Support: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have a question? Your answer might be right here! Click on a question in the list to view the answer.
Can't find your answer? Contact Customer Support.

Getting started (setting up users, where to log in)

Organizing your data in the Tree View

Adding and Managing Accounts

Entering and Editing Data

Weather Normalization

Using Dashboard and Report features

Understanding Specific Reports

Green Communities Annual Reports

Troubleshooting

Who is Peregrine?

Getting started (setting up users, where to log in)

What browser should I use?

MassEnergyInsight supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge browsers. While we expect most features to work using Internet Explorer 11, some changes we have made to the make the site compliant with WCAG 2.0 (disability accessibility standards) don't work well on Internet Explorer, which was last updated before those standards.

How do I add a new user?

MA DOER requests that each user have their own MassEnergyInsight username and password to access the system. Authorization letters must be on file with MA DOER esystem and the training videos:

  • User authorization letter - required - (authorization guidelines & template: Word PDF)
  • Data sharing authorization letter - required - (authorization guidelines & template: Word / PDF)

To submit your authorization letters, please contact your Green Communities regional coordinator. 

DOER Green Communities Regional Coordinator

Who is my Green Community Regional Coordinator?

The Regional Coordinators are:

  • Neal Duffy - Northeast
  • Seth Pickering - Southeast
  • Kelly Brown - Central
  • Jim Barry - Western
  • You can confirm which cities and towns each MA DOER Regional Coordinator covers here

    DOER Green Communities Regional Coordinator

     

    When should I contact my Regional Coordinator and when should I contact support?

    In general, you should contact your Regional Coordinator about programmatic questions (how to set something up in to meet the guidelines of the program), and you should contact support for technical questions about how to use the application. If you're not sure, go with your best guess, and each of our teams (RCs and MEI support) will pass the question along to the appropriate team.

    Can I share my username and password with someone else?

    To protect your data, and give you the greatest control over who has access to it, we recommend that you use a separate login for each user and that you do not share your username and password with others. Having separate accounts for each user allows us to deactivate an account when someone leaves without impacting other users. It also makes it easier to determine which user made a given change to your data, in case there are ever questions about why things were set up the way they were.

    How do I set up my account?

    Follow the instructions in the your initial email from support to go to the website and set up your password.

    How do I log in?

    • Go to https://www.massenergyinsight.net
    • Enter your username, exactly as given to you, and the password you created. If you have access to more than one town, please make sure to use the correct "+townname" version of you email address to log in to the account.
    • Sometimes your browser or a password management tool will auto fill this information for you. Make sure that it is filling in the correct user account for the town you want to log into, and the correct password for that account.

    What can I do on the Home Page?

    • When you first log in you will be the Home page. The Home page is the launching point for all MEI actions. On this page you can click on the three major activities: View your dashboards/reports, Organize your data, or Update your data by spreadsheet.
    • At the top of the Home page and every page in MEI in the upper right hand corner of the screen, you will see your username and 5 actions that you can take: Home, Support, Change Password, Sitemap, and Log out.
      • Click on Home to return to the Home page from wherever you are.
      • Click on Support to watch short training Videos about MEI, read these FAQs, read a Glossary of frequently used terms, or Contact Support if you have a question for customer support.
      • Click on Change Password to change your password.
      • Click on Sitemap to see an outline of the website with clickable links that direct you to specific locations in the website.
    • In the main section of the page you will see 3 actions that you can take: view reports, organize data, and upload a spreadsheet. These options are available in the menu bar on every page at the top left below the logo,
    • Click on view reports to view MEI's reports.
    • Click on organize data to view the Organize Data Tree.
    • Click on upload a spreadsheet to add utility data by uploading a  spreadsheet.
    • In addition, on the Home page we have three sections where you can see recent announcements regarding MEI in What's New (if there are any current notifications), check on the status of investor-owned utility data updates in Utility Data Updates, or click on Getting Started and watch a short video.

    Is there a newsletter for tips and updates?

    Yes! New users are automatically added to the newsletter list using the registration email. If you need to subscribe using a different address, use this signup form.

    Here are a few of our recent newsletters:

    Organizing your data in the Tree View

    How do I set up my city, town, or agency?

    • Click on Organize Data. How things are set up here determines how information will be grouped in the reports located in the View Reports section.
    • When you click on Organize Data, you'll see what looks like a file and folder hierarchy of the items in your city or town. We call this the "Tree View". The Tree View consists of five levels. The highest-level is your municipality or agency. Lower levels include department, complex, facility, and unit. Accounts can be assigned at any of these levels, just know that a large number of reports are designed to give you information at the facility level.
    • In the Tree View click on the + sign to the left of any item to see what's inside that item.
    • In the Tree View you can move, add, delete and reorganize items and account information.

    Video - Organize Your Energy Data

    How do I edit the information for an item?

    When you click on any item, you get taken to a series of tabs that information for that item, and show you what other items are below that one in the tree, as well as what accounts are assigned to that item.

    Video - Add a New Item to Your Tree

    How do I save my changes or my data? I don't see a Save button on the page.

    The only time you need to click Save is when you see a Save button on the page. For pages without that button, you can assume that your changes are being saved as you move out of the field. Just hit enter, tab, or click somewhere else on the page to save your changes.

    How do I change the name of a Tree item?

    • Click on organize data to see the Tree.
    • Go to the item that you would like to change.
    • Click on the name.
    • Click on the text of the name and type in the new name. 
    • Hit enter, tab, or click outside the field to save.

    Video - Change the Name of a Tree Item

    How do I delete items in the Tree?

    • Click on organize data to see the Tree.
    • Click show accounts within the Tree.
    • Click on the item name.
    • Click "delete this item" at bottom of page.
    • Click OK.
    • Click on organize data to see the Tree and confirm that the change has been made correctly.

    Note that any items below the one you are deleting, and any accounts assigned to an item that's deleted, are not themselves deleted, but moved up one level in the tree. See more about this below.

    Video - Delete Items from the Tree

    If I delete a department, complex, building, or unit, what happens to it?

    When an item such as a building or a department is deleted from the Tree, all Tree items below, or nested within, are preserved and assigned to the next item up in the Tree.

    Additionally, the accounts associated with the deleted item and any items below it are also preserved and assigned to the next item up in the Tree.

    For example:

    • You have a school department and 2 accounts associated with that department. Within that school department is an elementary school, and 3 accounts associated with that elementary school.
    • You delete the school department.
    • The elementary school is preserved, and it now sits directly under the town level, as that is the next level up in the Tree.
    • The 2 accounts previously associated with the school department are also preserved, and they are now associated with the town, as that is the next level up in the Tree.
    • If the elementary school was deleted accidentally, you can create it again. Know thought that any data for the school, such as historical floor areas, interventions, etc. would have been deleted with the school:
    • Click Create New at the School Department level.
    • Create the Elementary School again.
    • In the Tree View, drag and drop the 3 accounts onto the Elementary School to reassign them to the school.

    What should I do if I'm just starting, or if I just took over MEI for my city or town?

    1. Create your departments and buildings. Review any items (buildings, vehicles, or streetlights) that are already assigned to departments or complexes and confirm their assignments.
      • Reassign any items as necessary by dragging and dropping them in the Tree View.
      • Add missing item attributes such as category, subcategory, or square footage information. Always assign a category and subcategory, and add square footage for any facility in order for the weather normalization and MA DOER Green Community reports to publish accurately.
    2. Review the unassigned accounts (listed at the bottom of your tree, or on the accounts tab for you city or town) and figure out what they should be assigned to.
    3. Reject any accounts that are not yours. Only do this if you're really sure the account belongs to your town. If it used to belong to the town, but doesn't anymore, just mark it inactive.
      • Click on an account name/number, and go to the Assign/Reassign tab for that item and make any necessary changes.
      • To mark it inactive, go to the info tab for the account and change active to "no".
    4. Add any items that are missing.
      • Click on the parent folder where the item belongs.
      • Go to the Items tab and make any necessary changes.
    5. Add any accounts that are missing.
      • Click on the name of the item where the account belongs.
      • Go to the Accounts tab and make any necessary changes.
    6. View the reports and familiarize yourself with your city or town's energy profile.

    How is floor area defined and why is it important?

    Floor area is defined using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager definition, which is gross floor area. If you need more information about what is included in this, look at the Space Use Information page on the EPA's website, which details what to count in gross floor area by building types.

