The EnergyCAP Software Platform works for South Dakota Higher Education
Our overall experience with the EnergyCAP software platform has been very positive. We are able to collect the necessary utilities consumption and cost data without any hassle and it is easy to analyze the data on EnergyCAP and print reports detailing usage by month and/or season.
There are many things to like about the EnergyCAP software platform. What I like best about the platform is that that it supports all six of South Dakota's public universities and two special schools. Every year legislators want an understanding of what our university system's utilities consumption is and why it is the way it is. EnergyCAP provides an easy-to-use platform that captures all of our data and printing cumulative reports is easy and understandable.
Over the last three years, the South Dakota Board of Regents has had to migrate from three different EnergyCAP software platforms. in 2017 we were using version 1. In 2018 we had to migrate to EnergyCAP version 3 because they were ending support for the legacy platform. In 2019 we had to migrate to EnergyCAP version 7 because of the phase out of Flash-based software platforms. It took many of our users a lot of extra effort to learn the new software and become comfortable with it.
EnergyCAP has launched the City of Philadelphia into a new sphere of data processing power.
EnergyCAP has many tools to help organizations in various ways. Philadelphia has multiple utilities that are localized, as in, not spread through the country. With that said, we most like the reporting functions, ability to see use and cost quickly, great customer service, ability to easily share data with internal AND external stakeholders, EnergyCAP brings data to life with customizable reporting and dashboards, it works with Portfolio Manager to benchmark buildings more quickly, the ability to change hierarchies or move data within the organization quickly and efficiently with setup sheets, it has open API to communicate with other software in the City, and EnergyCAP uses Bill CAPture, which is a service that uploads bills into EnergyCAP. EnergyCAP has given our team more time to work on other projects using the data rather then spending time manipulating the data in spreadsheets or another cumbersome process.
The City of Philadelphia has carbon goals to reach. Tracking greenhouse gases is a core part of reaching those goals and the City has been tracking GHGs for more years than has used EnergyCAP. EnergyCAP does track GHGs, but it is EnergyCAP's calculation. If the City uses that calculation, the emissions change. To maintain integrity of the trends, the City has opted to continue to use a separate calculation to report GHG emissions.
Outdated, un-intuitive, glorified spreadsheet
For our purposes, this product is a hammer trying to find a nail; a simple spreadsheet can replace the functionality required for our purposes. The product pricing is not suitable for an institution our size. Essentially, the software has no payback for our campus. It is a constant nuisance to figure out whether the client or web is better for certain tasks. The client is beyond old and needs to be updated. The website interface is made with Flash, which is an outdated technology that most software companies have fled. The entire gui needs to be vetted by an experienced HCI team in order to make product more user friendly.
Response from EnergyCAP
Varick makes some valid points. Adobe Flash/Flex was a common choice for browser-based applications five years ago, but (as he correctly points out) many software companies have moved away from it, EnergyCAP included. A release of our HTML 5 browser user interface is planned for late in 2015, and we are close to finally retiring the legacy installed client as we re-design, re-engineer and move additional features to the browser version. I would also agree that many smaller universities, colleges and community colleges find great success with lower-priced systems, such as our simpler EnergyCAP Express or Enterprise Online versions. However, UC Merced is part of the University of California system-wide EnergyCAP implementation, including the large campuses that DO require the full Enterprise functionality. We appreciate and value all client feedback, positive and negative, and take all suggestions very seriously.
Steve Heinz, PE, CEM, CMVP, Founder & CEO, EnergyCAP, Inc.
We use EnergyCAP to track the cost and usage of the utilities in the County facilities. Based on this data, improvements are planned to maximize the efficiency in the facilities, which result in cost saving for the County.
EnergyCAP software is extremely user friendly and reliable system. I have been managing this system for 17 years through various versions of the system. With every version or release of the system, the quality of the product and functionality improves.
Excellent reporting engine, which satisfies the needs of every user in Financial, Energy Management, or Administration divisions.
The account/user setting is simple and efficient. It would be helpful to allow for more user profile setting and cost center divisions.
A must have solution and best in the market
Fantastic overall experience. Our organization has taken piles of bills, endless spreadsheets, and countless amounts of time and utilized EnergyCap to become extremely efficient with all our utility management needs. The solution has replaced non-value time of data collection and manual input into value added time spent in analysis and proactive response. It has literally helped our organization identify and save hundreds of thousands of dollars and identify problems such as leaks and other operational issues in a faster manner.
