Deregulated (LDC/Supplier) and Summary Account Setup and Reporting
ISSUE: Some of my electric and gas accounts are deregulated – they are ‘customer choice’ accounts whereby a Local Distribution Company (LDC) delivers and meters the energy and sends me one monthly bill while a separate supplier (also called the retailer, marketer, generator or producer) sells me the commodity and also sends me a monthly bill. Other bills have more than one account on one bill (summary accounts).
How can these types of accounts be tracked in EnergyCAP?
EnergyCAP can accommodate two types of deregulated accounts:
- Those that receive separate LDC and supplier bills each month (this is the normal case). These types usually involve two separate accounts in EnergyCAP, but may involve a single meter (see setup options below).
- Those that receive a single consolidated (bundled) or summary bill each month (two or more vendors or sub-accounts on one summary bill). Consolidated/bundled/summary bills can be handled with either two separate accounts or a single account (see setup options below).
Separate Bills with a Common Meter
This is the typical case – you receive one bill from the LDC and one bill from the supplier. Since the bills are separate and often arrive on different days, you need to track each vendor account separately, pay the bills separately and keep the accounts separate for some reports. For example, you may want to know what the unit cost is for each vendor and the total dollars paid to each vendor. You also want to combine the two vendors’ costs in order to see overall commodity cost and overall unit cost but you DON’T want to count the same usage twice.
EnergyCAP has specialty features that allow you to track these accounts. Follow the procedure below to set up deregulated accounts that are billed separately:
- Click the New Account/Meter button from the Account Manager title bar to open the Account Wizard. Use the wizard to set up the LDC account first, just as you would create any other account. Create a meter and assign it to the account. Assign a standard bill entry template to the meter. These are the same steps required to create any new account. If unfamiliar with account/meter setup, consult Tech Videos and/or other HELP topics from the Web-Based User Manual.
- After the LDC account and meter have been created, use the New Account/Meter Wizard to set up the Supplier account:
- Create the account code and display name for the Supplier account
- Assign the vendor code for the Supplier.
- From the meter selection screen (see the red note on the screen), select the existing LDC meter. Click on the binoculars to search for the desired meter.
The search feature will find the new LDC meter set up in Step 1. (Give it all or a portion of the meter code. Use leading and trailing wildcards (*) to aid in the search. After entering the search value, click "+" to add the search query and then click the Search button.)
- Once found, select/highlight the LDC meter and click Locate.
The LDC meter will be shown in the Meter Selection window.
- Click Next to move to the Template selector.
- On the template selection screen, select a “red” template (see on-screen template notes). These special templates track usage on the Supplier bill as an “information only” item so that Supplier usage doesn’t get added to the LDC bill’s usage and therefore appear doubled on reports.
NOTE: The meter-based PowerViews in the Facility Manager will display total usage and total cost recorded for the meter.
- After both accounts have been created, assign each an appropriate vendor role as follows:
- Locate the desired account from the account TreeView.
- Right-click the account icon and select Properties from the popup menu.
- Click the General tab to display vendor information.
- Click the checkbox(es) to assign the correct vendor role (Distribution for LDC and Generation for Supplier). Then click OK.
Separate or Combined Bills: Tracking Deregulated Accounts without Using a Common Meter (not recommended)
It is not necessary to use a common meter to track separate Supplier and LDC bills. Some EnergyCAP users prefer to create a separate meter for each account, and track them as separate commodities. Or in the case of a consolidated LDC/Supplier account (i.e. there is ONE account and Supply and Distribution are both represented on the bill), it is also possible to set up ONE account with two meters, one for supply and one for distribution.
In either scenario, to avoid ‘double-counting’ the supply and distribution usage in energy rollup reports (which convert native usage units to global usage units), these users create a NEW COMMODITY in the Unit System Editor which mirrors the characteristics of the existing commodity. Then, the new commodity is associated with one of the meters and vendor categories and is assigned a global conversion factor of “0”.
One advantage of this setup is that it allows for unit cost tracking of supply. Another advantage is that it provides a means of cross-checking supply vs. distribution use, using reports like the BL02CC (Customer Choice), or even a custom spreadsheet.
One disadvantage of using separate meters is that it is difficult to obtain a combined unit cost for the commodity since costs have been divided between different meters/commodities. Another disadvantage is that it is necessary to create twice as many meters in order to set up the account.
Separate Meter Setup
- Create and define the mirror commodity. For Electric, for example, a commodity called “Electric Supply” could be created to represent/track the commodity Supply charges and consumption while the default “Electric” commodity could be used to track the Distribution charges and consumption. Make certain to use “0” as the global conversion factor for the mirror commodity to avoid double-counting of usage in roll-ups! The example images below are for setting up a mirror electrical commodity. The basic principle is the same for any commodity.
- Create a separate account/meter for each vendor, using the Account/Meter Setup Wizard. Make certain to select the mirror commodity for the appropriate account/meter.
NOTES: During Account/Meter setup, DO NOT USE THE RED BILL TEMPLATE for the Commodity/Supply meter. Since a separate commodity is being used for the Commodity/Supply portion of the bill, it is not necessary to use the RED FOLDER Templates. Instead, use the normal Templates – just as if setting it up for the Distribution portion of the utility bill. There is no need to select a template for a Commodity/Supply meter which has an Ignored Observation Type on it – such as Generation Use, Wellhead Use, or Transmission Use.