    Floor area is used to calculate energy use per square foot or what's known as the energy use intensity - EUI - measured in kBtu per square foot per year. Without floor area entered for all buildings, reports that use EUI as a part of evaluating energy efficiency will not display/compare building performance accurately. To ensure that these reports are accurate, all buildings must have floor area entered.

    Note: Floor area entered for units is not summed to create building square footage. 

    How should I enter vehicle and lighting data?

    For vehicles: We recommend creating an item at the facility level for vehicle fuel that represents tank-level fuel usage. Align this with the department or building where you would like to see the data reported. Give that item a Category of Vehicle. To do that:

    • If the item already exists: Click on the item's name in the Tree view. Then choose "Vehicle" from the Category drop-down on the Info tab. 
    • If you are creating a new item: Choose "Vehicle" from the Category drop-down on the Info tab on the Create New page when creating a new item. 

    For example, you might have a filling station for your Department of Public Works vehicles, and you want to show the use from this under the Department of Public Works:

    • Create a Department of Public Works if you don't already have one. 
    • If you are using the Tree view:
      • Click on the Create New button next to the Department of Public Works and select Create New Building
      • On the page that opens up, give the item a name like "DPW Vehicles," or whatever you would like to call it. Make sure to choose Vehicle from the Category drop-down menu. 
      • Click Submit
    • OR...if you are on the department's Info tab:
      • Click on the Items tab and add the "Building" there. 
      • Click on the new building's name to go to its Info tab.
      • Change the Category to Vehicle
    • NOTE: If you have already created the account for the tank at the filling station, attach that account to "DPW Vehicles." If you have not created the account for the tank, you can do that from the Accounts tab for the DPW Vehicles "building." 

    The fuel use for these vehicles will then be included in the Baseline report, and it will be shown under DPW on the Overall Use and Emissions dashboard.

    For lighting: Set up your lighting accounts in the same way as vehicles.

    • Choose where you want each to be reported and which department you want them to be aligned with. 
    • Create two placeholder facilities, one for streetlights, and one for traffic lights. Add each facility under the appropriate department. 
    • Choose "Street/Traffic Lights" as the Category. 
    • Choose either "Street Lights" or "Traffic Lights" as the Subcategory. 
    • Assign your lighting accounts to the appropriate placeholder facility, either streetlights or traffic lights.

    Video - Streetlights and Vehicles

    Adding and Managing Accounts

    How do I see the accounts in Organize Data?

    To see your accounts you can either

    • Click the box next to Show accounts within the Tree. This will integrate your accounts into display of the Tree. Any accounts at the bottom of the tree are unassigned accounts, and need to be assigned to the correct item before their data is incorporated meaningfully into reports.
    • Click on any item and then click on the accounts tab. This will show you the accounts assigned to that item.

    How do I add a new utility account to the Tree?

    • Click on organize data to see the Tree.
    • Click on the facility where you would like to add a new account.
    • Click on the accounts tab, click on the Add New Account button, and fill in the information requested in the new row at the bottom of the existing accounts list.
    • If you don't see the name of your provider when you click on the Select a provider box, contact support, and we can add it for you, or you can use "other".
    • Double check your account numbers before entering them to make sure that they are correct. See the following question about account number formats.
    • If you enter an account number incorrectly and save it, you will not be able to delete it. You can either reject the account in the assign/reassign tab, or notify support.

    NOTE: Accounts beginning with 4000 are special ledger accounts and cannot be added using the 4000 number. Look at a copy of the bill, and see if you can find the true account number on the bill. Make a copy of the bill and submit it to support if you are unable to find the account number.

    Video - Add a New Energy Account

    Does the way I format my account number matter? Do leading zeros (zeros at the beginning) or hyphenation in my account number matter?

    This question mostly applies for electric and natural gas accounts. Utilities sometimes show the number on their bills in a different format than they provide in the data that we receive from them. The account numbers that you see in MEI are formatted the same way that they are formatted in the data that that utility companies provide to us. As a result, those numbers may look a little different from what you are accustomed to seeing.

    When adding new accounts, be sure to format the account numbers in the same way as accounts from the same provider are already formatted in the system.

    • Confirm that you entered the correct number of characters.
    • Take extra care to include leading zeros if you see them in the system.
    • If other accounts in MEI for this provider omit the hyphen, make sure to omit it when creating a new account.

    This way, when we ask the utility company for the data for that account, the number that you added will match the way that the utility identifies the account. For example: 

    • Columbia Gas (Massachusetts): Account numbers are no more than 9 digits. For any account number that appears longer than 9 digits, the first 9 digits are the actual account number. 
    • Eversource (formerly NSTAR) Gas & Electric (Massachusetts): All account numbers have 11 digits. 
    • WMECo accounts are 9 digits long. You can find your account number in the upper right corner of your bill. Please note that on your bill the account number has a prefix of 54, so if you see an account number of 54123456789, please enter the account number as 123456789. Also, please note that the "Service Reference" is not the same as your account number, so please do not enter that into MassEnergyInsight. 

    When I tried to create an account, I got an error that says "Not in correct format." What does that mean?

    This error means that the format of the account number you have entered does not match the format for the provider and fuel you have selected. Look at a copy of the most recent bill for this account to make sure that the account number has not changed. Also be sure that you are entering the account number and not the meter number. It may be helpful to take a look at other account numbers already in this system to get a sense of what the correct format for the provider should look like. See the question above for more formatting tips.

    Do I need to include the meter number for each of my accounts?

    No. You only need to include meter numbers for multi-meter accounts, where a single account number has multiple meters. This is rare. See the question below on multiple meters for the same account.

    What if I have multiple meters for the same account? How do I assign usage based on meters instead of by account number?

    Set up separate accounts in this system, each with the same account number, and each with a different meter number. You can do this even if the account has one meter for one fuel source, say natural gas, and other meters for a different source, such as electricity. Make sure to check the "multi-meter" box when creating the account, otherwise data from one meter may end up in the account with the other meter, or may not be loaded at all.

    Be aware that utility companies change meters on a regular basis. If utility data for a multi meter account is not loading up, check an actual bill to confirm the meter number. If the meter number has changed then go to the account Info page and enter the new meter number in place of the old meter number. Data for the new meter will refresh when we load new data for the utility company.

    Tip: We provide the most recent date that we uploaded data for each investor-owned utility on the home page.

    How do I add accounts that have the same account number?

    Create them as distinct accounts, just like multi-meter accounts in the question above. Use or create a meter number for each of the accounts. 

    For fuel oil, propane, gasoline, diesel, or other delivered fuels you can also have accounts with the same account number if you list them with a different provider name.

    If I add new accounts, how soon can I expect to see data from the utility?

    Investor-owned utility companies that provide data for MEI each have their own rhythm for sending data updates. Most major utilities send us updates roughly every month. We request data from the utilities on or about the 20th of each month. Accounts added by the 19th of a month should receive data in the next delivery from the utilities. Accounts added after the 19th will have to wait another month to be included in the next round of data requests. The major utilities send us up to two years of historic data for a new account data request. 

    NOTE: We collect/update data only from the major investor-owned utilities. We are not able to collect/update data from competitive energy suppliers, or oil or propane suppliers. To update competitive supply, oil, or propane energy use data, click Organize data and update the data one account at a time, or click Upload spreadsheet and upload your data by spreadsheet. 

    What if an account number changes?

    First, never reject an old account because it closed. It contains historical data, and this data must be included in your usage for the annual reports.

    Most of the time when account numbers change, it's due to a system wide change in the utility's data system. In that case we'll take care of it for you.

    But if it's only your account number that's changing, there are two options:

    • If the account is the same, but getting assigned a new account number by the utility, write to support and let us know, and we'll change it for you.
    • If the old account is being deactivated, and is being replaced by a new account, mark the old account as inactive, and add the new account number as a new account:
      • Click on organize data to see Tree View.
      • Click the show accounts within the tree box.
      • Click on the account number that has changed.
      • On the account info page click on the "Active?" box and choose "no".
      • Follow our add new account instructions to above to add the new account number.

    How do I reassign or move an account?

    There are two ways to do this. The first option is to drag and drop the account in the Tree.

    • Click on organize data to see Tree View
    • Click the show accounts within the tree box.
    • Find the account that you would like to move.
    • Click and drag the account up or down the Tree to where it should be moved, and release it when the arrow points to the item you want to assign it to.

    The second way is from within the account.

    • Find the account in the tree, or on the accounts tab of the item it's assigned to.
    • Click on the account number.
    • Click on the assign/reassign tab.
    • Click on the radio button next to the location to which you want to assign the account.
    • Scroll to the bottom and click the save button.

    Video - Reassign or Move an Account in the Tree

    Why are there accounts at the bottom of the Organize Data Tree?

    Accounts located at the bottom of the Organize Data Tree are unassigned accounts. These accounts are associated at the municipal or agency level and should be assigned to lower level items such as department, complex, facility, or unit.

    Review the list of accounts that are associated at the municipal or agency level. To do this you have two choices:

    • Click the accounts button next to your municipal or agency folder name. This will open a list of all accounts that belong to your municipality or agency but are not yet assigned to a department or building. These accounts all need to be assigned to the correct department or building before their data is incorporated meaningfully into reports; or,
    • Click the box next to Show accounts within the Tree. This will integrate your accounts into the Tree. Any associated with your town name need to be assigned to the correct department or building before their data is incorporated meaningful into reports.
    • See above for how to reassign accounts.

    How do I remove an account?

    MassEnergyInsight does not allow you to delete accounts. Given that the source of data for accounts is not easily recreatable (but spread across years worth of files) the cost of recovering accidentally deleted accounts is too great. What we allow you to do is "reject" an account. Use this when you've accidentally created an account with the wrong number, or if you find an account that actually isn't yours. It stays in the system, but is no longer part of your city or town. You'd be surprised how often we're asked to return rejected accounts that users didn't mean to delete.

    Do not use this method for closed accounts, or accounts for sold, closed or demolished properties. Mark them inactive instead. This will keep the historical data in your city or town. If an account is in the wrong place, simply move it or reassign it to another location.


    To reject an account:

    How do I add a renewable fuel source account?

    How you add a renewable fuel source account is dependent on where it is in relationship to the meter. See the Green Communities Renewable Energy Guidance that describes different scenarios and how to handle them in MEI. Please let support know when you add a behind the meter renewable energy account, and which utility account the meter belongs to. This lets us match the RE system to the utility account for the weather normalization analysis (detailed in a later question).

    Should I add a Virtual Net Metering account?

    Virtual net metering is a special situation where value of renewable energy generated under one utility account gets credited against the bill of another utility account or set of accounts. With virtual net metering, a renewable energy system has its own account and receives a monthly "billing" statement from the utility. The billing statement documents the renewable energy system's electricity production, calculates renewable energy cost payments, and explains and documents how the renewable energy generation cost payments was allocated to other accounts.

    We recommend that you:

    • Review the Green Communities Renewable Energy Guidance that describes different scenarios and how to handle them in MEI. You will need to make sure that the way you add the account does not impact energy use totals for your annual reports.
    • Review an actual bill for the account(s) that receive the virtual net metering credits to determine if the renewable energy cost credits are included in the bill or not.
    • Compare the information in an actual bill to the information that MEI reports to confirm that the renewable energy system cost credits are included in the data that MEI receives from the utility company.
    • If the utility bill information in MEI does not include the renewable energy system cost credit information, create a dummy account and enter this information manually.

    You may want to talk to someone at support to get a sense of how others have done this. It's a little complicated, and requires some manual entry, but can be worth it if tracking costs in MEI are important to you.

    How do I create a Competitive Supplier account?

    There are two options to create competitive supplier accounts in MassEnergyInsight. Both options require adding the competitive supply account directly into the utility company account competitive supplier tab. The first option (the preferred option) is to add the account as the utility account number, with an ?S-? (for supplier) as a prefix. This is a good method if you don't want to have to add new accounts everytime you change supplier contracts. We call this the "S-" account method.

    The second option is to use the competitive supplier account number, but you'll have to add new ones each time you change suppliers.

    Options 1 - the "S-" account method

    Each competitive supplier account must be associated with a particular utility account. Follow the process below to set up your competitive supply accounts and load in your data as an ?S-? account:

    • In the Tree View under Organize data, click on the name of the building that the associated utility account is currently assigned to. 
    • Click the ACCOUNTS tab. 
    • Click on the COMPETITIVE SUPPLY tab.
    • Click New competitive supply accounts.
    • Choose "Other".
    • Type S- in the account number box, and then copy and paste the account number from the screen above the tabs. This will make sure you get the right account number. So if your utility account number is 444444, you'd be creating a supply account under that utility account named ?S-44444?.
    • Click Add

    You'll now load your competitive supply data using this "S-" account number, regardless of who the provider is. There's a simple way to do this. If you get a spreadsheet of data from your supplier, they usually already include the utility account (sometimes labeled as LDC account) in a column in the spreadsheet they give you. Create a new column next to it, and use the CONCAT function to combine "S-" and the account number. See you your spreadsheet's help for how to do this.

    Option 2 - use the actual competitive supply account number

    Follow the process above, but use choose the supplier from the provider list, and use the supplier account number.

    NOTE: Check for accuracy before moving on. It is very important that you select the correct competitive supplier for each utility account. If you do not see your competitive supplier in the drop down list please contact Customer Support.

    How do I edit account information?

    To edit account data, go to the account in Tree View, and click on the account number or go to the item where the account is located, click on the accounts tab, and click on the account number. This will take you to the Info page for the account. Click on any box to edit it, and hit tab, enter or click outside the box to save your changes.

    Note that account numbers and the fuel type attribute cannot be changed. To change these things you reject the account and create a new one. See the question above about rejecting accounts.

    Video - Edit Energy Account Info and Use Data

    Entering and Editing Data

    How do I edit utility bill information that is already loaded?

    Most data for your city or town will come in from the utilities. Utility bill data supplied by utilities (or dat entered manually) may have errors. Some but not all utility data can be edited. Users can edit data entered manually either for an individual entry or with the spreadsheet upload feature. Users cannot edit data provided by the major utility companies. Users can contact support to delete incorrect data. Users can also create a parallel account to correct data. See How do I correct utility supplied use and cost information.

    To edit manually entered utility bill information:

    • Navigate to the account, and click on the account use tab.
    • If you are allowed to edit a utility records, the fields will be editable when you click on them.
    • The symbol at far right deletes the entire line.

    What if the utility data in the system does not match my records?

    The utility data our system reflects the way that the utility companies send it to us. It should match your bills. However, if it doesn't, please let us know by submitting a request to Customer Support.

    One potential cause for utility data in the system not matching your records is a corrected bill. Please refer to our FAQ about bill corrections for more information on this subject.

    How do I correct utility supplied use and cost information?

    Utility companies submit corrected utility bills if you or the utility company identifies previous errors, or if the utility estimated reads for some amount of time. Errors can include incorrect use information, incorrect cost information, or both. Some examples of incorrect use information are incorrect meter readings and multiple estimated meter readings that were incorrect. Some examples of incorrect cost information include tax that should not have been charged, incorrect supply cost information, and incorrect cost information generated by incorrect use information. The timeframes of the corrections can vary widely, from one month to more than a year.

    Corrected bills can be problematic for a few reasons. The first is that MEI updates corrected utility bill data, but can not delete the previous incorrect utility bill data.  Our load process checks the data files received from the utilities for records in the file that match records in our database based on provider, fuel, and date. If the value for use or cost is different in the utility file, we update that in our database. Sometimes though, the utility will delete previous utility bill data from its file, and include instead a summary correction spanning more than one month, which includes data that duplicates previous bills. This can cause energy use and energy cost errors in MEI unless these bills are adjusted.

    There are two paths we recommend for adjusting corrected bills, and the choice depends mainly on which of the following concerns is primary for you:

    1. Do you want your MEI data to match your billing data, even if use and cost end up in a month other than when they were incurred?
    2. Do you want your MEI reports to reflect use and cost at the time it occurred, at the expense of having to manually adjust the utility companies updated and or corrected billing data?

