Okay, that’s fake news. He didn’t say exactly that. But he did issue an Executive Order mandating deeper efforts to achieve energy cost and usage reductions, built on a foundation of energy tracking and reporting. He signed Federal Executive Order 13834 on May 17, requiring all federal agencies to manage their operations in a manner “that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources, and protects the environment.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its 2018 ENERGY STAR Top Cities list, and 12 of the top 25 cities are EnergyCAP users. In 2017, more than 9,400 properties received ENERGY STAR benchmark scores via EnergyCAP’s interface to Portfolio Manager, the EPA’s benchmarking application.
Energy management at Riverside County, CA is in very capable hands. During her tenure at the county, Janet Purchase, County Energy Manager, and her team have realized more than $11.6 million in grants, rebates, energy savings, outside utility funding, and avoided costs. Janet outlined her path to energy management success in a recent webinar, and she noted that the approach is quite simple: Take it “one step at a time.”
Battery. Conductor. Condenser. Charge. Those words were coined by the City of Philadelphia’s most famous resident, Benjamin Franklin, as he established himself as the leader in the study of electricity in the mid-1700s. Franklin most likely never imagined that, more than 265 years later, the city he called home would still be an energy management leader. But, while Franklin sought to understand and harness the power of electricity, the city’s primary focus today is on energy conservation.
ENERGY STAR® is the nation’s most widely used and recognized energy reporting and benchmarking system, but it is seldom considered to be a method of measurement and verification (M&V) of savings. EnergyCAP, Inc.’s CEO, Steve Heinz, recently led a study to determine if ENERGY STAR ratings can be used as a low-cost, simple M&V method when the cost of a more intensive analysis is not justified. Steve presented the results of his study at the most recent World Energy Engineering Congress in Atlanta, GA.
Over the past few weeks, we have all watched with trepidation the major weather events and natural disasters impacting the U.S. and other countries, and our wishes for safety and quick recovery go out to all who have been directly or indirectly impacted.
Since 2009, EnergyCAP, Inc.’s non-profit organization, Global Capacity, has played an active role in helping the African country of Rwanda achieve its national education mission: To combat ignorance and illiteracy To provide human resources useful for socio-economic development of Rwanda through education & training
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released its 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, and we are happy to report that nearly one third of the top-performing cities rely on EnergyCAP for utility bill and energy management. (i)
A large number of facilities with widely varied uses—administration, classroom, laboratories, athletics, parking, medical, etc.—a diverse group of occupants, long operating hours, multiple funding sources, and consistent growth combine to make energy management at a large public university a complex undertaking. Lalit Agarwal, Director of Facilities Systems at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), recently presented a webinar titled “The Ins and Outs of Campus Energy Data” to explain how UNL has integrated numerous systems—including EnergyCAP—and internal teams to establish a program that is successfully reducing energy consumption across campus, while maintaining occupant comfort.
On December 12, 2015, representatives of 196 parties within the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiated the Paris Climate Agreement. [i] Article 2 of the UNFCC agreement outlined its objectives:
“Productivity Unleashed” was the theme of last month’s Catalyst Training for Savings Conference, and EnergyCAP, Inc. CEO Steve Heinz closed the conference with a keynote titled “10 Tips to Unleash Your Productivity.” We shared tips 6–10 in our April 19th blog, and now the suspense is over. The top five tips are presented below.
That’s a wrap! The 2017 edition of EnergyCAP’s Catalyst Training for Savings Conference came to a successful conclusion Thursday, April 13. And 100 EnergyCAP users–representing a wide range of organization types and sizes–departed State College, PA with an expanded arsenal of utility bill and energy management skills.
The term “Software as a Service” and its more commonly used acronym, SaaS, were originally coined in 2001 in an article published by the Software & Information Industry Association’s eBusiness Division.[i] SaaS is simply defined as software rental, with the licensee typically paying a monthly or annual fee for the right to use a vendor-hosted application.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the ENERGY STAR program in 1992 and described it as “a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”[i] Over the past 25 years, the ENERGY STAR label – recognized by more than 90% of Americans – has progressed from computers and monitors to most major appliances and office equipment, lighting, homes, and commercial and industrial facilities. And, according to the EPA, the ENERGY STAR program has resulted in utility bill savings of $362 billion and reduced GHG emissions by 2.4 billion metric tons.[ii]
City of Palm Springs, Riverside County, CA Success is commonly defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” When setting about to purchase an energy management information system (EMIS), the publicly stated purpose is commonly to reduce energy consumption. It’s a realistic, positive aim and an objective that typically garners internal and external support. That said, what ultimately “sells” the EMIS project is cost savings. Fortunately, cost savings go hand-in-hand with lower energy consumption. But that’s only part of the story. A capable EMIS that is properly implemented provides benefits far beyond consistently lower utility bills, such as labor savings, streamlined processes, enhanced data sharing/integration, and technology-driven productivity gains. The County of Riverside, CA, is a great example.
