Some tips to ease headaches for users with large real estate portfolios
SCE recently revamped its website, as well as its security policy. Previously you could choose any user name you wanted. Now you have to log in with a valid email address.
It has always been a bit of a pain that SCE won’t allow multiple customer accounts to be consolidated under a single login, but for large customers with many accounts, the problem just got worse. Instead of just coming up with a series of one-off login names for all your different accounts (SCEAcccount1, SCEAccount2, …), you now need a unique email address for each. Depending on the flexibility of your IT department, this could either be no big deal, or a world-ending catastrophe.
If you’re in the latter camp, the following workaround might help:
1. Set up a free Gmail account
It’s probably best to choose a general address like AcmeEnergyManager@gmail.com, rather than an account tied to any one user. You may already have a personal Gmail account. If so, no problem. Google allows you to open multiple accounts, and they actually make it fairly easy to sign into all of them at once. Truthfully, though, you probably won’t need to. Once you get everything set up, you’re not likely to actually use this new Gmail account very often.
2. Set up mail forwarding
Gmail offers a flexible and powerful set of forwarding options. Go to: Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP
You can add forward to both your own work email address and to the address of anyone else who wants updates from SCE. Or, if you’re a power user, you can finetune your forwarding options using filters. Filters allow you to do things like route billing alerts to particular addresses.
3. Register for an SCE account with your new Gmail address
Here’s where a hidden feature of Gmail comes in handy: you can create as many “disposable” email addresses as you want by appending a + to your Gmail name, followed by whatever string of letters and numbers you want. Say, for example, that you need separate SCE accounts for your properties in Irvine, Glendale, and Anaheim. Simply register SCE accounts using the following email addresses.
No matter what combination of letters and numbers you add after the + sign, Gmail will route all incoming messages to the same inbox. In this way, you can create as many email addresses as you want, satisfying SCE’s requirement for unique logins while still keeping account access centrally managed. You can even use the aforementioned filters to route messages based on the SCE account they are sent from.
Yes, this workaround is a bit cheesy, and you shouldn’t have to jump through these hoops to get access to your own data. But if you’re looking for a relatively pain-free way to comply with SCE’s new login requirements, this will get you going quickly.