    Path 1

    If your primary concern is that MEI match the billing data from the utility, then the way to adjust things is to have us delete the bills from MEI that were corrected by the utility, leaving in place the corrected bills. If the correction period was for more than one month, this will show anomalous usage and cost in a particular month, and no usage and cost in one or more previous months. As an example, let's say you have the following bills:

    Fuel (units)

    Usage Start Date

    Usage End Date

    Read Days

    Use

    Cost - Utility

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    9/7/16

    31

    100

    $110

    Gas (therms)

    9/7/16

    10/4/16

    27

    250

    $275

    Gas (therms)

    10/4/16

    11/2/16

    29

    500

    $550

    Gas (therms)

    11/2/16

    12/6/16

    34

    750

    $825

    And then let's say the utility issues a correction in the following utility bill, which adjusts the price. The correction covers the above time period, but also includes another month of data:

    Fuel (units)

    Usage Start Date

    Usage End Date

    Read Days

    Use

    Cost - Utility

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    1/4/17

    150

    2,600

    $2,600

    The data will now look like this, with the original bills in the system, as well as the correction:

    Fuel (units)

    Usage Start Date

    Usage End Date

    Read Days

    Use

    Cost - Utility

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    9/7/16

    31

    100

    $110

    Gas (therms)

    9/7/16

    10/4/16

    27

    250

    $275

    Gas (therms)

    10/4/16

    11/2/16

    29

    500

    $550

    Gas (therms)

    11/2/16

    12/6/16

    34

    750

    $825

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    1/4/17

    150

    2,600

    $2,600

    We now are double counting data. So in path one, we would delete the original records, leaving behind just the corrected bill:

    Fuel (units)

    Usage Start Date

    Usage End Date

    Read Days

    Use

    Cost - Utility

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    1/4/17

    150

    2,600

    $2,600

    To do this, please let us know the facility, fuel, account number and month of the corrected bill, and send us a scan of the bill itself, as confirmation of the correction. We will remove the corrected bills from the system for you.

    Note: If the correction period spans a change in your fiscal year, please check with your Regional Coordinator for how this may impact your annual reports.

    Path 2

    If your primary concern is having the report reflect use and cost at the time it occurred, and you have a way of calculating the distribution of monthly use and cost information for the time period of the correction, then after having us clear out the corrected records using the above method in Path 1, you can upload adjustments to the account on a dummy correction account. While we don't let you edit records that come from the utility, you can create another account under the same building, using "C-" in front of the account number (for Correction), and upload corrected bill data manually using MEI's spreadsheet upload feature. New monthly data records that you add manually can adjust the total monthly use and/or cost up or down with either a positive entry or a negative entry, to offset the corrected bill. This allows MEI to combine the corrected bill with your monthly adjustments, to generate a monthly total that reflects actual use and cost more accurately.

    So starting with the example from above, let's say again that the 8/7/16 utility correction corrects the price. The four reads before the correction add up to 1600 therms, whereas the correction is for 2600 therms. The cost also shows us that the price was corrected from $1.10/therm to $1.00/therm.

    Fuel (units)

    Usage Start Date

    Usage End Date

    Read Days

    Use

    Cost - Utility

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    9/7/16

    31

    100

    $110

    Gas (therms)

    9/7/16

    10/4/16

    27

    250

    $275

    Gas (therms)

    10/4/16

    11/2/16

    29

    500

    $550

    Gas (therms)

    11/2/16

    12/6/16

    34

    750

    $825

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    1/4/17

    150

    2,600

    $2,600

    We would still delete the original records, leaving behind just the corrected bill:

    Fuel (units)

    Usage Start Date

    Usage End Date

    Read Days

    Use

    Cost - Utility

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    1/4/17

    150

    2,600

    $2,600

    If you are able to find out what the monthly use and cost were, you could load your own corrections to the C- account that smooth out the monthly data, and that reduce a portion of the utility's correction attributable to the previous months. Remember in this fictional example, what changed was the price. So we correct the price, and therefore the cost, on the previous months, and we add a negative record to remove the previous months' usage and cost from the January bill.

    Fuel (units)

    Usage Start Date

    Usage End Date

    Read Days

    Use

    Cost - Utility

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    9/7/16

    31

    100

    $100

    Gas (therms)

    9/7/16

    10/4/16

    27

    250

    $250

    Gas (therms)

    10/4/16

    11/2/16

    29

    500

    $500

    Gas (therms)

    11/2/16

    12/6/16

    34

    750

    $750

    Gas (therms)

    12/6/16

    1/4/17

    150

    -1600

    -$1,600

    The result is that when the data is summed by fuel for these two accounts, the real utility account and the dummy C- account, you get the following result:

    Fuel (units)

    Usage Start Date

    Usage End Date

    Read Days

    Use

    Cost - Utility

    Gas (therms)

    8/7/16

    9/7/16

    31

    100

    $100

    Gas (therms)

    9/7/16

    10/4/16

    27

    250

    $250

    Gas (therms)

    10/4/16

    11/2/16

    29

    500

    $500

    Gas (therms)

    11/2/16

    12/6/16

    34

    750

    $750

    Gas (therms)

    12/6/16

    1/4/17

    29

    1,000

    $1,000

    To take this path, we recommend following these steps:

    • Create a new account under the same facility that this account belongs to. Instead of putting in the utility account number, put in "C-" (without the quotes) and then the utility account number. This will be your dummy correction account.
    • Confirm the duration of the corrected bill and review the use and cost information in MEI for the months in the time frame associated the corrected bill. At a minimum, the record for the corrected bill will need to be adjusted. But you may also need to correct several previous months, if the bill correction covers more than one month.
    • Create a spreadsheet using the template on the Upload a Spreadsheet page with the monthly use and cost information you want to load in after we delete the corrected bills for you. Use the new C- account as the account number for the corrections.
    • Calculate the difference between the current use and cost reported in MEI and the target use and cost for the month with the bill correction. The difference will be the adjustment you put in the spreadsheet for month with the bill correction. Remember, the difference can be negative or positive.
    • Confirm that the total use and total cost for these months equals the total amount of the corrected bill.
    • Follow the instructions in the Upload a Spreadsheet section to load this data.

    Note: Negative can only be entered using the upload a spreadsheet feature. Entering negative numbers in the account use tab will generate an error message.

    What happens if I enter data for utility accounts before the data arrives from the utility?

    Utility data loaded from the investor-owned utility companies will not overwrite manually entered data with the same "To Date". This includes data that is entered directly in the account use tab and data that is entered with the upload spreadsheet feature. The "To Date" in the manually entered data must be exactly the same as the "To Date" that the utility company uploads. MEI uploads all the historic data for each account each month but will not overwrite data that has been entered manually.

    Which fuel grades are accepted in the system?

    The fuel grades used must be one of the following accepted values:

    Gasoline/Diesel
    Gasoline/Diesel - Diesel
    Gasoline/Diesel - Gasoline
    Oil
    Oil - Kerosene
    Oil - No. 1
    Oil - No. 2
    Oil - No. 4
    Oil - No. 6

    How do I enter utility data on my own?

    Users must enter data for oil, propane, wood, municipal utility company water, electricity, and gas accounts, and competitive supplier accounts, as MEI is not able to populate that data for you. You can enter data on your own either by entering records for each account one at a time (manual data entry), or by uploading an entire spreadsheet of data for many accounts in bulk (spreadsheet or bulk upload).

    Manual Data Entry

    Entering records one at a time is helpful if you want to enter a small amount of data.

    • Navigate to the account, either from the Tree (with Show accounts in the tree activated) or by going to the item that the account is assigned to.
    • Click on the account, and then click on the use tab.
    • Click the Add Use button.
    • Enter the account data in the boxes, following the instructions on the page. Click save.
    • Remember that cost is not the same thing as price. Cost is use times price. Be sure to format the data correctly, particular the date format.
    • Utility data entered manually will show up instantly in Tree View. However, this data will need to refresh overnight before it shows up in the Report Views.

    To enter data for another account, navigate to the next account and repeat the process.

    Video - Add Energy Use Data Manually

    You can enter the data for each account in bulk. This is helpful if you want to enter a large amount of data. See the next questions

    When and how do I upload a spreadsheet of data?

    Use the Upload a Spreadsheet feature when you need to enter a large amount of utility data. This includes several months of data for a single existing or new account, monthly data for several existing or new accounts. It also includes uploading a spreadsheet report that you have received from an energy provider.

    The onscreen instructions will take you step-by-step through the upload process. Here are some important things to know:

    • Click Upload spreadsheet in the top navigation
    • The onscreen instructions will take you step-by-step through the upload process. Here are some important things to know:
      • Be sure to use an .xls file. The system supports only .xls files. If you are using excel, and your file is currently an .xlsx files, choose File > Save as and choose Excel 97-2003 Workbook (*.xls) from the Save as Type dropdown.
      • Each file can contain multiple worksheets of utility data, but you can only upload one tab at a time.
      • Each worksheet should contain data for only a single fuel type and fuel provider. The spreadsheet can contain data for more than one account.
      • Use whatever column headers work for you. You will map them to the fields in the system on a later screen.
      • The fuel grades used must be one of the accepted values.

