Frequently Asked Questions - The Utility Manager and The Energy Center Software Products

The Utility Manager (for your network) and The Energy Center (100% web-based) are full featured software programs for tracking and managing the utility bills your organization receives from utility companies.  They are designed for any organization (e.g., public agencies, property management companies, retail stores) that receives significant numbers of utility bills each month.  They can address the needs of both facility managers/energy managers as well as accounting personnel.  Utility services that can be tracked include electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, trash, recycling, and many others. 

Using Utility Manager or The Energy Center can greatly improve your organization's ability to track and analyze utility bill usage and cost, improve the efficiency of processing utility bills for payment, help locate potential billing errors, and target your utility conservation efforts.

The Utility Manager is available in two different versions:  Utility Manager Pro and Utility Manager Server. 

Utility Manager Pro is a full featured utility accounting program that is installed on your network.  The program uses Microsoft Access tables as its underlying data warehouse, but owning Microsoft Access is not required to operate Utility Manager Pro.  UM Pro includes a 5-concurrent user software license and one year of technical support.  It may be used for tracking up to 1,000 site locations and up to 2,000 utility accounts.  If you have more sites and accounts than this, consider using the Utility Manager Server version.

Utility Manager Server is also installed on your network and offers more advanced features and uses Microsoft SQL Server as its underlying data warehouse.  MS SQL Server is required to operate UM Server but is not included as part of the software package.  UM Server includes a 25-concurrent user software license and one year of technical support.  It may be used for tracking many thousands of sites and utility accounts.

The Energy Center is a full featured utility accounting program that is 100% web-based.  Access the program from any browser or mobile device. The program includes an unlimited concurrent user software license and one year of technical support.  It may be used for tracking many thousands of sites and utility accounts.

For more information, please see Compare Utility Manager and The Energy Center

Both Utility Manager (for your network) and The Energy Center (100% web-based) are comprehensive in their ability to track utilities and include a wide variety of different types of utility services which may be tracked.  Energy services that may be tracked include:

  • Electric
  • Natural Gas
  • Oil
  • Diesel
  • Coal
  • Wood
  • Propane
  • Steam
  • Chilled Water

Other utility services which may be tracked include:

  • Water
  • Irrigation
  • Sewer
  • Refuse
  • Storm water
  • Plus 5 additional categories of recycling*

Need to track other services such hazardous waste, bio-fuels, reclaimed water, or telephones?  We can easily make modifications to track these and other services as well!*

* currently available in Utility Manager only

All data entered into Utility Manager resides safely behind your organization's firewall on your servers.  Moreover, you both own and control access to the database and the information contained in the database. 

The Utility Manager software (for your network) can range in price from a low of $2,500 for the Utility Manager Pro package to $7,500 for Utility Manager Server.  Both versions of the Utility Manager software offer several advanced software modules for an additional cost.  Both versions of Utility Manager are installed on your network, behind your organization's firewall.

The Energy Center software (100% web-based) starts at $4,995 per year, depending on the size of your organization. Several advanced modules are available for an additional cost.

For a review of pricing, discounts, and other "at a glance" information on Utility Manager and The Energy Center, please see Compare Utility Manager and The Energy Center.

 

Yes!  Ease of use is considered one of Utility Manager (for your network) and The Energy Center's (100% web-based) great strengths.  Both programs have highly intuitive "point & click" menus that most people quickly master.  It's easy to navigate between different areas of each program and complete the task at hand, whether that's setting up your database, adding utility bills, auditing your utility bills, completing reports, and so on.

Both programs are powerful and flexible in allowing you to import your utility bills and the screens for manual data entry have been streamlined to minimize the time it takes to record new bills.

The reports menus offer users an easy selection of many different report types designed for different needs, including both graphical and tabular reports.  Users can design their own custom reports as well.   A "Monthly Reports" screen allows you to save your favorite reports for easy access the next time you need them.

Since The Energy Center is 100% web-based, you can access your utility accounting database from any browser or mobile device.

Utility Manager ships with a very extensive printed Users Guide which is also available online through the Help menu. 

Finally, live technical support is always available during normal business hours should you need it.

Utility Manager has highly intuitive "point & click" menus that most people quickly master. 

The main tasks are divided into the following menu areas:

  • Setup: for setting up the site locations, utility vendors, utility accounts, and meters you wish to track.
  • Monthly: for inputting your utility bills as well as updating local weather data and changes in square footage in your buildings.
  • Reports: for easy selection of many different report types designed for different needs.
  • Financial: for setting up utility budgets and analyzing how actual expenses compare to the budget.
  • Avoided Cost: for calculating the weather-corrected savings from your efficiency efforts (optional module).
  • Energy Star: for interacting with and downloading rating information from the EPA's Energy Star program (optional module).
  • Emissions: for calculating your organization's "carbon footprint" and changes in that "footprint".
  • Options: for customizing a variety of program options to tailor the program to your needs.

The Utility Manager is a software application that resides on your local computer or network and behind your firewall. The database itself is most typically put on a local file server in a location that all Utility Manager users have access to.

The Energy Center is a hosted web application so your data resides on a host server.  The program is accessible from any browser or mobile device.