The ease at which it helps manage utility bills both in terms of cost, usage and metering distributions.
The responsiveness of the the Team and Staff to meet its customers needs and continuously improve the solution.
The friendliness and organization of the user interface.
The Energy Project portion of the solution could be more detailed to allow user to capture more information and attributes about the projects.
The inability for user to add bill image pdfs directly to the bill record in the event BillCapture is not utilized.
Organize large portfolio energy data
I work for a large county government and school system with hundreds of buildings and over a thousand utility accounts. Energy usage and cost was being tracked on a limited basis through spreadsheets. This software has dramatically improved our ability to track and manage energy and water usage and cost at a county-wide level and at all levels including by government/schools, by each department, by similar building type (office buildings, libraries, elementary schools, etc.), down to a by meter level for an individual building. Importing large amounts of data takes minutes. Bills are flagged if the software detects a possible issue (gap in billing, overlap in billing, spike in usage, spike in cost, etc.). The implementation process was onerous since we wanted to back-import as much history as possible, but the Energy CAP folks were extremely available and worked with us during the entire implementation.
- User friendly and very intuitive
- Nice "dashboard" for at-a-glance analysis, can be filtered to analyze at various levels from whole portfolio down to a single building
- Robust reporting options
- Most of my peers are using the same software so we can share tips and lessons learned
- It is expensive but there is a lot of value for the cost
- Some ability to customize but some custom features cost extra
My EnergyCAP Review
I am a strong user and I train others to use the EnergyCAP. My users are running reports and are finding errors. The data in EnergyCAP is used to make financial decisions. Do your organization a favor and start using EnergyCAP.
I have over 30 years in the energy business and I have used various software, and EnergyCAP is the best!
There are many exciting features in EnergyCAP. Some of the features are the dashboards, reports, customer support and the Help Center. The dashboards are easy to create and the data tells the story. I like reports and EnergyCAP has over 100 reports. My favorite reports are the usage, costs and charts. The customer support is outstanding and the response is fast. The Help Center has videos and the information is detailed.
I really have no cons except, I wish the terminology reflected what the utilities use. However, this is not a show stopper.
We have used ECAP for 25 years. Can't imagine having an Energy Program without it
(1) As senior energy manager, I love being able to have different data bases, yet still see and access them all. (2) Can produce virtually any report one could ever want. (3) Ability and flexibility to name and change all accounts and meters. (4) Set up in such a manner that one can access specific or general reports and info very fast. (5) Like how it now can produce reports in Excel or PDF's.
(1) Compared to the former desktop version, there can be a slight lag due to being online.
(2) The former desktop version allowed one to see more info without having to hunt for it. For instance one could have notes after each monthly entry that were in plain view when entering bills.
Great product, great value
EnergyCAP provides us with a one-stop-shop for all of our utility reporting needs and was the critical missing piece for us in moving forward with our strategic energy management plan in order to meet our climate action plan commitment to reduce our carbon emissions. EnergyCAP enabled us to identify our worst performing buildings in terms of energy use intensity, and we have been able to see and track our progress in a very transparent platform.
EnergyCAP does everything we need it to do at a good price point and therefore has been a great investment for the City of Portland. The EnergyCAP team was great to work with through contracting and implementation, and was able to tailor a great package for us. The customer service has been excellent over the last 4+ years.
I would be hard-pressed to find any fault with the EnergyCAP product or services.
Simply one of the best solutions I have ever used and likewise the support
Billing error savings
Problem identification and resolution savings
Turns a full-time or multiple full time equivalent job into a manageable and reasonable amount of work letting you have time for analysis and proactive management of utilities.
New HTML 5 version build out is taking longer to incorporate complete functionality and enhancements than expected but in the end it should well exceed my expectations compared to the older Flash version.
EnergyCAP Review State of Tennessee
Some of the benefits that the State of Tennessee has reaped from the use of EnergyCAP are:
>Access to a central repository for utility bills via the web promotes alternative workplace solutions for AP staff and/or field work for facility management.
>Proactive approach to account and facility management through bill review and audits, including responding to “alarms” for anomalies
>Comparison of cost and consumption data across months aids risk mitigation.
>Prior to UDM, not all facility management staff had access to utility invoices and cost and consumption data.
>Generate utility data reports and conduct analysis with greater detail and speed
>Compare EUI across like building types at agency, multi-agency, or State portfolioevel to identify best performing buildings and energy management practices.
>Identification of need for increased communication between facility management, leasing staff, and/or AP staff with regard to building status (e.g., vacated versus occupied lease space – when to terminate utility accounts)
>Bridges communication gap between centralized and remote AP staff.
>Promotes collaboration between AP and facility management staff.
>Automated bill entry eliminates manual bill entry errors and reduces AP staff time and resources dedicated to keying utility bills.
>Greater accountability – AP user activities are tracked in the platform.
>Ability to pay bills faster results in fewer late fees
The most powerful and beneficial feature in EnergyCAP is it's ability to allow both Facility Managers and Accounts Payable personnel to view the same information, but from different vantage points. Another great feature is EnergyCAP's bill audit capabilities.
What I like least about the software is that the setup to integrate interval data into EnergyCAP is a manual process, that is fairly complex.
Best Energy Management Solution that I have used
The user interface is intuitive. The software continuously evolves to meet our needs. There customer service is excellent. The user group training "EnergyCap Catalyst" is a must attend event. I've found Energy Cap to be a company of integrity with honest people.
None at all really, more like a which it would be really great if I could get EnergyCap to work on my Ipad.
EnergyCAP makes utility bill management and energy analysis extremely easy. The system provides highly useful reporting and information regarding usage. The system is customized to each organizations requirements. The format is easy to use and adaptable.
It can be challenging not to have all of the same tools that are available in Version 6 in Version 7.
Most of the web software is modern.
Most of the web software is modern.
I love most of the web product,
The ability to give rights to view or not view parts of the Ecap is very limited.
The reports look like a beginner using Microsoft access for the first time in 1999.
The reports are by far the ugliest I have seam by any vendor ..WOW they are ugly.
The reports are so ugly we do not use them and we don't tell people they exist , we are too embarrassed.
We tell people that the benchmarking section is the reports.
The benchmarking section is the most helpful part of the program and you should expand it. Good job in this area.
Response from EnergyCAP
Roy is an experienced and very knowledgeable County energy manager, so we certainly value and appreciate his feedback on report design and appearance. After 35 years of publishing EnergyCAP software, perhaps the number one lesson I¿ve learned is that everyone has different reporting needs and opinions. To satisfy our clients¿ diverse needs, we¿re close to releasing Report Designer, a reporting interface based on Excel Power Pivot that lets anyone easily design and construct reports, graphs, and charts. Report ¿beauty¿ is certainly in the eye of the beholder, and perhaps love is blind. Over 50% of our existing reports were designed to meet client specifications, and we add at least a dozen new reports annually that have been ordered by EnergyCAP users to satisfy their specific reporting preferences. What one person calls ¿the ugliest¿ is some parent¿s ¿beautiful and flawless¿ newborn.
Steve Heinz, PE, CEM, CMVP, Founder & CEO, EnergyCAP, Inc.
The energy analytics online product powerhouse ...
I am an energy conservation professional, and I have been using EnergyCAP Professional for two years now. eCAP Pro is the online version of the eCAP product, so I can access it from any computer with internet access. It works best within the Google Chrome browser rather than the Internet Explorer browser. eCAP is pre-loaded with a huge variety of reports, which you can customize with filters. It has multiple billing templates to accommodate the information provided by most utility providers in this bills. The eCAP team periodically pushes through new enhancements to their online product, and the product is constantly evolving and improving. It has more features added in the past two years that make it easier for users to both enter data, manage data and analyze data. One of the latest enhancements that really find valuable and useful to me is that when I am entering billing data into a screen for a particular meter, I can see right away on the right side of the screen three graphs showing me with live updates as I enter how this bill's info is comparing to the bills from the last 12 months and comparing them to the previous 12 months, live right there on the right side. Before, I had to switch screens to see the visuals that helped me spot trends. This new enhancement of putting them graphs right there on the bill entry screen lets me see if something may be off with that bill or an area of concern right there as I am entering it. This helps me react to negative or troublesome energy trends sooner rather than later.
For what it does, it can't be beat.
