Effectively manage utility billing and cost allocation processes
Wonderware® Enterprise Billing Solution (EBS) is designed to meet the complex utility accounting needs of large campus environments by streamlining the process of utility metering, billing and reporting. Energy usage and cost distribution are conveniently processed by meter, tenant, building and vendor information and data can be normalized based on weather and other factors. The easy-to-use Windows-based system manages a consolidated database of utility information to deliver accurate utility cost allocation for both institutionally generated utilities and purchased utilities.
Wonderware EBS helps campuses manage the following utility billing processes:
- Account, Building and Meter Management
- Monthly Billing Process
- Purchased Utility Process
- Generated Utility Process
Wonderware EBS Account Management
Wonderware EBS allows users to create and maintain specific accounts that correspond to buildings where physical and virtual meters can be assigned. With the account management function, users can track financial relationships with utility vendors, energy service providers and internal customers. Buildings, meters, virtual meters, vendors, utility types, utility rates, cost allocations, and more can be managed through the user-friendly EBS interface. All data is conveniently organized in a hierarchy and searchable by a number of fields including building name, building number and meter ID.
Meter Data Management – Wonderware EBS integrates with a variety of systems and data formats and aggregates both online and offline data sources. EBS offers complete control of cost allocations with support for both sub-meters and virtual meters. In a typical campus environment, it is often not feasible to physically sub-meter every tenant account. EBS allows you to create a virtual meter to allocate separate tenant costs from a single meter. Virtual metering options within EBS include simple splits and allocation by square footage.
Wonderware EBS records many attributes for a physical meter, including the meter location, meter serial number, effective date, start reading, end reading, meter calibration factor, measured unit, data source as well as any rates and cost allocations associated with the meter. Other features include:
- Meter rollover and meter resets
- Ability to manually adjust a meter record
- Change, replace and remove meters from service while maintaining consistent history for a meter location
- Track the service records for physical meters
- Validate all meters are read and the records are within tolerance
- Billing units of measure may vary from the meter collection unit of measure
Data Validation – Wonderware EBS includes advanced data verification and data quality analysis capabilities to detect invalid meter readings, manual entries or billing errors. Since utility consumption and cost data is tracked in the system, users have the ability to validate utility bills against actual consumption. In addition to data validation, annual and monthly variance reviews to determine consumption values outside of a set tolerance and unread meter audits are available.
Importing/Exporting – The system provides easy-to-use forms for entering vendor billing details such as consumption, cost and service period. Meter readings from various sources including handheld devices, databases, smart meters, BAS, MBS, flat files, utility provided EDI/XML files and more can be automatically imported into the billing system. Users can also manually import data to the EBS client for paper invoices. In addition, EBS is able to export meter routes to a handheld system to provide meter validation at the time of entry.
After all the metering information has been entered or imported, validated, and any changes have been made, tenant invoices can be created and distributed based on energy consumption. The invoice data can be exported in a flat file for use by enterprise accounting systems such as PeopleSoft, Banner, SAP and other general ledger systems.
Cost Allocations – Wonderware EBS provides a framework for processing both purchased and generated utility bills and allocating those costs to the appropriate cost center. The flexible system accommodates multiple accounts per meter, fixed cost and/or consumption, demand charges, administrative overhead surcharge and other internal costs.
Budget Versus Actual – The Wonderware EBS Budget module maintains monthly budget information, consumption or cost, to enable users to report on actual performance versus a predefined budget.
Purchased Utility Process
Wonderware EBS manages the account functions associated with entering and tracking all purchased utility bills. The system supports all purchased utilities including electricity, natural gas, water, sewer and storm, street lighting, fuel oil, bulk gas, and more. Users are able to auto import electronic bills via XML files allowing for bill auditing against consumption and cost information captured within the EBS system. Users may also manually enter in meter readings and utility bills.
Generated Utility Process
In addition to purchased utility data tracking, Wonderware EBS allows users to manage all the functions for on-site generated utilities, similar to an investor-owned utility. The import process requires direct communication with a smart meter, a meter database, a building management system, or SCADA system to retrieve interval meter records. It typically requires data to be imported from mobile meter reading/logging systems and even manual data entry. Wonderware EBS also supports the export of “routes” to some mobile meter reading systems so that data entry can be validated at the time of recording. Cost allocations, utility rate management, meter auditing, variance checking and meter service records are all tracked as part of the generated utilities process.
Wonderware EBS reporting capabilities present utility data in intuitive and usable formats. Customized reports can be generated to meet specific reporting needs. Some of the standard reports that EBS supports include building reports, monthly sales and expense reports, generated or purchased utility process billing reports, annual and monthly variance reports, vendor reports and invoicing reports. Reports within EBS can also be compared against a set cost or consumption budget.
Wonderware EBS Web allows building tenants to view direct energy cost and consumption data as well as weather normalized results graphically or in a table for a selected time period using a standard web browser. This gives tenants the ability to track their utility cost and consumption data, providing easy access to the information they need to implement energy monitoring, tracking and savings plans. Wonderware EBS Web allows tenants to view reports that are made available by the administrator. Users also have the ability to view actual data against a predefined consumption or cost budget.
For a complete Enterprise Energy Management Solution ask about Wonderware eDNA, our leading real-time data historian.