Frequently Asked Questions - General Utility Accounting Questions

Both Energy Accounting and Utility Accounting represent a systematic way of recording, analyzing, and reporting energy and other utility costs and usage on a regular basis.  Originally, software for this purpose tended to track only energy services (which can be converted to "British Thermal Units") such as electricity, natural gas, propane, oil, etc.   As a result, it was called Energy Accounting software.  As software has evolved and "non-energy" utility services such as water, sewer, and garbage were added, the software and the process became known by the broader term "Utility Accounting".

The Utility Manager (for your network) and The Energy Center (100% web-based) software are full-featured utility accounting packages that have development roots back to 1984 - more than 30 years now - and include both energy and "non-energy" services types.

The Utility Manager and The Energy Center are two independent full-featured utility accounting software products.  The Utility Manager is software that is installed on your network behind your firewall.  The Energy Center, on the other hand, is 100% web-based, accessible from any browser or mobile device.

For additional information on how Utility Manager and The Energy Center differ, see Compare Utility Manager and The Energy Center.

Simple spreadsheets are fine for just recording the information on your utility bills, but when many dozens, hundreds, or thousands of utility bills need to be tracked, spreadsheets quickly become the wrong tool for the job.  Database applications such as Utility Manager (for your network) or The Energy Center (100% web-based) provide the needed horsepower to process and analyze larger numbers of bills.  The programs have been specifically designed over the last 30 years to streamline the data entry process and ensure the accuracy of the utility account numbers, dates, and billing details entered. 

Moreover, both programs' flexible reporting and graphing options, ability to create reporting groups and subgroups, billing period proration, and avoided cost reporting are difficult at best to replicate within spreadsheets ... especially in a manner that's easily understandable to other people within your organization.  Utility Management Services specializes in converting "home grown" tracking spreadsheets into Utility Manager or The Energy Center which allows you to  preserve the investment of time and effort you've made in your spreadsheets.

Both Utility Manager (for your network) and The Energy Center (100% web-based) can often pay for themselves through more careful monitoring of your utility usage and cost.  A powerful billing audit feature can analyze your utility bills against the history of each account through a series of nearly two dozen checks designed to flag abnormal usage and costs, overlapping service periods, duplicate bills, etc.  Many Utility Manager users have caught and recovered many thousands of dollars in utility billing errors by using Utility Manager's billing audit feature.