Imagine sitting at your desk, trying to determine if the proposed energy savings for a project make sense. That’s a tough question to answer. But telling the customer about energy savings that are ridiculously unrealistic is not a great idea either. If only there were an easy, accessible tool that could help with this conundrum!
Billed Data to the Rescue!
Billing data may appear to be a rudimentary measurement of customer energy consumption. However, it provides key insights into the validity of energy saving projects from a high level. Billing data provide program implementers and evaluators a grounded basis for comparison and is key to establishing reasonable savings estimates.
In order to use this powerful piece of information, folks need to be able to get it. The most important part of that is having a plan for how to get it. Each utility is different. Some have silos where cross-department data-requests are required. Others provide access to their program mangers or marketing teams. Whatever the process, it is important to know ahead of time. Nearly every type of program, especially commercial and industrial programs, benefits from access to billing data as a cross check or laugh test on estimated savings for any given customer account. Program managers, implementer leads, and evaluation managers must be sure they understand the steps needed to get billing data. The requests for these data will come from either implementers or evaluators or both. Be prepared!
The largest hurdle regarding billing data is quality. Using billing data requires confidence that the data actually represent the building being examined. Resolving any issues requires (gasp!) communication between the implementer or evaluator and the utility. Establish protocols with internal stakeholders for obtaining billed data, and know how to communicate them and to whom to direct them.. It will make everyone’s involvement with the program easier and it will allow those involved to focus on driving programs forward instead of hunting for data post mortem.