As we gear up for a productive New Year, we are taking this blog opportunity to highlight several resources of value to the community of readers we serve. New Case Study Toward the end of 2016, we completed a case study in collaboration with James City County, VA. Entitled One Ring to Rule Them All, the study shares the advantages of energy management software for a county government. It’s a fun read that will get you thinking about savings opportunities in your organization.
The dust has settled after the November elections, and the results are unchanged despite a flurry of protests. Now that we are in the final days of Obama’s presidency, one thing is certain on the energy management front: change is in the wind. Today’s blog takes a look at President-Elect Donald Trump’s ambitious energy plan, and speculates a bit on what it might mean for our industry in the months and years ahead.
EnergyCAP project managers will be travelling coast to coast to implement new clients on the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards this winter and spring. The State of Connecticut has purchased EnergyCAP utility bill management software for statewide energy management and utility bill tracking, and the City of Los Angeles has also acquired EnergyCAP through a General Services Administration (GSA) process for comprehensive tracking and reporting of the city’s electric, natural gas and water utilities.
Today's blog highlights a new EnergyCAP webinar series.
It's November 11 as I write this blog. Veterans' Day sort of snuck up on me this year. I'm not sure why—perhaps I have gotten so used to celebrating every national holiday on the artificial Monday. As I was reflecting on the significance of the day, and the freedoms protected by generations of U.S. servicemen and women, it seemed particularly appropriate to offer a Veteran's Day tribute to an air force veteran who we know well at EnergyCAP, as well as the energy management industry that sparked within him a unique but passionate patriotism.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) provides centralized procurement for the federal government, offering billions of dollars’ worth of products, services, and facilities that federal agencies need to serve the public. The mission of GSA is to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people. In today’s blog, we will look at GSA options and advantages for utility bill/energy management software procurement for a range of public institutions, including federal, state, municipal, and higher education.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus reportedly said that the only thing that is constant is change. He probably wasn’t talking about your real estate portfolio, but if you manage energy for multiple properties, you know that Heraclitus’ declaration has a ring of truth. Buildings and organizations change over time. Processes are revamped. Employees retire or transfer. Remodeling happens. Space is repurposed from one function to another. And systems struggle (often unsuccessfully) to keep up with the pace. Your energy management software is another system, and you may have been using it in the same way for years. But is your current approach the best approach? Have inevitable changes created an opportunity to do things differently and to do them better? Today’s blog on software retro commissioning may help you answer that question.
This blog is the second installment in a short series drawn from our September Energy Leader Webinar: Tips for Getting Buy-In for Your Energy Project. The webinar purpose was simple: to help participants get more projects approved and more energy saved. Webinar speakers were Steve Heinz, founder and CEO of EnergyCAP, Inc., and Dr. Eric Woodroof, founder and principal of Profitable Green Solutions. Today we’ll share some of the insights we gleaned from Steve’s portion of the presentation.
This blog is the first installment in a short series drawn from last week’s Energy Leader Webinar: Tips for Getting Buy-In for Your Energy Project. The webinar purpose was simple: to help participants get more projects approved and more energy saved. If you’re looking for tips on how to get your next energy project approved, read on!
Our readers may remember a June blog where we shared a story about two of our EnergyCAP software developers who competed in a local golf charity event and ended up winning an all-expense-paid trip to Pebble Beach, California, to compete in the largest amateur golf tournament in the world. Today, we’ll tell you the end of that story. We’ll also share about next Tuesday's webinar—the latest in our Energy Leader Webinar series. You won't want to miss it!
I was recently reading an article on Greenbiz.com relating to Zero Energy Buildings which got me thinking (again) about the challenges associated with any energy stewardship project. Chief among these is measurement and verification (M&V). People want and need to know an answer to a very basic question: How much “X” did we save? The “X” can be any commodity, of course. But to talk about those savings, we have to have a common understanding and agreement on how we will assess them. And if the amount we save approaches the amount we use in our building, campus, portfolio, or community, we are closing in on zero energy. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the National Institute of Building Sciences, has made a helpful contribution in this area by preparing A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings. We’ll summarize this resource in today’s blog.
Before we get started on today’s topic, let me share some exciting news regarding a company reorganization here at EnergyCAP. Don’t panic, it’s nothing dramatic or upcoming—just a part of our vision for 2016: “Getting to the Next Level.” As a company, we’ve taken a good look at where we are and where we want to go in pursuit of our company purpose, and we’re implementing some changes around here. One such change was put in place about three months ago. Our Sales and Marketing teams have been blended into one. With the meld comes an opportunity to set new goals and directions and to better harmonize our departmental visions. The new arrangement may impact our blog content.
“Data has a nasty way of representing the wrong idea when inaccurately reported.” —Tony Rovano, AssetWorks It’s your first year on the job as energy manager for a sizable regional real estate management firm. You’re proud of several new initiatives that you were able to implement, but as the summer drags on, you hear through the grapevine that the CEO has been receiving concerned memos from Accounting due to rising utility expenses. Now your supervisor has threatened to pull the plug on a major lighting retrofit that you know will pay for itself in savings over the next three years. It looks like the honeymoon is over, but you are scratching your head to try to figure out what went wrong. It just isn’t fair.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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: