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May
1
EnergyCAP Quick Tip - How Can I Filter a Meter List Using Auto-Groups?
Posted by Joel Brickell on 01 May 2018 08:30 AM

We have been learning in recent Quick Tips about how to set up Auto-Groups and use them as filters for reports, Bill Lists, and Setup Sheets.

But did you know that you can use some of those same Auto-Groups (in fact, any defined Meter Group) to modify your view of a Meter list?

First things first. Most EnergyCAP users are used to seeing a representation of their building portfolio when they click Buildings and Meters. But did you know that you can actually "filter" the Buildings & Meters hierarchy (Tree View) to view only a list of the METERS  that are members of a Meter Group that you select?

meter-hierarchy.png

You can click here to read the HELP topic on how to do this.

Changing from a Place view to a Meter view of your portfolio wouldn't be too helpful unless you had options for filtering that meter list to see a specific group of meters, such as:

  • all meters of a given commodity
  • all meters on the same rate
  • just the meters associated with your internal customers
  • your "top 10" most costly meters

EnergyCAP's powerful Groups functionality gives you the power to do precisely that! The first three examples above are already Meter Auto-Groups that are set up and maintained automatically by EnergyCAP. You can easily set up your own "top ten" Meter Group manually, and then use it for filtering your meter hierarchy. Try out this functionality yourself. It's a whole new way to look at your energy data!

From the Buildings & Meters module, click the gear icon to access a popup window with your hierarchy display Options:

gear-icon-bnm.png   b-m-display-options.png

Take your energy analysis to the next level by using the power of groups, Auto-Groups, and exploring the meter list views in EnergyCAP.


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Apr
27
EnergyCAP Version 7 Production Release Available (Self-Hosted Clients)
Posted by Becky Brickell on 27 April 2018 08:06 AM

We are pleased to announce that EnergyCAP Version 7 is now available for self-hosted installation. This is the first "production-ready" release of EnergyCAP Version 7 that can be installed locally.

EnergyCAP Version 7 brings many new features and enhancements that make using EnergyCAP easiersmarter, and friendlier like new customizable dashboards, maps of your facilities, redesigned benchmark comparisons, enhanced reporting capabilities, and more.

In addition to making our software easier to use, we've also been working to make the installation process for EnergyCAP Version 7 straightforward for your IT staff. We have created a single release package (zip file) that contains the required database upgrade scripts, the latest files to upgrade EnergyCAP Version 3, the latest Reports, and the installation files for EnergyCAP Version 7. We've also simplified the EnergyCAP Version 7 installation process by providing:

·        streamlined installation guide for installing/configuring EnergyCAP Version 7

·        health check tool that can be run on your web server to verify that EnergyCAP has been installed/configured properly and that the required network connections are available

·        troubleshooting guide to help resolve common installation issues

·        new report update process that does not require ongoing IT assistance
 

Self-hosted customers may request a copy of the latest EnergyCAP Version 7 installation package by submitting a Support Ticket (http://support.energycap.com). The current self-hosted EnergyCAP version is 7.0.5 which includes all of the updates included in the 7.0.17.0.3, and 7.0.5 releases.

We're looking forward to seeing all of our customers enjoy the new features of EnergyCAP Version 7. Please use our EnergyCAP forum to post your own feature suggestions and vote on suggestions from others.


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Feb
20
Customer Service Message - Report Distribution Email Change
Posted by Becky Brickell on 20 February 2018 04:20 PM

If your organization currently distributes or receives reports from EnergyCAP by way of our Report Distribution feature, the following change will affect your report emails. 

We have received multiple support requests from our users regarding a failure to receive reports sent from EnergyCAP via scheduled distribution. This is due to the IP address that we have used being blacklisted by their internal email servers.

To remedy this, we have changed the email address from which EnergyCAP reports are distributed. The new email address is reports@EnergyCAP.comThis means that, for the time being, all EnergyCAP reports that are emailed to you via report distribution will now come from reports@EnergyCAP.com. We are working on a better long-term solution, but this is the temporary email address. Please make sure you add the new email address to your email server’s safe list to ensure deliverability.


Thank you,
EnergyCAP Marketing Team


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Feb
1
UPDATE ** Release of EnergyCAP Version 7 for Self-hosted Clients **
Posted by Joel Brickell on 01 February 2018 04:11 PM

FOR SELF-HOSTED CLIENTS ONLY!!

UPDATE: The EnergyCAP Version 7 installation package is now available. As stated in the webinar, please submit a Support Ticket to request the version 7 installation package.

Our development team has been doing extensive testing on the EnergyCAP Version 7 installation package and has unfortunately encountered some issues. These issues have delayed the release of the installation package until Monday, February 5th.

We will update this newsfeed article once the installation package has successfully passed our testing, so keep checking back for updates. 

 

We thank you for your patience and understanding while we resolve these technical issues.

Your EnergyCAP Support and Development Teams!


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Jan
30
EnergyCAP Version 7 Has Arrived!
Posted by Becky Brickell on 30 January 2018 10:12 AM

It's here! The next generation of EnergyCAP software is now available: EnergyCAP Version 7!

 

EnergyCAP has seen a lot of change through the years. We've released 26 major updates and we're now on the 7th generation of our software (get nostalgic with us). EnergyCAP Version 7 is a completely new version of software that marries the latest in online technologies with our award-winning utility bill management tools.

 

EnergyCAP Version 7 makes your life:

·        Easier - we've focused on making your energy management and utility bill activities faster and easier to use than ever before

·        Smarter - advanced dashboards, benchmarks, and a new generation of reports help you focus on what's most important

·        Friendlier - whether you're an experienced or a new EnergyCAP user, you'll find entering, updating, and viewing your information more intuitive and helpful

 

We released EnergyCAP Version 7 on January 16th. If you missed our launch event, you can view a recording of the webinar. Some of the new features available in EnergyCAP Version 7 include:

·        Completely redesigned Dashboards that you can configure, share with others in your company, and even share externally to non-EnergyCAP users

·        Maps! See your buildings on maps with high-level information/statistics. Maps can also be shared publicly with non-EnergyCAP users

·        Enhanced benchmarking that includes additional data types (Calendarized and Normalized data options), a new scatter chart that helps quickly identify the most impactful building and meter outliers, and a new "Savings Opportunity" view to help quantify possible savings

·        New "Create" Button that streamlines the process of entering/importing bills and creating common EnergyCAP objects

·        Use common browser actions like forward/back buttons, save bookmarks, and share links with other EnergyCAP users

·        Reports are now searchable - filter reports based on description, output format, type of data, etc. You can even save reports with your own custom descriptions.

·        Email EnergyCAP reports with the click of a button - no need to download and create a separate email

 

EnergyCAP Version 7 is full of new features, but there's even more coming. Look for regular updates and enhancements as we prepare for our annual user training conference: Catalyst 2018 will be held September 25-27th in State College, Pennsylvania. Early bird discounts are still available, so register now!

 

EnergyCAP Version 7 is available now for all hosted EnergyCAP customers. Self-hosted customers can contact our Customer Service Team to download and test Version 7 in preview-mode. The full production version should be available for self-hosted customers in March.

 

We value your feedback! Use our new customer forum to submit a new feature requestvote on feature requests from other users, comment on feature requests, and provide feedback about your EnergyCAP experience.

 

We've been working hard to make EnergyCAP easier, smarter, and friendlier. Try it out and let us know what you think!


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Aug
11
Updates to Web Browsers Affect EnergyCAP Online
Posted by Joel Brickell on 11 August 2017 10:57 AM

A few months ago all internet web browsers received updates that affected the online experience for some of our customers using the EnergyCAP web application.

One of the issues has been identified as the Adobe Flash plugin getting disabled (all browsers) and the other issue is with the Google Chrome GPU Accelerator. These issues are not related to your EnergyCAP software but are due to browser updates that have created new configuration requirements.

Below are two links to our support Knowledgebase articles that address fixes/workarounds for both of these issues. 

A third issue which is related to the Symantec Endpoint Manager (SEM). SEM blocks Flash Updates from happening so the required Adobe Flash component does not get updated or (if a fresh install of Google Chrome) installed.

Below is a link to Symantec's Knowledgebase article on this issue:

We regret the difficulties that these changes have caused for some of our clients, and we look forward to a new EnergyCAP release later this year.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email us via our Support site, http://support.energycap.com


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Jun
12
EnergyCAP Quick Tip - How Billing Periods are Assigned in EnergyCAP
Posted by Becky Brickell on 12 June 2017 09:41 AM

EnergyCAP assigns a Billing Period month automatically so you don’t have to. The assignment is based on a set of logical rules. EnergyCAP uses these rules to determine the billing period month of each bill, regardless of whether it is manually keyed OR imported. Assigning the proper billing period is important since many charts, graphs, and reports in EnergyCAP are based on billing period.

The 'default' rule is that EnergyCAP splits the difference between the Start Date and End Date of the bill to determine billing period; the middle of the bill normally determines the proper billing period month. If the split results in two equal halves with no “center” date, EnergyCAP rounds down to determine the midpoint date of the bill.

