Energy Data At Your Fingertips
Choice! Energy Management’s proprietary utility data management platform, Choice! Data Connect, combines complex utility data, technology and resource expertise to deliver transparency into energy spend and consumption. This centralized online platform allows large, multi-site organizations to find, track, manage and analyze utility data across regulated and deregulated regions nationwide, while at the same time, assisting clients with their sustainability and cost reduction initiatives.
Automated Invoice Collection & Management
Choice! Data Connect solves one of the biggest frustrations for organizations – the process of receiving, validating and paying utility invoices. Invoices are received directly from the utility or supplier and uploaded to the proprietary platform without any disruption to the client’s normal payment processes. Choice! Data Connect tracks and maintains relevant utility information from invoices to provide clients with expedited invoice access across all utility vendors and utility billing accounts.
The Choice! Data Connect database also serves as an energy resource that houses invoice images, contracts and other important data in a consistent and intuitive format rather than the myriad of formats from all of their different vendors. Choice! Data Connect also acts as a primary repository for invoice and contract PDFs including all historical invoices that are made available on the client’s utility vendor portal.
Utility Usage & Spend Analytics
For companies with many locations across the globe, the need to reduce utility costs and improve facility efficiency is critical. Choice! Data Connect provides superior capability for analyzing and evaluating utility performance to identify outliers that need urgent attention. Choice! Data Connect provides quality, comprehensive data to simplify the management of all location utility expenses.
Clients can view, compare and analyze utility spend and usage patterns for each service location, utility vendor and billing account. Clients can even assign user-defined permissions to team members who can create customizable dashboards to help them visualize business goals or targets. Performance and variance is calculated for current month, month to month and year to year comparisons for all utility commodities.
Utility Audit & Alerting
Choice! Data Connect’s most powerful feature is the automated auditing and analysis of every utility invoice that is uploaded to the platform. With the appropriate analytics and monitoring tools to manage and visualize data, multi-site facilities can spot anomalies, trends and cost drivers to measure the impacts of their energy programs and prioritize energy management projects.
Choice! Data Connect’s invoice validation helps identify errors by variance testing against previously set user-defined benchmarks. Choice automatically dissects each bill to identify and flag data consistency and completeness errors. A wide range of financial-metric errors include:
• Billing errors • Supplier bill vs. supplier contract • Rate discrepancies
• Late fees • Meter read estimates • Tax issues
• Credit balances • Improper rate charges • Usage anomalies
Any errors that are identified and vetted are communicated directly back to the client. If savings are recovered, 100% of the recovered savings belong to the client.
ENERGYSTAR Benchmarking & Analysis
The EPA’s ENERGYSTAR Portfolio Manager is an effective online tool for measuring and tracking energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and more. Choice! Data Connect is fully integrated with ENERGYSTAR Portfolio Manager, which makes data entry and metric reporting easy through automation. This takes the burden of manual data entry and analysis off the client’s hands.
Since data transfer between Choice! Data Connect and ENERGYSTAR Portfolio Manager is automatic, Portfolio Manager is always up-to-date with the latest comprehensive utility bill data received for all enrolled properties. Clients can leverage this data for insight into consumption, relative site performance, cost drivers and opportunities for improvements. Likewise, Choice! Data Connect will always be up-to-date with each property’s benchmark performance to clearly convey resource trends and opportunities.
Accounts Payable Processing & Integration
Choice! Data Connect provides advanced management of accounts payable operations. The platform serves as the key aggregator of utility invoices, so it can easily be configured to seamlessly integrate with back office applications such as accounts payable, general ledger and other platforms.
Choice! Data Connect provides daily notifications of invoices that have been received, as well as invoices that are due for that day. This information is sent via e-mail and is made available in the Choice! Data Connect portal.
For clients opting to use the AP integration service, Choice! Data Connect maps and stores client AP system information such as GL codes, vendor codes, tax jurisdiction, etc. The platform then uses this information to send a daily, formatted file of received invoices directly to the client’s AP platform.
Utility Budget Management
Utility budgets can be complex – especially since commodity usage can vary due to change in business activity, weather, price volatility and utility reviews. Choice! Data Connect provides clients the ability to manage utility spend and usage budgets through one robust analytical vehicle. The comprehensive reporting platform allows clients to set annual and monthly budgets for each service location and commodity that is used at that location. Choice! Data Connect then automatically captures all actual usage and spend information and generates variance and trend reporting for each location/service combination for each accounting month.
Further, Choice! Data Connect provides intuitive budget reporting that allows clients to view budget and budget variances summarized by company, location, date and utility services.
The best way to evaluate the power of Choice! Data Connect is via a free trial. To request a trial, click here.