    Tip: Two common spreadsheet upload errors include:

    • Formulas - check to make sure there are no formulas in any of the cells that you intend to load in the spreadsheet. Excel has a function for this: Edit > Find > Go to... > Special..., check the Formulas radio button and hit OK. It should let you know or highlight the cells with formulas. If you find formulas, you can make a copy of the sheet and name it something like "for upload", and then select the entire sheet, copy it, and then do Edit > Paste Special > Values. That will get rid of the formulas. Formulas can be left in worksheet columns that are not mapped to be loaded up.
    • Date Format - Right click on the column header (where the letter is) for the date columns and choose Format Cells..... Check that they are formatted as date.

    If you don't find either of these errors and the file doesn't upload, Send a request to Support and attach the spreadsheet for our review.

    Video - Uploading a Spreadsheet

    What kind of spreadsheet file can I upload?

    The system only accepts .xls files, which are Microsoft Excel 97 - 2003 or earlier. If your file extension is .xlsx, changing it to .xls is easy:

    • Open your file in Microsoft Excel.
    • Click File, then choose Save As.
    • In the Save as Type dropdown box, choose Excel 97-2003 Workbook (*.xls).
    • Click Save.

    You will now have a copy of your original file, and the copy will have the extension .xls. This new file can be uploaded into the system.

    How should I organize my spreadsheet file before uploading it?

    Use whatever column headers work for you. You will map them to the fields in the system on a later screen. The important thing is that your account numbers are listed in the left column, and data associated with each account extends in rows to the right of each account number. 

    I'm trying to upload a spreadsheet and can't find my provider. What should I do?

    Make sure you have selected the correct Fuel Type, the list updates based on fuel type. If you still don't see it, contact support and we can add it for you.

    When do changes to the Tree or data show up in the reports?

    Changes that you make to the Tree will show up immediately in Tree View. However, changes made in the organize data tree view do not appear instantly in the report views. The report views refresh nightly (except Saturday nights) and will reflect changes that you have made in the organize data tree view the next day. Exceptions to this rule include:

    • Item changes, account changes, manual and bulk load utility data additions, and organization changes will show up in the reports the next day.
    • Weather normalized reports are refreshed once a week.
    • Investor-owned utility account data updates when we receive data from the utility company. See our FAQ If I add new account numbers, how soon can I expect to see data from the utility?
    • Changes to Investor-owned utility accounts update when we reload utility data each month. This assumes that the utility company is providing data for the account already. Examples for this situation include:
      • Corrections to account designation such as multi meter (yes or no).
      • Multi meter accounts where the meter number has changed.

    Tip: We provide the most recent date that we uploaded data for each investor-owned utility on the home page.

    Weather Normalization

    What is weather normalization?

    MassEnergyInsight provides building level weather normalized energy use data. Weather normalization attempts to remove the effects of a hotter or colder year when asking the question "did my facility perform better or worse compared to other years?" Weather normalization returns a value in MMBTU/year that can be compared to other weather normalized years.

    What's included in the weather normalization process?

    Only energy use data for items categorized in MEI as buildings is weather normalized. Energy use data for Open Space, Street/Traffic Lights, Vehicle, and Water/Sewer categories is not weather normalized. Diesel and gasoline energy use for buildings is not weather normalized (we have found that most of this energy use data is actually incorrectly labeled vehicle fuel use). Water usage is also not weather normalized.

    Do I need to do anything special with my data for it to be normalized?

    Maybe. The weather normalization analysis needs 365 days of data to properly run. Given that we don't have start dates for most utility records, we don't look at the start date field, but the end date of the previous record. So you need to have 13 bills before you will get a weather normalized value. This is most important to pay attention to in baseline years. If you don't have data loaded in the year previous to the baseline year, you may not have that 13th record. So if your baseline year is 2008, you will need one record at the end of 2007 for each account, which will serve as a start date. This can be a dummy record with zero usage, on the typical bill date for that account. We just need one record for each account to serve as the start date of the bill in the beginning of your baseline year.

    Where can I see the results?

    This weather normalized energy use is provided in the follow reports:

    • Baseline - Weather Normalized
    • Annual Building Energy Use - Weather Normalized
    • Weather Normalized Building EUI
    • Bill Alerts
    • Table 2 - used for annual reporting to DOER.

    Some more detail on the Weather Normalized Building EUI report: In addition to annual energy use, the weather normalization analysis provides a weather normalized Energy Use Intensity metric (EUI) in kBTU/square foot/year. The weather normalized EUI tells you, each month, how your building performed the last twelve months, and lets you see changes in performance without having to wait a full calendar or fiscal year. By looking at the trend of this metric over time, you can see if your building is getting more or less efficient, by each fuel type.

    How does it work? (the simple version)

    Energy use is compared to outdoor temperature during the read period for a given fuel's bill. Variations in fuel use over the year are compared to variations in temperature, and a model building energy use profile is created that describes how much the building's energy use changes with the temperature. This allows the model to calculate how much of the change in energy use from one 12-month time period to another is due to changes in temperature.

    The model then adjusts the energy use to show what the building would have used in an "average weather year", based on 30-year average daily temperatures. This adjustment provides year-to-year comparisons that compensate for temperature, allowing you to see how changes to the building and its operation impact the building's energy use independent of year-to-year changes in temperature.

     How does it work? (the detailed version)

    For those who like more detail, the analysis uses a process with over thirty steps, grouped here into three larger steps.

    Step 1 - Combine Usage by Fuel Type for a Building?

    In most cases the energy use for each gas and electric account is checked for temperature dependence individually, meaning the weather normalization is run on account level data. But some fuel types need to be combined before being weather normalized.

    • When a building has multiple accounts for a delivered fuel (e.g. oil, propane) for a single building, the energy use for those multiple accounts is combined before the analysis is run.
    • If there is renewable energy system production data (solar electric or wind power) in one account, and grid-based electric energy use in another account, these accounts are combined so that total electric energy use can be computed for the building. Please let support know when you add a behind the meter renewable energy account, and which utility account the meter belongs to. This lets us match the RE system to the utility account for the analysis.
    • Fuel deliveries within a few days of each other are combined to the same bill date to give a more realistic picture of delivered fuel usage patterns.

    Step 2 - Match Bill Data to Weather Data

    Each building is matched with a nearby weather station. Each bill period record is then matched with temperatures for that weather station, both for the actual average daily weather during the bill period and for average weather year data for that time of year. The actual weather data will be used in the next step to determine the pattern of use for the building.

    The average year weather data is used to weather normalize the usage data, creating a weather-independent measure of building performance for use in longitudinal tracking. The actual and average year weather data are sourced from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and can be found at these sites:

    Step 3: Regression Analysis

    The combined energy use data from Step 1 and the temperature data from Step 2 are analyzed for each building, and used to identify a building energy use profile. The energy use in the building will go up or down with average temperature in one of 5 patterns, depicted by the graphs in the image below. The analysis matches the building with the graph that is the best depiction of the pattern of energy use in your building.

    The image shows seven graphs, three on the left all with a y axis of Cooling Energy Use, three on the right all with a y axis of heating Energy Use, and one at the bottom with a y axis of Cooling and Heating Energy Use. On all seven graphs the x axis is labeled Outside Temperature. The first graph on the left shows a line sloping up to the right, indicating increasing cooling energy use as the outside temperature increases. The second graph on the left shows a line that starts with a flat segment, and then slopes up to the right, indicating baseline energy use independent of outside temperature, and then a point at which energy use begins to increase with temperature. The third graph on the left shows a line that starts with a segment with a shallow slope up to right, and then a point at which it slopes up more steeply, indicating some sensitivity to outside temperature, and then greater sensitivity to outside temperature. The graphs on the right are mirror images of the graphs on the left. The first graph on the right shows a line sloping down to the right, indicating increasing heating energy use as the outside temperature decreases. The second graph on the right shows a line that starts with segment sloping down to the right, and then changing to a flat line, indicating baseline energy use independent of outside temperature, and then a point at which energy use begins to increase as temperature decreases. The third graph on the right shows a line that starts with a segment with a slope down to the right, and then a point at which it slopes down less steeply, indicating some sensitivity to outside temperature, and then greater sensitivity to outside temperature as the temperature decreases. The graph on the bottom shows a segment sloping down to right, then a segment that is flat, and then a segment that slopes up to the right, indicating a fuel that below a certain temperature is being used to heat the building, and above a certain temperature is being used to cool the building, with a temperature range in the middle where no heating or cooling is needed. These graphs are based on the graphs from the paper KC-03-02-1 (RP-1050) -- INVERSE MODELING TOOLKIT: NUMERICAL ALGORITHMS by John Kelly Kissock, Ph.D., P.E.; Jeff S. Haberl, Ph.D., P.E.; David E. Claridge, Ph.D., P.E.

