Customers are eager to fight climate change, starting in their own homes. Fort Collins Utilities, a municipal utility, gives its customers and contractors the easy, secure, authorized access to high quality energy data that they'll need to do it.
Getting a quote for a solar installation, electric vehicle charger or energy efficiency upgrade has typically been an exercise in frustration for both customers and contractors alike. But last month, Fort Collins Utilities launched MyData, an innovative project with UtilityAPI that will make starting clean energy projects quicker and easier for everyone involved.
The response from local energy solution providers and other users has been immediate and impressive. Following a soft launch in early fall, over a dozen companies have already signed up to use MyData in their businesses. Janelle McGill a “green” Realtor and consultant, is one of them.
“As a Realtor that specializes in selling homes with solar, [...] I need the utility records to properly market properties and truthfully illustrate the benefits. In the past, it was cumbersome for my clients to get the information I needed. This portal makes the process faster, as well as accurate. It was easy to sign up and it is easy to request utility data for my clients. It is a clever solution,” said McGill.
Most of MyData’s users will be clean energy contractors. Every clean energy project needs good energy data in order to happen. Previously, even if a customer authorized access to their utility billing and usage data, the data often took days, weeks or even months to arrive. And if/when it did arrive, it was often in an unusable form or missing key information. Solution providers had to rely on old energy bills or make large investments in software or staff time to decipher customer data — at times, as much as 6 extra staff hours per job.
This can be particularly hard for small, local businesses that may not have the resources for this extra effort. Customers, whose clean energy projects became more expensive, were unhappy to bear those costs. And it was also problematic for Fort Collins, who didn’t want to act as a data intermediary between their own customers and those customers’ chosen contractors. MyData promises to fix everyone’s data problems. It will streamline the data process by providing instant, authorized and secure access to standardized energy data. It will also level the playing field for all service providers to participate in the market equally, which has taken on a new importance at this difficult time, when businesses are struggling to recover from the effects of COVID-19.
“The ability to seamlessly share energy data is crucial to developing the future of the energy sector,” said UtilityAPI CEO Devin Hampton. “Fort Collins’ MyData is not just a ‘one-off’ thing. They’re leading the way for other municipal utilities. They’re using UtilityAPI’s data sharing tools to make the energy projects their customers want happen easier and faster. We look forward to replicating the success of this innovative service with other utilities across the country.”
Fort Collins Utilities long-serving Energy Services Manager, John Phelan, identified the potential for secure data sharing to ease the clean energy transition in Fort Collins. “We recognized the importance of streamlining our information processes to support customers and their selected contractors. UtilityAPI’s solutions help us to do this while improving our data privacy, security and record keeping,” said Phelan.
As an innovative municipal utility, Fort Collins understands that smoothing the path to local clean energy projects will help the local community and Colorado achieve the deep cuts to carbon emissions that are needed to make a significant impact on the climate crisis. Customers are eager to fight climate change (and save money while they’re doing it). Now, thanks to MyData, it’s even easier.
All blog posts are to help UtilityAPI users connect with their customers and successfully collect their utility data.