Glenda is a busy energy manager for an urban city government. Responsible for achieving energy savings for her city, Glenda is trying to make the utility bill tracking, processing, and payment process as efficient as possible. Plus, her city recently mandated ENERGY STAR building benchmarking.iStock_000014052221_Medium

How will Glenda make time for these competing priorities? If only she had more time...

Although some city and county governments hesitate about new technologies, Glenda believes that technology can increase efficiency. With the right enhancements, she can save time (and money) for her organization, freeing up herself and her coworkers for higher level energy management tasks.

Here are three time-saving technologies to help Glenda and other government energy managers:

Electronic Utility Bills

Instead of hand-keying utility bills into her energy management software, Glenda can receive her bills electronically. City or county governments are ideal candidates for electronic bills because:

  • Utility vendors are relatively few
  • Facilities are in the same region
  • Utility bills are numerous

Electronic utility bills avoid hand-keying errors, track complete bill details/line items, and may be less expensive than operating a bill entry department. Electronic bills are available in two kinds of formats—EDI 810 or flat file (CSV, for example), according to what format the vendor provides. Instead of managing bill entry or doing it herself, Glenda can focus on other energy management tasks.

Accounts Payable/General Ledger Interface

When government software systems don’t communicate with one another, efficiency goes out the window. With an interface between Glenda’s utility bill information software and the City’s accounts payable/general ledger software, utility bills can be automatically audited, analyzed, and approved before they’re paid. This connection is beneficial because:
  • Billing disputes can be handled before payment
  • Double data entry is avoided
  • Complete utility data flows into AP/GL software

The energy tracking software becomes a smart and friendly front-end to the AP/GL software. The result is an integrated utility bill tracking and payment process that maximizes efficiency and minimizes error.

ENERGY STAR Interface

Glenda’s city is among the growing list of federal, state, and local governments requiring building benchmarking in ENERGY STAR’S Portfolio Manager. Unless her utility bill tracking software integrates with Portfolio Manager, Glenda will have to enter data in both systems.

Fortunately for Glenda, her energy management software can automatically submit building energy data to ENERGY STAR and receive back a monthly building energy rating! From there, she’s well on her way to getting her buildings ENERGY STAR-certified!

With the right technologies, Glenda can save her city more time and money while achieving her energy management goals.

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About The Author
Chris is Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc., which helps organizations get value from their utility bills through energy management software. He's an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, and a Certified Professional Life Coach. He also started www.Munyay.com to help people love their life and love their work.
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