    We test models from the most complex to the simplest (bottom to the top). We adopt the first model that passes the statistical tests, and therefore the one that matches the use pattern most closely. The statistical tests each model must pass to be used are:

    • The pattern of use must be correct, for example, if it is a heating model, the usage must go down as the temperature increases. In terms of the regression model, this is equivalent to requiring that the slopes of the regression lines have the right sign.
    • There must be enough bills to specify the slope and location of each line in the model. Since some of the bills in each year are in the heating season, some in the shoulder seasons, and some in the cooling season, this requirement means there must be enough bills that fall in each line segment of the model. In terms of the regression model, this is equivalent to requiring that there be adequate degrees of freedom in each segment of the regression.
    • If the model includes heating or cooling usage, then we must have adequate confidence that the usage decreases as temperature increases during the heating season, and increases with temperature during the cooling season, respectively. In terms of the regression model, this is equivalent to requiring that the slope of any heating or cooling segment have a p-value less than 0.1.

    Matching the data to a profile and generating a model also allows the analysis to generate a weather normalized annual MMBTU usage, by adjusting the annual use to what it would have been in an average weather year. This weather normalized annual use is a weather-independent measure of building performance that can be used for longitudinal tracking.

    Step 3 also computes a weather normalized EUI for the last twelve months. These values are generated for each month's bills, combining it with the last 11 months of data for a 12-month period of data (technically at least 365 days of data). We refer to this as a sliding analysis, and it helps give a month by month picture of the building's performance over the last twelve months, rather than having to wait a year to use a calendar or fiscal year's worth of data.

    This sliding EUI can be used to determine building energy performance trends over time. Using the model, during each new bill period, the actual use is compared with the expected usage for the average temperature, given the model's prediction. If the usage is significantly higher or lower than expected, a Bill Alert is generated, meaning it's worth taking a look to see if something unusual is going on with the utility data, the utility meter, the building, or the building's operation.

    Using Dashboard and Report features

    Definitions

    Page - A page is what you see on the screen when you are in MEI. The default page is the Home Page. Every page in MEI can include a report, access to information about MEI, or access to actions that you can take.

    Report/Reports - In MEI we use the term "report" to describe the individual pages that are accessible via the individual tabs and the drop down list in the View Reports section, and we use "reports" to describe this collection more generally. For example, you can go to the reports section of MEI to view the Baseline Dashboard report.

    View - In MEI, a single chart or table. In may be on its own tab in a workbook, or on a dashboard as one of many views.

    Dashboard - A dashboard in MEI is something that has more than one view on it. If a car had one gauge, you'd call it a gauge, not a dashboard. Dashboards in MEI include multiple views.

    Workbook - A workbook is made up of any number of views and/or dashboards. When you go to View Reports, and you click on "MassEnergyInsight", you are opening a workbook that contains Views and Dashboards.

    How do I find my reports?

    • Click View your dashboards/reports in the Home page "What to you want to do?" welcome window; or,
    • Click View reports in the navigation bar. The navigation bar is located in the upper left hand corner of the page.
    • You will see a list of workbooks available to you. Click on one to open it.
    • The reports workbook will load. The different views and dashboards are a available either via the tabs at the top of thew workbook, or from the downward pointing arrow in front of the first tab in the workbook.

    Using filters to modify reports

    The reports are all interactive and you can change filters to modify reports on the fly. Filters are generally on the right, and may be checkboxes (allowing more than one selection at a time), radio buttons (allow one selection at a time), pull down menus, search boxes, etc.

    You can also filter by clicking on items in the reports and choose to exclude them or "keep only" them. You can choose more than one item at a time by ctrl clicking (PC) or command clicking (Mac). You can also drag on the view to select data to keep, exclude, or see the data for.

    Video - Use Filters to Modify Reports

    Sort the order of bar charts

    To sort the order of bar charts:

    • Charts can be ordered ascending, descending, or original data order.
    • In a chart that you want to sort, hover over or click on the labels for the parts of the chart. If you can sort by it, sort icons will display letting you choose the sort order.

    image of ascending, descending, and original order sort buttons

    I have made a number of changes to the report or dashboard that I am viewing. How do I revert it back to what it looked like before I made those changes?

    • To revert your view back to the way it was when you opened the report or dashboard, look for the "revert" button in the toolbar. Clicking this will reset the view to how it opened.
    • You can also use the undo/redo buttons to walk backward and forward through your changes to the views.
    • If you simply clicked on an item within a report or chart to highlight just that item (and did not click on any filters in the right column), click on the white space within that report or chart to display all data again.

    Do I have to reset the filters every time I log in if I like to see them a certain way?

    MEI allows you to create "custom views" for each report that you can name and save for future use. This allows you to set filters to how you like to see them for a given report, and save that set of filters as a custom view, and even have it be the default view for that report when you open it. Custom views keep you from having to set filters over again each time you look at a view.

    • Make any changes to want to make to the view: filters, sorting, selections, etc.
    • Click View in the toolbar (it may say View: Original).
    • Enter a name for the custom view, and select whether or not you want it to be the default view for you for this report.
    • Click Save. You now have a custom view available from the View menu.

    To make changes to your custom view, make the changes in the report, and then click the view name in the toolbar and click Save.

    You can use the View menu to choose custom views, and the manage button in the View menu to change their names or delete them.

    How can I view calendar year data instead of fiscal year data?

    Some views allow you to choose between fiscal and calendar years, or to choose a fiscal year start month. These options are available on these reports:

    • Baseline - Weather Normalized
    • Use and Cost This Year to Last
    • Weather Normalized Building Use
    • Annual Report Table 2
    • Energy Reduction Plan Guidance Table 3 (both versions)

    How to use the drill down feature to see more detail in reports

    Some columns are expandable to drill down to more detail. If the functionality is available, when you hover over a column header, a + sign will appear. Click it to expand the level of detail. Hover in the same spot and click the - sign to collapse it again.

    Video - Drill Down to See More Detail in Reports

    How do I change my report so that it excludes or includes specific items, such as departments or buildings?

    Mouse over the item that you want to exclude - for example, a bar in a bar chart. A box will appear with the options to "keep only" or "exclude."

    image of keep only and exclude buttons

     

    To exclude an item from your report, select "exclude." The report will redraw without that item. To see the report with only that item in it, select "keep only." The report will redraw with only that item showing. To keep only or exclude multiple items, click and drag your mouse to select those items (indicated with the dotted line in the image below).

    ?

    image showing selection square drawn on bar chart, including some but not all of the bars

    Then mouse over the selected items, and choose "keep only" or "exclude" in the pop-up box that appears.image showing bar chart with three of four bars selected, and a pop up dialog with buttons to choose keep only and exclude

     

    How to download images of reports, or the data behind them

    To print reports or download data, use the download menu in the toolbar.

    Images

    You can download reports as images, PDF files, or PowerPoint slides. Click on the Download menu item in the toolbar, and choose the format you want. The PowerPoint option creates as slide for each tab. Make to set all the report to want you them to be before choosing this option if you are trying to get a slide for tab.

    Data

    You can download data behind any of the views in the reports. Click on the title of the chart you want to download data for, and then click on the Download menu. Choose either Data or Crosstab.

    • Data - this is the row level data behind the view. Clicking this will open a new window with two tabs:
      • Summary: This tab gives you the specific data points used to create the view.
      • Underlying: This tab gives you the underlying data used to calculate/derive the specific data points make up the view. Click show all columns to see all associated columns of data for each row, including columns not used in building the report.
      • On either tab, click download all rows as a text file to download the data you see as a .csv file, which can be opened by a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.
    • Crosstab - this is the table version of the view, delivered in a csv file.

    You can also click on any element within a chart or table, such as a particular bar within a bar chart, and download the data associated with that element.

    • Hover over the item/element.
    • A box will pop up. Click the view data icon in the box.
    • This will open a window similar to the Data window above, but with data just for the selected item(s).

    image of view data dialog showing details about a bar on a chart

    Understanding Specific Reports

    Baseline Dashboard

    A baseline is an original value or set of values that you would like to compare to other values or set of values. This dashboard lets you see how your energy use is changing over time compared to your baseline year.