“A new year, a new me.” It’s a phrase I’ve heard numerous times over the past three weeks, and I witness vigorous attempts to live up to the cliché every January when I walk into my local fitness facility. Of course, by February, the traffic has gotten back to “normal.” But unlike most of those “resolutioners” at my gym, EnergyCAP’s corporate commitment to a 2017 makeover is a promise you can take to the bank. In today’s blog, I’d like to share some events that will become exciting reality in the next 12 months. But first, you can “rest” assured that product leadership and customer intimacy remain EnergyCAP hallmarks, and we’re not going to change that in 2017. We’re going to stick with what we do best: Continuing product innovation Expanding and enhancing our service offerings Adding and training customer-focused personnel Delivering a value-packed annual training conference Specifically, here is what you can look forward to in 2017.
The quest began in 2009 with the best of intentions: Provide home and small business owners with a free, easy-to-use online application to track and manage their energy use. Making money on the application was not a priority. Instead, it was largely a philanthropic pursuit intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save its users some money. It was a noble quest. But alas, what had begun with great fanfare in 2009 was over less than two years later.
In 1634, England’s King Charles I signed legislation that created James City Shire within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, that prosperous shire, now known as James City County, is home to approximately 70,000 residents and is an EnergyCAP success story.
“How are you currently processing your utility bills?” Here at EnergyCAP, we’ve been asking that question of our prospects for decades. Surprisingly, the answers are often more about what people are NOT doing, rather than what they ARE doing: The most common answers are: “Each department receives its bills, gives them a visual check, and then forwards them to Accounting for payment.” “Accounting receives the bills and pays them, and then they send us a spreadsheet to review.” Both responses ("check first" or "check later") are commonly followed by, “We know we should check our utility bills more closely, but we don’t have a system in place to do that.” These folks have already figured out that they should be auditing their utility bills. They just want to do it better. And that, of course, is where EnergyCAP comes in. EnergyCAP enables you to audit effectively.
It’s the “CAP” in EnergyCAP—"Cost Avoidance Program"—and it’s helping more than 800 organizations across North America to measure and verify the impact of their energy conservation measures. But what happens when extreme weather threatens to hinder accurate calculations?
Over my nearly two decades in the energy management software industry, I have spoken with many energy and facilities managers, and a common topic of conversation is the value of monthly utility bill data versus meter interval data for analysis. In most cases, my response is, “Do both.” Start with an analysis of billing data and refine your research and management with interval data.
Today’s blog post addresses an issue that can pose a challenge to any energy manager: the corrected utility bill. Whether or not you are a current EnergyCAP client, you know the drill. Each month, you receive your utility bills, enter or import them into your energy database and accounting system, and then pay them. Pretty straightforward, right? Right... But what happens when a bill you receive this month includes a line item correcting a bill you received and paid last month or many months ago?
High School Musical, released by The Disney Channel in 2006, was a huge success, nationally and in my household. The musical, which introduced the world to now mega-stars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale, had many comic and poignant moments, but what has stuck in my head is the movie’s closing number, We’re All In This Together. Performed by the entire student body, the song emphasizes the importance of acceptance and working together for a common good, and the value that each individual brings to that effort. That melody often comes back to me when I’m participating in a family activity that has been labeled undesirable by at least one of our four family members. It was also the first thing that popped into my head when pondering energy management challenges common in decentralized institutions. Could yours be one of them?
At some point in our careers, we all find ourselves in a position where we have to stand up and fight. Not in the manner of physical battery, but in the way of a challenge to get our proposed budget approved, or add a staff position, or maybe even justify our own job. Energy managers are no exception to this process and frequently find themselves in front of the city council or an executive board seeking funds for an energy conservation project.
Despite its 20 years as the heavyweight champion of utility bill electronic processing and payment (at least in the eyes of the largest utility vendors), Electronic Data Interchange, or EDI, is still a widely misunderstood utility billing option. A recent conversation with the energy manager at a mid-sized U.S. city went something like this: Energy Manager: “We would like you to get our utility bills and import them into EnergyCAP.” Salesperson: “We can do that. Do you know which electronic invoice formats your vendors offer?” Energy Manager: “They’re all EDI.” Salesperson: “All of your vendors offer EDI 810?” Energy Manager: “I’m not sure about the ‘810’ part, but I can log on to the vendors’ websites and download my bills in a spreadsheet. That’s what we’d like you to do for us. We want to get them in EDI, because it’s faster and gives us all of the information we need.”