EXAMPLE: The billing period begins February 10 and is 30 days long. The midpoint is February 24. The bill is a February bill.

If the number of days in the billing period is greater than 45, then the 'default' logic is still used.

However, IF the billing period is LESS than 45 days, then a second logical step is applied:

  1. IF the default rule results in a billing period month being skipped, and
  2. IF the 'middle-of-the-bill' date is equal to or less than the 5th of the default month, and
  3. IF the bill Start Date is earlier than Day 1 of the 'default' month,
  4. THEN: The billing period month will be moved back one month.

EXAMPLE: The billing period begins February 15 and is 30 days long. No February bill has been identified for this meter this year. The midpoint is March 1 (if it is not a leap year). The bill is a February bill (see logical steps).

Similarly, when there ALREADY exists a bill for THIS month AND the 'middle-of-the-bill' date is equal to or greater than the 26th of THIS month, AND the billing period End Date is greater than Day 1 of the NEXT month, then the billing period will be moved forward a month.

EXAMPLE: The billing period begins February 13 and is 30 days long. The midpoint is February 27. A February bill has already been identified for this meter this year. The bill is a March bill.

NOTE: EnergyCAP only “knows” if a historical billing period is skipped (or present) if the historical bills are added in chronological sequence. This is an EnergyCAP best practice, whether you are keying your bills manually or setting up your import spreadsheet. Make sure the older data is processed first.

If all these rules don’t work for you, EnergyCAP has created alternatives for clients who import their billing data. Beginning with release 3.5.1, the Billing Period column in the import sheet can be used to specify one of four rules for assigning the Billing Period: 

INPUT

RESULT

!AUTO!

Existing logic for billing period assignment will be used to determine billing period (as described above)

!START!

Start Date of the bill will be used to determine billing period

!MIDDLE!

Midpoint of the bill will be used to determine billing period (rounding down if necessary)

!END!

End Date of the bill will be used to determine billing period

For more information on EnergyCAP's billing period logic, see the EnergyCAP Online Documentation.


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Apr
17
EnergyCAP Quick Tip - How Can I Catch Utility Bill Data Entry Errors?
Posted by Joel Brickell on 17 April 2017 08:30 AM

The best way to catch utility bill data entry errors is when the bill is actually being manually entered.

EnergyCAP provides a Quick Check Audit Group that runs a series of related audits whenever you save a bill. Here's how to make sure the Quick Check audits are being run on your bills.

Running the Quick Check Audit Group

  1. Click Administration from the Main Menu.
  2. Click Workflow Settings.
  3. Under the Batches & Audits setting, find the Audit bills with Quick Check Audit group when saved option.
  4. Click the toggle checkbox to turn the option on or off.
    quick-check1.png
  5. When done, scroll to the bottom of the Workflow Settings window and click Save.

You can read more about the Quick Check Audit Group and what the audits look for in our documentation.

Running Audits from Bill Lists

Audits can also be run from EnergyCAP Bill Lists. You can run as many audits as you want, regardless of whether the bills were entered manually or imported. Here's how:

  1. Click Bill Processing from the Main Menu.
  2. Click My Bill Lists, and then click to select the specific Bill List to review.
    Often, you may wish to create a specific, filtered bill list containing all the bills you wish to audit (filtered by batch code, bill entry date, bills entered since "x", etc.). For more information on creating custom bill lists, see our documentation. As an alternative, you can also use an existing bill list and just click the checkboxes for the specific bills you want to audit. 
  3. Once you have displayed the desired bill list and selected the bills to be audited, click the Audit selected bill(s) icon.
    my-bill-lists-audit1.png

    A confirmation prompt will be displayed.
  4. Click Yes to audit the selected bills. The Select Audit Group Wizard will open.
  5. Select the desired audit group(s) to run by clicking the associated checkbox for each group. For information on creating audit groups, see our audits documentation.
  6. When done, click Continue. The audits will run.
  7. After the Confirmation window has been displayed, click Finish.

Once bills have been audited, you can view any problems by clicking Bills with Problem Flags from the Bill Audits menu.  

Audits provide powerful tools for assuring the accuracy of your utility data. Make sure you are using them to keep your data clean. You can read more about audits in our audits documentation.


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Apr
7
EnergyCAP Quick Tip - How Can I Find Gaps in My Utility Bill History?
Posted by Becky Brickell on 07 April 2017 04:10 PM

Despite what its name suggests, the BL-08A - Visual Missing Bills report may not be the best report for finding gaps in your utility bill history. It all depends on what you mean by gaps!