    The first chart on the left indicates overall energy use:

    • All energy units are converted to million BTUs (MMBTU).
    • Use the Years filter in the right margin to select the years to compare
    • The earliest year selected will be the baseline year.
    • All the following years selected are compared to the baseline year in all the charts in this report.

    The second chart on the right indicates energy use by Facility or Department category:

    • Use the Use by filter box in the right margin and select Facility Category or Department.
    • Each Facility category represents the total energy use for facilities that were assigned a specific category in the facility Info page.
    • Each Department category represents the total energy use for facilities, units, and accounts that were assigned to a department folder in the organize data tree.
    • Energy use not assigned to a specific facility or department category is included in a Null category.
    • The two tables at the bottom of the report summarize energy use for the Facility and Department categories for the years selected.
    • Both tables can expand or contract by clicking the + or - buttons that appear when you mouse over the row or column titles.
    • Energy use in the tables is highlighted in blue or red if the values are 10% or more less or greater than the base year use.
    • The color scale in the right margin indicates the % change that each shade of blue and red represents.

    Video - Baseline Dashboard

    How do I set my community's baseline in the Baseline report?

    Look for "Year of Usage End Date" in the right column. Choose how far back you want the baseline year to be by clicking and unclicking the check boxes. The earliest year that the report contains will be your baseline year.

    Baseline - Weather Normalized report

    This is similar to the two charts on the left in the Baseline Dashboard, but with the data being weather normalized.

    Overall Use, Emissions, and Cost report

    The Overall use, Emissions, and Cost report provides a high level summary of municipal energy use, emissions, and cost. The report is divided into two sections. The upper section is broken down into use, emissions, and cost and is further broken down by fuel type. Each bar represents the total percent that each fuel contributes to the total use, emissions, and cost.

    • The lower section is broken down by department
    • Click on the + or - boxes in the vertical label section to expand or contract the detail
    • Click on the Choose field for length or Choose field to select the units use for the width and length of the bars in the chart

    Video - Overall use, Emissions, and Cost Dashboard

    Emissions Over Time report

    This view shows your emissions over time, by fuel.

    Use and Cost Table report

    The Use and Cost Table report provides municipal energy use in table format. Sometimes you just want to see numbers. The Use and Cost Table report provides these numbers.

    • The table can expand or contract by clicking the + or - buttons that appear when you mouse over the row or column titles.
    • Navigate to the right margin to select fuel or year filters.
    • Since this shows fuel use in "native" units, only one fuel can be selected at a time.
    • One or more years can be selected at a time.

    Video - Use and Cost Table

    Annual Usage Patterns - Town Report

    The Annual Usage Pattern-Town report shows you the normal pattern of energy use in order to identify unusual energy use. The report provides energy usage for each fuel and one or more years. Click on a year to highlight energy use for that year.

    Video - Annual Usage Patterns ? Town Report

    Usage Trends - Town report

    The Usage Trends-Town report provides a high level summary of municipal energy use trends over time. The report indicates energy usage broken down by fuel type. It shows monthly energy use with each year coming one after the other. The blue bars represent fuel use.

    We also show a trend line above the bar chart of the 12-month rolling sum. The 12-month rolling sum is the current month energy plus the previous 11 months energy use. The 12 Month rolling sum line moves upward or downward if energy use increases or decreases over time.

    Video - Usage Trends ? Town Report

    Use and Cost this year to last report

    The Use and Cost This Year to Last Report gives you a sense of where you are with energy usage for a specific fuel this year compared to your overall use last year. The report also shows you how much energy you have used this year, compared to how much you had used at this point of last year.

    • Navigate to the right margin to select the Fiscal Year start month.
    • Click on the radio button for the fuel that you would like to review.
    • The blue bar represents total so far this year.
    • The yellow bar represents the usage last year.
    • The red line represents how much you had used at this point last year.
    • The default report starts at the municipal or organization level, but you can drill down to Departments, Facilities, etc. by clicking the + buttons that appear when you mouse over the row categories.

    Video - Usage Trends ? Town Report

    Buildings to Target report

    This report is designed to help you compare the efficiency, emissions, and cost performance of your buildings compared to each other. There are three chart views in this report. Only buildings that have square footage entered in the Facility INFO page will appear here.

    The first chart view includes three bar charts for Building Efficiency, CO2 emissions and Cost.

    • The Building Efficiency bar chart indicates building energy use per square foot (kBTU/sf) for all fuels. The lower the energy use per square foot and the smaller the bar, the more efficient the building is.
    • The CO2 Emission bar chart indicates building total annual CO2 (lbs) for all fuels.
    • The Cost bar chart indicates building total annual cost for all fuels.

    To sort any of the charts in this view hover over one of the three bar chart metrics: kBTU/sf, CO2 (lbs), or cost, and click the sort button.

    The second view includes building efficiency (kBTU/sf) for all the buildings in a single view.

    The third chart view is Efficiency and Use. This is called a quadrant chart. The red lines are medians:

    • Buildings to the left of the vertical median are more efficient
    • Buildings to the right of the vertical median are less efficient
    • Buildings below the horizontal median use less total energy
    • Buildings above the horizontal median use more total energy
    • Buildings in the upper right hand quadrant are less efficient and use more energy than the median. You will probably get the most gain from investing in efficiency opportunities in these buildings.

    Video - Buildings to Target Dashboard

    Building Benchmarks report

    Use this report to compare the performance of your building portfolio to the entire MEI building portfolio. Click on values in the Subcategory Filter to compare like buildings types to each other, for example, your schools to all schools in MA.

    Building dashboard

    The building dashboard is blank by default. Start by choosing a building from the menu on the upper right. Three charts will appear.

    • The Usage Trends chart displays energy use per month and 12 month rolling sum energy use.
    • The Cost Trends chart displays energy cost per month and 12 month rolling sum energy cost.
    • The Annual Usage Patterns chart shows for each fuel a line chart for each year selected.
    • Clicking on a year anywhere on the chart, or on a line in the usage patterns chart, will highlight that year across all charts.

    Video - Building Dashboard

    Weather Normalized Building Use report

    This report shows total building energy use, in MMBTU, for all fuels, weather normalized.

    Weather Normalized Building EUI report

    The building dashboard is blank by default. Start by choosing a building from the menu on the upper right. This report shows a sliding EUI (kBTU/sf/yr) for a given facility, by fuel. See how the energy efficiency of your building changes over time, for each fuel.

    Monitoring Use and Monitoring Cost reports

    The monitoring use and cost reports help answer the question how is your community's use and cost changing compared to previous periods. Sometimes we just want to monitor a trend over time. With these reports you can:

    • See values on a month-by-month basis lined up next to each other.
    • Answers the questions:
    • How did we do this year compared to last year?
    • How did we do this quarter compared to last quarter?
    • These reports show the percent change year-to-year and quarter-to-quarter.
    • The percent change is from the period immediately preceding the previous year or quarter.
    • To expand or contract the report detail, mouse over and click the + and - boxes next to the vertical and horizontal labels.
    • The charts are color-coded. Any change less than 10% will remain gray.
    • Increases greater than 10% are highlighted in red.
    • Decreases greater than 10% are highlighted in blue.
    • The Monitoring Use and Monitoring Cost Dashboards are exactly the same with except:
    • In the Monitoring Use Dashboard we only let you choose one fuel at a time
    • In the Monitoring Cost Dashboard we let you choose multiple fuels at a time

    Video - How Red and Blue Indicate Change in Reports

    Video - Monitoring Use and Monitoring Cost Dashboards

    Setup Completeness dashboard

    This dashboard lets you know what work needs to be done in the organize data section to get the most out of the reports. It tells you:

    • Which accounts need to be assigned to an item
    • Which items need a category or subcategory assigned.
    • Which buildings are lacking floor area.
    • Which schools need a School Type assigned.

    Completing these tasks will sure all these items appear in the proper reports.

    Setup Completeness Instructions

    To assign unassigned accounts:

    • Go to "Organize Data" on the above navigation bar. Tip: If you ctrl click (Windows) or command click (Mac) on Organize Data, it will open in a new tab, and you can switch back and forth without having to reload the reports.
    • Check the "Show accounts within the tree" box and then click the + symbol next to the name of your town.
    • Scroll down to the end of the "Tree" and you will see a list of accounts that are assigned to the top level of your town, but not to any specific building.
    • Drag the account to the proper building to assign it.

