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Module 1 - Energy Accounting

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  rev. 2011-07-28        

ManagingEnergy provides full energy accounting functionality as the first of three modules.  The Energy Accounting Module is separated into two module tabs to clarify the way in which utility meters and accounts are handled.

Distinction Between Meters and Accounts

Meters and Accounts are separate and distinct concepts in ManagingEnergy.  All subscribers make use of meters but not all need to use accounts.  The table below illustrates the conceptual distinction:




User Interface Tab

Buildings & Meters

Accounts & Invoices


May or may not be associated with an account.

Associated with one or more meters.

Receives and Stores

Meter Readings (whether collected manually or electronically).


Units of Measure

Engineering units (kWh, therms, mcf, m3, gallons, kW,...).

Currency ($, $Cdn, €, £,...).


Basic energy conversions.

Rate Tariffs; often complex formulas and adjustments to translate meter readings into invoiced amounts.

Required for ManagingEnergy use?




Any subscriber will choose which tabs and features to use depending upon which functionality they feel they need, and what related services they are receiving from other service providers.  The following examples illustrate this key concept.

Subscriber Example 1

John, a new ManagingEnergy subscriber, has 9 apartment buildings and has been doing next to nothing to manage the utility spend.  The invoices are paid as they arrive and dollar totals are recorded in a desktop accounting system.  There is no system in place to analyze consumption trends, only a limited visual scan of invoice totals.

John decides to use both Energy Accounting tabs, recording invoice details as well as meter readings.  ManagingEnergy will use the internal rate tariff engine to validate invoice totals and signal potential over-billing, and will also provide the standard comparisons and trend analyses.  John also decides not to integrate ManagingEnergy with the accounting package, at least  not yet.  That means invoice totals will be entered twice (once in each system).  Integration of the two systems, to avoid double-entry, may make sense down the road if and when John's company moves to an enterprise accounting system.

Subscriber Example 2

Cheryl runs a property management firm with 130 buildings under contract.  For the last few years, she has been providing energy analysis to her clients on spreadsheets.  It's a time-consuming process, and prone to error and misinterpretation.  More recently, several clients have been asking her for more advanced energy management reports and tools, including weather normalization and tariff comparisons, and she has chosen ManagingEnergy for the job.

She uses an enterprise-class accounting system, and her company handles all invoice entry and payment with their own clerical staff.  To automate the process, Cheryl has Managing Energy Inc. integrate ManagingEnergy with their accounting system.  The clerical staff are trained to enter invoices within the Accounts  & Invoices tab.  ManagingEnergy notifies the data entry clerks immediately of any invoices that do not pass validation, and those invoices are handled as exceptions according to a work flow defined by Cheryl.  Meter readings from approved invoices pass automatically to the Buildings & Meters tab, and invoice records are transferred instantly to the A/P module of the accounting system, ready for payment.

When detailed electronic billing becomes a reality in her area, Cheryl will be able to avoid manual invoice entry entirely, while still benefiting from the advanced energy management functionality that ManagingEnergy provides.

Subscriber Example 3

Susan is the CFO of a firm managing over 2000 buildings.  She has to deal with huge volumes of invoices, so has contracted with an outside service for utility invoice validation and payment.  As part of the service, the invoice payment contractor is entering meter readings (consumption, demand, ...) which can be displayed in a web interface.

If she is happy with the systems already in place, it makes sense for Susan to leave the invoice entry and payment functions with them.  That means the Accounts & Invoices tab in ManagingEnergy need never be used.  The Buildings & Meters tab will provide engineering analysis and performance reporting.

To automate the process and avoid double entry, Susan has Managing Energy Inc. securely integrate ManagingEnergy with the invoice payment service, so that the meter readings are passed through seamlessly the moment the invoice entries are made.  If Susan's staff find that they like the ManagingEnergy interface and functionality, it may make sense to extend the integration to the Accounts&Invoices  tab at the same time.  For a small extra development effort and no added subscription cost, she could including storage of invoice data and pdf invoice scans as well.


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