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.
Since Sales is all about making new friends and keeping the old, you may see more product-focused content that reminds current clients (about 25 percent of our blog readers) of the value streams afforded by our product, while introducing prospects (about 66 percent of our readers) to the possibilities afforded by energy management software. You’ll also be seeing more blogs from Blaine Clapper, our Assistant Vice President for Sales & Marketing, and a certified Business Energy Professional. His contributions and perspective are welcome and will bring you additional value.
We remain committed to serving up a range of weekly energy information that is relevant and useful, and we will rely on you to tell us if we ever get off course. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any feedback or ideas for future blogs!
A wise energy manager once told me that nothing beats “boots on the ground” when it comes to good energy management. There is something that the trained and experienced engineer brings to the energy management process that can’t be duplicated by software analytics. Whether it is listening to the hum or roar of HVAC or sifting through Big Data looking for promising or puzzling patterns, the human element is vital.
At EnergyCAP, our outlook reflects a similar view: “EnergyCAP's purpose is to publish industry-leading software tools that help clients derive value from utility bills.”
As a good tool, our software is robustly designed to be wielded successfully by a novice or a master.
Our strengths in utility data collection, organization, segmentation, presentation, comparison, communication, and processing recognize the key role of the analyst—the thoughtful energy manager who knows his/her facilities and knows what to do with the available utility information. Let’s look at those strengths together. Are you tapping into them to achieve your energy management vision?
Utility Data Collection
Our Bill CAPture service has been growing rapidly and steadily since the program’s inauguration in 2014. We now have more than 70 clients, with multiple opportunities in the pipeline. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.billcapture.com.
Our online software version is now capable of interval data import and display, enhancing capabilities that have resided with our client-server application for decades. EnergyCAP understands the value of monthly utility bill data and 15-minute Smart Meter readings, and our staff have years of experience reformatting client channel (interval) data for import, analysis and reporting.
Utility Data Organization
There are as many ways to set up an organizational energy database as there are EnergyCAP clients. That’s why customization and user-configuration have always been part of our software design and implementation philosophy and process.
Our implementation protocols help ensure that your resulting energy database is intelligible, navigable, serviceable and accessible.
Our twin navigation hierarchies (Buildings & Meters and Accounts) provide distinct views of the organization, both as a portfolio of properties and as a collection of Cost Centers. This focus on utility consumption and cost meets the objectives of multiple stakeholders and departments (including Facilities, Accounting, and Sustainability) who have different but very real needs for the utility data that EnergyCAP provides.
Utility Data Segmentation
EnergyCAP’s hierarchical layout enables you to see the forest AND the trees. It’s possible to view a chart of energy use for the entire organization. If you only want to see data for the West Campus, and not the East Campus, you can get your summary with a mouse click. Then “zoom in” to the same chart for a single building or meter.
Our new Report Designer enables Excel users to customize reports by tapping the capabilities of Power Pivot. A one-time Report Designer setup sequence installs the new Excel ribbon feature that provides a direct authenticated link to data from your EnergyCAP database. This gives a new level of customization and control to clients looking to segment their data, using almost any defined database property including User-Defined Fields (UDFs). Its the holy grail of data slicing!
Utility Data Presentation
Its one thing to have access to data, but quite another to make sense of it. EnergyCAP excels at data presentation. Our PowerViews® (powerful graph and chart visualizations) are present throughout the application, and act as a supplement to our robust reporting package (350+ standard reports).
PowerViews are linked to the navigation hierarchies, so scrolling through dozens or even hundreds of places or meters is easier than turning the pages of a book.
Utility Data Comparison
Our application design assures quick access to all available data, whether you are looking for trends or outliers. And we’ve found creative ways to make benchmarking easy and even automatic.
For instance, our Grouping and Benchmarking module automatically creates peer Place and Meter Groups defined by properties such as utility vendor, vendor and rate, vendor and commodity, building primary use, and customer. These groupings enable our users to easily access and compare historical and current data for similar accounts and buildings.
We include basic cost data in our benchmarking charts (the orange bars) so that the financial impact of outlier performance is always at the forefront of the analysis. This keeps you focused on identifying the issues with the greatest opportunity to benefit your business bottom line.
Utility Data Communication
We’ve already mentioned EnergyCAP’s reporting capabilities but we know that your energy analysis insights are only valuable if they can be communicated clearly and conveniently. That’s why we’ve automated regular reporting, and paid attention to the details to help ensure that each email includes just the information that the stakeholder needs for that next big decision.
Whether its automated report emails, custom reporting, budgeting, or cost avoidance verification, EnergyCAP can share your energy management accomplishments in understandable and accessible formats.
Utility Data Processing
Utility bill management is all about process, and EnergyCAP has been assisting clients with theirs since 1980. You would be amazed how many Fortune 1000 companies are struggling with antiquated utility bill management processes. We recently implemented a major Midwest city where utility bill entry personnel were still writing down long strings of account numbers on utility bills by hand and sending them downtown for other accountants to enter into another financial system. The duplication of effort, labor inefficiency, and predictable errors led to late fees, incorrect payments, and unreliable and/or irreconcilable data.
EnergyCAP enabled them to clean up the clutter. Our software offers a valuable path to an enhanced accounting process, from bill entry through approval, payment, and verification of payment received. If you’re still going about your utility business the old-fashioned way, contact us to discover new possibilities!