Photo courtesy of Millen Paschich

As you’ve no doubt experienced in recent weeks, buildings are on the front line when a public health crisis hits. We hope that you, your team, and your tenants remain healthy and safe during this stressful time.

The coronavirus outbreak has affected every aspect of our lives, including energy use. We want to make you aware of a few feature updates we rolled out this week that may help you manage your facility.

Cost accrual

The first is a cost accrual feature that takes into account recent changes in your energy use due to changes in occupancy. Many of our customers are required to report energy costs at the end of each calendar month, before the utility bill is available. Customers usually base these cost projections on historical bills.

That method works well enough in normal times, but these are not normal times:

Changes from COVID-19

15-minute interval energy data on total building energy use by week.

To perform accrual, our analytics software combines two sources of data:

  1. Any actual utility bills that cover the beginning of the current month.
  2. Your energy use for the rest of the month, which is extrapolated forward based on the most recent week of data alone.

By focusing on the most recent week of energy use, we incorporate any near-term occupancy changes due to COVID-19. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, this method yields a best estimate that should help minimize future true-ups.

You can find the accrual data by visiting the “Energy costs” tab, clicking on “Budget forecast” and then clicking “Download Gridium’s bill accrual forecast.” (Please note that our accrual forecast does not include local taxes such as UUT, so you may need to adjust the numbers to account for these.)

Use variance

The other change is a note we’ve added to the top of your weekly emails highlighting the change in energy use vs. your building’s pre-outbreak pattern. As always, you can see a more fine-grained analysis of minute-by-minute changes to energy use by visiting the “Energy use” tab, clicking on “History,” and turning on the “Expected” overlay on the energy load chart:

How energy use changes from expectation during COVID-19

Changes in use below this building’s expected energy pattern.

This overlay shows time periods when you are using less energy than expected by shading them in blue. Time periods where you are using more energy than expected are shaded in orange.

Hopefully these features will bring you a little bit of certainty in a highly uncertain time. Stay safe.

About Adam Stein

Adam runs the product team at Gridium. Formerly he co-founded TerraPass, and before that worked at Tellme and Trilogy. He has an MBA from Wharton and a BS from Stanford, neither of which impress his young daughter.

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