If you want to verify that you've received one bill in every billing period, then BL-08A is a great color-coded report for spotting missing bills (or unusual numbers of bills) for a large number of accounts in just a few seconds. 

Unusual Billing Activity

The BL-08A report provides a link to each included vendor in your EnergyCAP database, along with columns for Cost Center, Account, Meter, Average of Total Amount, Billing Periods in the date range (as specified by your report date filter), Billing Periods without a Bill Record, and the number of bills in your EnergyCAP database for each included billing period for each included account/meter combination:

missing-bills2.png

Using appropriate filters, you can run the report for specific accounts, vendors or places, or you can run it for your entire organization. Make sure to set the Billing Period filter to include all relevant billing periods. Those billing periods that include a single bill will display in green, while those missing any bill will display in red. Billing periods with an unusual amount of billing activity (more than one bill in the billing period) will display in yellow. This is a great way to spot missing/suspect historical data, since you can search prior months and even years by setting the appropriate date filters when you run the report.

Below is a graphic displaying 14 months of bill history from the BL08A report:

14-months-bl08.png

If you see accounts with no bills for a long period of time, the account may need to be set to inactive, or you may want to add a Service End Date.

Locating and Dealing with Gaps in Your Utility Bill History

For a closer inspection of your utility bill history, the BL-08E Days Not Included in Any Bill report may be just what you need. It is similar to BL08, which finds gaps between the End Date of one bill and the Start Date of the next bill. It also finds overlapping billing periods.  

bl08e.png

These types of gaps between bills may indicate missing bills or data entry errors. When running the BL-08E, the user can select a specific date range for locating gaps before, between, or after bills. The report will provide a record even if no bills exist for an account that is in service. Gaps may indicate billing problems, account obsolescence, or data entry errors. 

 

When using BL-08E to spot those smaller gaps in data, set allowable gap days to 0 to locate every instance of specific dates that are not included on ANY utility bill.  A large gap (perhaps 30 days) usually indicates a missing bill, whereas a small gap (perhaps 5 days) usually means that a date was entered incorrectly.  A one-day gap usually means that the vendor may submit bills in a format such that the current bill’s Start Date is the day AFTER last bill’s End Date. This is not standard practice, since meters are seldom read at 12:00 midnight, so this can be a problem. See the EnergyCAP Online documentation for more information on the impact of gaps in billing data.


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Mar
2
EnergyCAP Quick Tip - Why Would I Change an Account's Status?
Posted by Joel Brickell on 02 March 2017 11:20 AM

When you create an Account, it is in the active state. So why would you make an Account inactive?

The most common reason is because your organization has disposed of a building. You want to preserve an account's billing history "just in case," but you don't want to report on the energy data, and you certainly don't want to add any new bills to that account.

Making an account inactive prevents bill entry, and (by default) also filters existing bills for the inactive account out of most reports and PowerViews in EnergyCAP. Since it is generally desirable to maintain a historical bill record, making the account inactive is a better practice than simply deleting an old account and thereby losing its history for trend reporting and other long-term energy analyses.

NOTE: Be cautious about making an account inactive. There are some situations where it may be desirable to prevent bill entry (a change in vendor, for instance), but because an inactive account is removed from the reporting history, inappropriate use of this feature can skew reporting.

treeviewx.pngNew bills cannot be added to inactive accounts, but historical bills for an inactive account can still be edited. Meters associated with an inactive account will become inactive when the associated Account status is changed to inactive.

EnergyCAP can be configured to display (or not display) inactive accounts and meters in their respective Tree Views. When inactive accounts or meters appear, their icon will be marked with a red "X".

You can filter inactive account data out of reports by including the Bill Account is Active filter, and setting it to Yes. This is the default setting for all reports. To show report data for both active and inactive accounts, select the Bill Account is Active filter and click Clear to remove it. To show ONLY inactive accounts, set the Bill Account is Active filter to No.

billacctactive.png

A Note About Meters

In addition to changing a meter's active/inactive status, you can also remove a meter's association with an account by clicking the Remove Association icon from the Meter Properties window. EnergyCAP offers you the choice of supplying an end date for the association or deleting the meter entirely.

remove-association2.png

Which should you choose? If the meter association was the result of a setup error, it is advisable to delete the meter association. Make sure, however, to also delete any associated bills, since the historical billing data will not be deleted along with the association.

If you choose to provide an "end date" for the meter association, you can retain and edit the historical meter data for the period of time that the association was present.

Stay tuned for next week’s Quick Tips to learn HOW to change the account/meter status to inactive.


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