---Because it integrates weather (hdd/cdd) and provides an expected cost calculation and then marries with your actual utility bills, it gives you the most accurate reflection of your utility efficiency. You should never rely on just comparing one utility bill to the the one a year prior and assuming you've found the actual savings.
---Allows you to import utility bills, saving hours of hand-keying in data every month. Wouldn't you rather be spending your time analyzing bills rather than entering them?
---(what seems like) Hundreds of reports will help you analyze bills, demand, average unit cost, cost leaders, savings leaders, etc. that will help you investigate problems more quickly and effectively.
---Customer service tickets tend to have a quick turnaround time.
--- (what seem like) Hundreds of reports whose names or descriptions don't always help. And the more reports that are added, the more the waters are muddied.
---Recommendations for upgrades/improvements to reports tend to come back as a very simple, "We can't do that." It's unfortunate, because at least one that I've sent in would benefit ALL users. (Print all filters at the top or bottom of EVERY page, or at least at the top or bottom of the first page, where the most helpful information is found. Most of the time, I throw the last page away...and that's where the filters are printed.)
But despite those cons, this is a great tool, and I can't imagine trying to do this job without it.
I've used this product for many years. It's a great tool for managing and analyzing utility bills.
The ability to benchmark your buildings energy usage with similar buildings in order to focus in on the best opportunities to reduce costs and save energy.
The new version 7 makes it easier to graphically view bill data in a variety of ways through the dashboard. I especially like the mapping feature which allows you to quickly zero in on a particular building or facility
Integration with 3rd party billing data providers is too complex and takes many hours of staff and vendor time to complete.
The old software is what I am use to and therefore I like most of it better. The new software does have some easier access points, especially when you need to update or change a meter number in the program. I am a creature of habit, but trying to work through the new program has been good.
The old software was harder to change meter information, such as a meter change.
EnergyCAP has been a reliable software tool for our organization.
Very easy to navigate and organize. Can easily find information whenever it is needed. When others ask for specific information on energy use, The answer usually comes within minutes.
Would like to see a bit more clarity on some report formats. Sometimes it is difficult to find the exact type of report that is needed.
The software is easy to use and very flexible specially when you host your own database server.
Bill Entry Template creation is very flexible.
Can easily upload electronic bill data using the import function.
You can create your own custom report when you host your own database server.
Easy tree structure and unit system setup.
Standard Reports needs more improvement or modification on the header information
especially when the fiscal year doesn't start on January which is actually misleading in
terms of the billing period year.
No selection on the Weather Station Temperature unit. The default unit is always in
The GHG Emission Factors cannot be edited within the application.
There is a limitation on assigning a Rate Code. It only limits 2 rate code changes per
account. It automatically delete the oldest rate code that were assigned to that
Solid program with lots of tools to evaluate your energy usage effectively.
Accurate accounting of energy usage and cost analysis. This is necessary for board presentations as they will not simply accept my word that we are saving energy.
The program offers a variety of reports to help me keep track of my data entry, flag and correct errors and evaluate my data in almost every conceivable way.
This program and the work it performs is, by its very nature, is complicated. Many functions that it performs do not lend themselves to being very intuitive in terms of operating the program. There is a learning curve and functions that are not performed often can be forgotten and will have to be re-learned.
EnergyCap is a great company to work with. They are knowledgeable in their product.
The software does far more than I could ever imagine!
I am an 'old dog' who isn't the sharpest technology tack on the block. So when tasked with learning about the new version of EnergyCap I wasn't really looking forward to that because what I was using met all of my school districts needs. However, I had an exceptional experience with the people at EnergyCap and they walked me through everything I had questions about and are there whenever I have needed them. There are far more reports available than I will most likely ever use, but what I do require is easily derived. I know there are others who need and use many of the reporting pieces. However, for me I'm still interested in the basics such as "How are we doing compared to..."? Nothing but the highest regards for the product and the people.
I have been using EnergyCAP Enterprise for about 2 years now and I am so glad that this software is available. As an energy broker, we have may clients that we do purchasing for and need to keep track of their monthly energy bills for both the utility and supplier. The bill processing option is easy to use imports all our bill information with a few clicks.
The other great thing about it is the consolidation of the monthly expenditures. Our clients bills have multiple cost components and EnergyCap consolidates that into total monthly expenditures that are easily put into reports that we send our clients on a monthly basis.
I would recommend them to anyone that is tracking multiple energy bills.