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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s been a lot of buzz in the energy industry in recent years over the power of demand management for generating big savings, and this has led to an understandable focus on installing smart metering, automating building controls, and obtaining 15-minute interval data. But what do you do for savings if the real-time metering or control infrastructure is not in place? The answer is simple. You work with the energy data you already have—your monthly utility bills. And how do you turn that data into savings?
We love blogging about our successful clients! As one of the largest uniform services provider in the U.S., UniFirst Corporation has a unique energy profile based on its laundering operations. These activities require custom report metrics. But with facilities widely scattered all over the U.S. and other countries, UniFirst had difficulties with utility bill management and data collection. EnergyCAP provided a scalable tracking and reporting solution. This infographic helps tell their story...
Is the success of your work day based on approval? If so, author and speaker Seth Godin might nudge you in a different direction. Godin, whose books on how ideas spread and how to be a change agent have become international bestsellers, challenged a standing-room-only crowd of 14,000 in Boston last week to give up the search for permission and approval from the powers that be, and to take personal responsibility for organizational success. I was in Boston to attend the conference where he spoke, and would like to share workplace lessons from his talk in today's blog.
UniFirst Corporation has a unique energy profile based on its laundering operations. But with facilities widely scattered all over the U.S. and other countries, UniFirst had difficulties with utility bill management and data collection—until they started using EnergyCAP.
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!
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.
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.