As always, extreme care should be taken in making modifications to the unit system. Make certain to examine the reporting and display results in a test environment with a small sample of utility bill data to make certain the results obtained are those that were expected.
NOTE: At present, EnergyCAP, Inc. does not recommend using the Unbundled Account feature for tracking LDC/Supplier utility bills. Contact Technical Services for alternatives.
Setting up a Consolidated LDC Supplier/Commodity Account for a Summary bill with a Single Account/Meter
The procedure outlined below is not discussed in the video presentation. It is a new option available in EnergyCAP Release 6.0 and later. If your organization receives consolidated bills which have Local Distribution Company (LDC) and Generator/Supplier (often called “Commodity”) charges on them, it is now possible to track Generator/Supplier and LDC charges separately using a specially-designed billing template incorporating separate Use and Cost lines for each vendor. Follow the method below for the best practice for this scenario:
The best way to set up EnergyCAP to track LDC and Supplier/Commodity Account scenarios is to set up a SINGLE Account/Meter and then create new Supplier/Commodity Observation Types to track the Supplier/Commodity charges on the consolidated bill. These new cost-related observation types can be incorporated into a special consolidated bill template for the account.
Costs can be tracked separately for each usage/cost type, and reported separately using Custom Spreadsheets Line Item reports or the BL16 report (filtering by observation type).
The YY05 report breaks out the LDC and Commodity costs so they can be analyzed separately or together for consolidated bill scenarios.
Follow the procedures and examples below to set up EnergyCAP to handle this approach.
Setting up the new Observation Types
First, the new Supplier/Commodity Observation Types must be set up. In this example/procedure, we will set up the new Observation Types for the Supplier/Commodity. Existing EnergyCAP Observation Types will be used for the LDC charges.
- From the Tools menu in any module or view, select Unit System. The Unit System Editor window appears.
- Select the Types tab to manage observation types.
- Add a type by clicking the Plus button.
The Create Type window appears.
- In the Code field, enter the code COMMODITYCHARGE.
- In the Display field, enter the display name Commodity Charge.
- Select Charge for the Class. In EnergyCAP, the Class indicates what sort of observation is being made. It answers the question: "What is being tracked?" The number of Classes is limited and fixed.
- Select Time of Use, if appropriate: Usually not applicable (only applicable for time-of-use commodities).
- Select the Origin: Usually not applicable. If uncertain, select None. The number of Origins is limited and fixed.
- Select the applied status from the drop-down list. There are only three statuses: Credit/Provided, Debit/Consumed and Ignore. For this scenario, choose Credit/Provided.
- Click OK. The Create Type window closes.
- Repeat the procedure for COMMODITYTAX.
After the new Types have been created, update the Equivalencies tab for the Class selected in the previous procedure (usually Charge), as follows:
- From the Unit System Editor, click the Equivalencies tab.
- Double-click the commodity Money (class of Charge, Unit Type Money, Default Unit $) OR just select the Money commodity and then click the Properties button. The Equivalence Properties window will open.
- In the Relationships/Types pane of the Equivalence Properties window (see image below), click the checkboxes to check/include the commodity Types created in the previous procedure. Leave the other Types alone.
- Click OK to close the Equivalence Properties window and save your changes. The new Types will now be available for association with line items included in a new Bill Entry Template.
Creating the Summary Bill Template
After the equivalencies have been properly set up (see previous section), create a unique bill entry template that represents the LDC and Generator/Supplier bill line items.
Follow the normal procedure for creating a new template. For the Generator/Supplier/Commodity charges, make certain to create lines with the newly-created observation type(s).
Basically, anything that should be included in the unit cost of the Commodity should be given the observation type of Commodity Charge. Any tax related commodity charges should be given the observation type of Commodity Tax. For the Supplier USE, make certain to select an ‘information-type’ Use Type (e.g. Wellhead Use, Generation Use, etc.). This will prevent the summing of usage values for the Supplier and LDC on the bill entry template.
The LDC charges and use on the bill entry template should be set up in the normal manner. A sample template for a natural gas account/meter set up in this manner is provided below:
Reporting on LDC and Supplier Charges
Reports with special deregulated account design features:
- YY16 is the preferred report for tracking separate listings of LDC and Supplier charges.
- Report BL02CC (CC for Customer Choice) is a special variation of report BL02. It combines data at the meter level to provide overall unit cost calculated with meter total usage and total cost.
- Report BL16A shows unit cost by line item. This report displays the unit cost of the Supplier portion of the bill if the template has Generation Use and Cost on the same line item.
- Report YY05 (see report headings below) uses the vendor “Role” from Account Properties to classify accounts as LDC (“T&D” for transmission and distribution) or Supplier (“commodity” for generation). This is the best way to view unit cost for the LDC portion, Supplier portion and overall. The YY05 report provides separate columns for the LDC and Supplier costs and Unit Costs:
NOTE: YY05 can ONLY be used to separate generation from distribution when there are SEPARATE distribution and generation accounts AND the vendor roles (Account Properties>General tab) have been properly set for each account.