at the closing keynote session. That keynote is being sliced and diced into a blog series that will assist our valued customers in maximizing the value of their EnergyCAP investment. The series will also highlight some common energy management issues and solutions that are independent of your specific energy management solution. Stay tuned for future installments in the series. Here’s an overview of what’s in store:

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Barry Kroeker

What Energy Managers Want

What do energy managers want? David Ulmer, our Vice President of Implementation Solutions and Product Owner here at EnergyCAP, was extensively quoted in a recent article in EnergyManagerToday.com with an answer to that question. At the core of the discussion was the technological reality that more and more energy data is becoming available, and that data needs to be effectively managed to achieve the twin goals of increased efficiency and energy savings. You can read more in the article, but today’s blog is a summary of what David has learned in hundreds of conversations with clients and contacts in the energy business.

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Barry Kroeker

It’s Time to Use Auto-Groups in EnergyCAP

One of the best things about EnergyCAP is its increasing automation of mundane tasks associated with organizing your energy data.

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Barry Kroeker

Catalyst Survey Results Are In!

Today’s blog reveals feedback from our post-Catalyst conference survey. Every year after our annual Catalyst Training for Savings conference, we provide an opportunity for attendees to share perspectives on their Catalyst experience. Congratulations to EnergyCAP client Lou Castelli for winning the survey Amazon Gift Card drawing!

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Barry Kroeker

Bill Lists in EnergyCAP

  Bill Lists have been introduced and upgraded in recent versions of EnergyCAP Online. The result is much more powerful and customizable displays of utility data. Clients working online will be amazed at the speed and flexibility of the improved application. Today’s blog explains a bit more about these helpful energy management tools.

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Barry Kroeker

Catalyst in Pictures

Today is day three at Catalyst, EnergyCAP’s annual Training for Savings conference, and we thought we’d blog some of the pictorial highlights to give you an idea of the experience that we are providing this week in State College, Pennsylvania.

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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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