    To assign Category, Subcategory or Floor Area:

    • Click on a building listed in Setup Completeness Dashboard (You may need to allow popups for this to work).
    • Click on the info tab for the building.
    • Find the missing field, make an entry and save it
    • For category and subcategory, make a selection and click enter.
    • For total area, click "create new", follow the prompts, and click save.

    Setup Completeness - area is entered already issue

    It's possible that a building will show up in the Setup Completeness Report as needing an area entered even though it already has one, if there is no use entered yet for any of its accounts. If the building has no usage records yet, it will still get written to the output table that the reports point at. But when we update the output table with building areas, we look at the usage end date for the record, and then match the appropriate building area for that time frame.

    If there is no usage data for any account in the building, there are no usage end dates, and no areas get written. When data starts getting added for the accounts that belong to the building, areas will get written in, and these buildings will disappear from this list.

    Data loaded reports

    The Data Loaded Overview and Data Loaded Detail reports are designed to let you quickly see how complete the data is for your city or town. The reports are broken down on the left by Department, Complex, Facility, Fuel, and Account Number. The top of the report lists the fiscal year and month. Each box in the report represents a single time period.

    • The color of the box indicates whether there is data loaded for that period.
    • A green box indicates that data has been loaded for that time period.
    • An orange box in the first column indicates that no data has been loaded for that account.
    • In the Data Loaded Overview report, mouse over each box to see the utility bill information that has been loaded for that month.
    • Use the filters in the right margin to drill down into more detail.
    • Click on the Search for an Account # box in the right margin to find a specific account.
    • The Data Loaded Detail report adds the data values in each box.
    • Expect some blank spots in the data. For example, there may be two readings in one month and no reading the previous or following month.
    • Oil data will be more frequent in the winter than the summer.

    Tip: The data loaded reports are the only reports where you can search for a specific account.

    Video - Data Loaded Reports

    Bill Alerts report

    This report highlights acocunts for which, during the weather normalization process, we noticed a large discrepancy between the expected use for the time period given the temperatue and the actual use. Use this to check if something it's right with you bill.

    ESCO reports

    There are three ESCO reports. ESCO stands for Energy Services Company. The reports provide utility data in the format that ESCOs prefer. The three reports give annual data, monthly data, and building level MMBTU data. The reports squeeze in as much information as possible. The reports allow you to download and pass on your utility data to ESCOs or other energy analysts in a spreadsheet format. To use the ESCO reports:

    • Use the filters in the right margin to select the years and fuel types that you would like to download.
    • Navigate to the tool bar and select the Download button.
    • Select crosstab in the dialog.
    • You may need to find where on your computer browser saves the file.
    • The three reports provide your utility bill information in slightly different ways.

    Video - ESCO Reports

    Annual report table 2

    This is the table as DOER will see it for your Green Communities Annual Report. See the reporting template for more information.

    Energy Reduction Plan Guidance Table 3 (two versions)

    These reports also relate to your Annual Reports.

    Green Communities Annual Reports

    What do I need to do to submit information in MEI with my annual report?

    MA Cities, Towns, and associated municipal government agencies can use MEI to submit much of their Annual Report energy information directly to MA DOER. As long as your data in MEI is correct, you don't need to submit the energy-related information that MA DOER requests for Table 2 and Table 3 in the report.

    What you do need to do is to confirm that your Table 2 and Table 3 reports in MEI are complete and accurate. In addition, we recommend that you save a copy of these reports for your own records.

    How do I exclude a building from my Baseline report?

    In some cases DOER will allow you to exclude a building from your energy use baseline. You must have approval from DOER to exclude a building from your Baseline report.

    • Click on Organize data.
    • Find the building that you want to exclude.
    • Click on the building name.
    • You should be on the Info tab. Look in the right column, where it says Exclude from baseline.
    • Select Yes, then click OK.

    Troubleshooting

    My username/password does not work

    If your username/password combination does not work:

    • Remember that the password is case sensitive.
    • Try retyping your username and password again, as accurately as possible.
    • If you have several log ins for different towns, make sure you are using the right username/password combination.
    • If your browser fills in the username and password for you, confirm that what it has stored is cor
    • If that does not work, contact Customer Support.

    Why isn't my data appearing in the reports?

    Here are a few common reasons why data may not appear in the reports.

    • Changes to the organize data tree, or data newly loaded will not appear in the reports until the following day.
    • Items that don't have categories assigned won't appear in some reports.
    • Accounts will not appear in the ESCO or Baseline reports if the accounts have been "excluded" in these reports.
    • Newly added accounts will not populate with data until the next load from the utilities. Keep an eye on the home page to see when the next data load happens.

    Why don't I see data for XXXX Year/Custom Views?

    Double-check which years are selected in the filters on the right side of the reports. The year of data that you would like to see may not be selected.

    If the fiscal or calendar year has changed recently you may need to select the new fiscal or calendar year. See the custom view question for updating views.

    I have a "Sign in to Reports Server" Error (Embedded log-in/cookie error)

    Some users may see, after clicking on the name of workbook the Tableau server log in "Sign in to Reports Server". This can happen if your browser is not allowing cookies from our site, or when switching between user accounts if you have access to data for more than one town, or when your browser tries to reload a report from the previous day.

    The first thing to try is to click on the log out link in the top right corner, and log back in. Try opening the report again. If it succeeds, you're good. If not, you may need to turn on third party cookies. You may be able to set your browser to accept third party cookies just from our site. Please see your browsers preferences or help files for more information on how to change this setting.

    Of course if none of these steps fix the problem, please contact Customer Support.

    Why can't I see or click on the tabs for Info, Item, or Accounts

    Using Internet Explorer frequently causes this issue. We recommend that you try using a different browser such as Edge (Microsoft's newer browser), Firefox, or Chrome.

    "No Permission" error

    A "No Permission" error usually means that you are trying to enter data using the upload spreadsheet feature for an account that is no longer in your town, but is still in our system. It's likely that an account was rejected from your city or town, and you are still trying to load data for it.

    • Crosscheck the list of accounts in the spreadsheet that you are uploading against the accounts the list of accounts in MEI.
    • Remove any data from the spreadsheet for accounts that you don't see listed in MEI; or,
    • Contact support to restore the account(s) that are not listed in MEI. Please include the account number and the item under which the account belongs with your support request.

     

    Who is Peregrine?

    Who is Peregrine Energy Group and what is their role?

    Peregrine Energy Group is a private company based in Boston that developed MassEnergyInsight. Peregrine administers MEI in conjunction with two other organizations that staff the day-to-day functions: OptiMiser, LLC manages the software platform and energy data acquisition from investor-owned utilities; UMass Clean Energy Extension provides user facilitation, support services, and training � as well as energy data acquisition from municipal utilities.

    Energy Conversion Factors

    What factors are used for converting fuel usage into MMBTUs?

    Electricity

    MMBTU/kWh

    0.003412

    Natural Gas*

    MMBTU/therm

    0.1

    Fuel oil -- heating (#2)

    MMBTU/gallon

    0.139

    Fuel oil -- heating (#4)

    MMBTU/gallon

    0.145

    Fuel oil -- residual fuel (#6)

    MMBTU/gallon

    0.14969

    Propane

    MMBTU/gallon

    0.091

    Diesel

    MMBTU/gallon

    0.139

    Gasoline

    MMBTU/gallon

    0.124

    Steam

    MMBTU/gallon

    1

    Wood cords

    MMBTU/cord

    20

    Wood pellets

    MMBTU/lb

    0.00775

    * For natural gas data entered in CCF, the system first converts to therms using a factor of 1.024.

    What factors are used for calculating CO2 emissions?

    Fuel

    Pounds of CO2

    Per this fuel unit

    Electricity - ISO NE*

    0.719

    kWh

    Natural gas

    11.71

    Therm

    Fuel Oil

    22.38

    Gallon

    Propane

    12.7

    Gallon

    Diesel

    22.384

    Gallon

    Gasoline

    19.533

    Gallon

    Steam

    134.374

    Mlbs

    Wood

    4000

    Cords

    *MassEnergyInsight uses MassDEP's Massachusetts specific electricity factors. These factors change each year. Please see the report Current Emissions Factors to see the most recent version of the factors, or download an accessible crosstab of the report here.?For all other clients, the system uses the ISO New England average system emission rate for electricity. The electricity emissions factor changes from year to year, depending on which sources were used to generate electricity and how much each generated in a given year.The most recent calculated value is used for that year and subsequent years, until the next factor is released. The factors for later years are updated as more recent data becomes available. For electricity emissions factors used for earlier years, please see the Emissions Reports page at ISO New England's website.?