Tangerine+, an industry leader in renewable data visualization software, has successfully integrated UtilityAPI into their offering to allow for a single source for monitoring a residence's energy usage. Tangerine+ takes data from inverter manufacturers and independent monitoring providers, and combines this with interval data from the local utility (provided by UtilityAPI) to allow homeowners insight into their energy usage patterns following the installation of a PV system.
“The homeowner actually uses more electricity, on average, after solar panels are installed than before, and it's believed that this is because they no longer have a single place that they can go to see what their electric footprint is”, said Nancy McKereghan, co-founder and CEO of Tangerine+. Having insight into PV production is nothing new—both inverter manufacturers and third party monitoring systems have been presenting homeowners with software tools for understanding and keeping track of production data for years. Furthermore, with the proliferation of smart meters, many electrical utilities have created rudimentary tools for accessing and viewing the amount of electricity a home is using over the course of a given day.
The value that Tangerine+ adds to the equation is to combine these two sources into a single, easily digestible interface. Getting data from the solar equipment is easy; it's become an industry standard to make this data available programatically to third parties (such as O&M technicians). However, the utility data is not as readily available since the data requirements are mainly focused on the in-house utility operations. This is where UtilityAPI comes in. Tangerine+ uses UtilityAPI to transfer interval data between the utilities and the Tangerine+ database.
What Tangerine+ loves about UtilityAPI is that the “customer interface was extremely user-friendly and easy for us...really seamless”. Nancy also said that “combining UAPI meter data with the solar meter data...(can) lead to behavior changes that allow (homeowners) to not be using energy when it’s most expensive.”
The integration was made possible through the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Catalyst Program an was demoed live on December 10th in Philadelphia. Read more about it here.
For more information about UtilityAPI, please visit https://www.utilityapi.com
For more information about Tangerine+, please visit http://www.tangerine-plus.com
For a demo of the product, see this video.
What we do: Automating data requests
UtilityAPI is automating the process of collecting and cleaning electric utility data. With explicit authorization from the utility account holder, we pull all relevant data and structure it so it’s easy to use. Our data can be easily plugged in to any solar, or storage proposal tool. We use Green Button data, but also collect more residential and commercial data:
WAYS TO START USING UTILITYAPI
Does your prospective customer use enough electricity for your energy technology to make sense for them? What do their demand charges look like? Use our data in your analysis of the site to figure out how much money you can save them.
Re-engage your customers: Drip Campaigns are a way to stay engaged with your customers after your first contact with them or a way to re-engage with them after they went silent.
Include your UtilityAPI portal link in your drip campaigns: they're a set of marketing emails that will be sent out automatically on a schedule. Maybe your lead got busy during the holidays.
PDFs for financing
Are you required to have a copy of the bill for financing? You're in luck. We pull at least a year worth of bills. No more copies, scans, and emails. Attach the PDFs directly to the customers account in your CRM!
Is the customer saving money?
Ongoing monitoring of the energy consumption in the home or business, after solar or storage has been installed, will reveal if the customer ever has an uptake of electricity use, perhaps from the purchase of an electric vehicle or a hot tub. An increase in energy usage means the opportunity to offer the customer an energy saving technology, energy efficiency upgrade, or expansion of their solar footprint. Let the customer know how much they're saving each month and if they're on track to see expected savings.
Customer analytics and targeted marketing
By better understand their customers, solar companies will be able to target their marketing resources and have the potential to up-sell and increase the lifetime value of the customer.
See how UtilityAPI works.
Easily embed UtilityAPI is your current customer flow with a link or iframe!
Email info[at]utilityapi.com to learn more.
Top commercial solar and storage companies use our service to get the data they need fast. UtilityAPI is automating the process of collecting and cleaning electric utility data. With explicit authorization from the utility account holder, we pull all relevant data, especially demand charge data, and structure it so it’s easy to use. Our data can be easily plugged in to any solar, or storage proposal tool.
How does it work?
New York Proceeding, “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV)
December 16, 2015
Thank you to the Public Service Commission and the DPS staff for hosting this technical conference and for inviting us to speak. When we saw the topic for this technical conference, we were excited to contribute.
The NY Commission’s Track One Order directed continued investigation of a digital marketplace linking DER providers and customers, including the design, ownership, and a customer data sharing mechanism. UtilityAPI is a data sharing mechanism and we are already providing this service to vendors in New York, California, and elsewhere in the US. We have built a universal data infrastructure between DER vendors and utilities while complying with the DataGuard privacy standard. We are the only third party that has built integrations with all current and scheduled US Green Button Connect implementations.
UtilityAPI automates the process of authorizing access, collecting and formatting electric utility data. We also work with utilities to validate, implement, and test internal data infrastructures, including Green Button and Green Button Connect. We use Green Button data, but we can also collect other data that is not yet included in the Green Button standard, such as PDF bills, tariff name, and demand charges. DER vendors need this additional data to assess a site for various new energy technologies, finance a project, and monitor its value after installation. The lack of easy access to data, due to manual processes and data request backlogs, has limited the adoption of new energy technologies and made energy technologies more expensive.
Efforts to standardize data sharing, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Green Button data standard, are helpful but can be improved. Green Button is a voluntary standard and each utility implements it differently, which makes it prohibitively difficult for vendors to use it. As stated in the REV proceedings, securing data for an interface is difficult and requires a skill set different than a utility’s core business. Data infrastructure is UtilityAPI’s core business. We use best practices from tech to make sharing data as affordable and secure as possible for utilities and ratepayers. These practices include 100% transport layer security, public key encryption, and split-stack design.
When it comes to a digital marketplace, we encourage utilities to partner with private companies that are already connecting customers to new energy technologies. Using Amazon as an example for a digital marketplace is not useful because selling energy technologies to consumers is much more specialized. Solar and energy marketplaces, such as Energy Sage, PickMySolar, as well as residential demand response aggregator OhmConnect, have already engaged customers. They’re taking best practices from digital marketplaces, such as focusing on the user’s experience, and applying it to energy technologies. This is crucial because the user interface will determine the success of any effort to involve consumers and businesses in energy reduction targets. A customer facing data authorization platform must focus on user experience so people actually can and want to use it. Utilities should partner with these companies that already have traction selling energy technologies to consumers instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.
Please come ask us questions. The Department of Energy has funded us to expand our service and to continue to support new energy technologies. We are also excited about the two-way flow of data between DER vendors and utilities. We have a solution and we’re already working with vendors and marketplaces. We’re excited to work with the PSC and New York utilities to ensure timely, accurate data sharing platform for the evolving grid. We’ve learned a lot from what we’ve built and want to share our lessons learned.
All blog posts are to help UtilityAPI users connect with their customers and successfully collect their utility data.