Does choosing the right sustainability and energy management platform for your organization feel daunting? We hear you – there are many different features and factors to consider. Each energy and sustainability management platform on the market differs slightly, so we can’t tell you exactly which one may be right for you – only you can make that decision based on your requirements. What we can do, however, is answer the most commonly asked questions that we hear from potential clients about our platform, WatchWire. We hope this article will help you determine what to look for in an integrated sustainability and energy management platform.
This is part one of a two-part article. Don’t see your question answered here? Stay tuned for another Q&A coming next week!
Question #1: Can WatchWire automate data collection from the utility directly or from other data sources like bill pay service provider? Does the platform visualize all the line-item bill data?
Yes! WatchWire can automatically import vendor provided bills directly from utility billing portals and the bill pay provider. The platform also tracks and visualizes all line-item bill details.
Question #2: How user friendly is WatchWire to update or make changes?
We prioritize ease-of-use. Our platform allows each user to configure and filter data for reports, graphs, and dashboards as necessary. In addition, WatchWire’s energy and sustainability management dashboards are fully customizable, and each user can create multiple dashboard views.
Question #3: How extensible is WatchWire to add user defined fields, documentation and user defined key performance indicators (KPIs)?
Our platform allows:
- User-defined fields for building, meter, account, and vendor data
- User-defined groups of meters or buildings for benchmarking and reporting
- Manual utility bill entry
- Flexible billing and accounting period designations
- A user defined container structure to organize properties/assets
- Tracking of user defined characteristics
- Automation of user defined, business specific KPIs from an existing system
Question #4: Does the platform provide a forecasting capability that can provide data driven budgets and budget variance reporting?
Yes, WatchWire provides data driven budgets and budget variance reporting, both fully automated. The budgeting module includes automated and custom notes to detail assumptions made in the budgeting process and reforecast capabilities deriving from actual usage and cost realized. The platform also has the ability to:
- Create multiple budgets per account and set one as active
- Allow edits/adjustments to be made to the budget on an ongoing basis
In addition, WatchWire’s budget variance reporting feature details the differences between actual usage and budgets.
Question #5: Does WatchWire have international utility coverage?
Yes! One of the benefits of our platform is that it allows you to centralize your utility data, even if you have buildings or facilities operating across multiple utility service areas.
Question #6: Can the platform accommodate international currency conversions?
Yes! WatchWire can also accommodate measurement conversions.
Question #7: Which frameworks does WatchWire integrate with?
WatchWire integrates with the following sustainability and benchmarking frameworks:
- Energy Star Portfolio Manager
- Department of Energy’s Building Performance Database (BPD)
- Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)
- LEED Arc
- Arc Skoru
In addition, WatchWire can connect with any API so you can ensure your portfolio meets any additional mandatory reporting requirements. The platform also allows you to participate in voluntary reporting to any benchmarking service in the market not listed above.
Question #8: Do I have to buy every module WatchWire provides?
Nope! You can buy as many or as few modules as you want. After all, why purchase something you are not going to use? For reference, our platform offers the following modules:
- Customizable Dashboards
- Invoice management
- Variance reporting,
- Utility Budgeting,
- Real time monitoring
- Peak load management
- Renewable generation tracking
- Measurement & verification
Question #9: Can I manually upload data into the platform, or is it all automated?
Yes, you can manually upload your data into the WatchWire platform. We have a number of clients who choose to do this rather than have the data automatically uploaded. However, if you want to save time and effort, you can fully automate your data uploads.
Question #10: How does WatchWire ensure data quality? What audits and checks are in place to make sure the data set is complete and correct?
Our platform has an audit feature that continually monitors your energy and sustainability data, searching for potential problems. If any data looks incorrect, we alert you. Our custom alerts feature can be configured to notify users of anomalies.
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