If the existing library of EnergyCAP bill templates is inadequate (make sure to verify this!), and modifying an existing template is impractical, it may be necessary to create a new bill entry template. There are three important stages in bill template creation:
- Creating the template (adding specific data entry fields with related units of measure)
- Assigning the template (associating the bill template with the accounts that will be referenced on the bills)
- Testing the template (verifying the validity of the template with an appropriate QA/QC process)
New Template, Template Version, or Modification?
Before creating a template, decide whether it is necessary to create a new TEMPLATE, a new TEMPLATE VERSION, or whether the existing template should be modified.
When do I create or add a NEW template?
NEW templates are created when:
For NEW accounts:
No existing template closely matches the bill line items to be tracked in EnergyCAP.
For Existing Accounts:
- The currently-assigned template is already in use by multiple accounts, and the bill line item requirements are NOT changing for those other accounts
- Bill line items have changed to the extent that using the original template is undesirable, but the user wants to maintain the old template for entering historical bills.
! Changing a bill template for an account does NOT affect bill information previously entered for the account. !
When do I create a new template VERSION?
A template version is intended to be a chronological update to an EXISTING template, with an effective date that will render the previous version obsolete. If ALL of the accounts associated with that template require identical template changes, it is appropriate to create a new template version.
A new template version is not needed for new accounts, only existing accounts when:
- The user anticipates doing historical bill entry and wants to have 'access' to an earlier template version for bill entry that corresponds to the bill line items available at that time, AND/OR
- Multiple accounts associated with the original template require identical template changes.
! Changing a template version affects ALL ACCOUNTS associated with the template. !
When do I MODIFY an existing template or template version?
Modifications to an existing template or template version are appropriate when:
- An initial mistake was made in template creation and no bills have yet been entered using the faulty template.
- The user is not interested in maintaining historical template information, especially for historical bill entry.
- The user is starting 'from scratch' with a single account, and it is easier to modify an existing template that is not being used by any other accounts.
When do I REMOVE/REPLACE an existing template or template version?
It is appropriate to remove/replace an existing template when:
- The user desires to remove the association of bill and template.
- The new template is appropriate for new and historical bills alike.
- The template was incorrectly assigned.
Before creating the bill template, examine the bill and determine what data fields should be captured for EnergyCAP and in what order the fields should appear in the template.
When the list is complete, compare it with the list of available commodities, types, and units in the Unit System Editor (Tools | Unit System), as follows:
- Commodities tab—verify that the desired commodity exists in the table, and that the Display name, Common Usage Roll-Up and Global Usage Roll-Up, are acceptable. If not, consider changes to the table, in consultation with EnergyCAP, Inc..
- Types tab—select an observation type for each item on your template list, carefully noting the color-coded guidelines provided.
- Units tab—Ensure that the desired UNIT for each commodity or cost item is available, and verify that any conversions associated with the unit are correct. If not, consider changes to the table, in consultation with EnergyCAP, Inc..
- Equivalencies tab—Usually no changes required unless you have decided to create a new Commodity or Unit of Measure. If changes required, contact EnergyCAP, Inc. for assistance.
Verify that the bill information is represented by existing entries in the EnergyCAP Unit System. For more assistance in this process, see Managing Unit System Data.
Creating the Template or Template Version
Select Accounting | Templates. The Template Manager appears.
Clickto navigate to the commodity under which to create the template.
If creating a new TEMPLATE, highlight the desired commodity and then click Template | New | Template. The Create Template window will open.
If creating a Template VERSION rather than a Template, highlight the existing template and then click Template | New | Version.
Depending on the highlighted item (commodity or template), the Create Template or Create Template Version window will open.
Select the General tab then complete the following fields:
Code (template ID)
Display (template Display name)
Effective Date (template effective date--use the drop-down arrow to select the date from a calendar.)
NOTE: When entering an effective date for the bill template, make certain to choose a date earlier than all anticipated historical bills to be entered using the template! If bill entry is attempted for a meter for which no valid dated template version has been applied, EnergyCAP will generate an error ("No meter is assigned ..."), and bill entry will not be possible.
Select the Lines tab.
Add a line item by clicking Creating a Template Line.. The Create Line window will open. Follow the instructions for
WARNING: If the observation type you have selected allows you to choose a Unit AND a Cost from the drop-down boxes, DO NOT choose JUST a Cost. You need to choose either JUST a Unit or BOTH a Unit and a Cost. If you just want to track a cost, it is recommended that you choose an observation type of ‘Charge’ or a similar cost-only observation type.
Repeat step 6 to add subsequent lines. If necessary, modify a line item by selecting the appropriate line then clicking Modifying a Template Line.. The Line Properties window appears. Follow the instructions for
Remove a line by selecting the appropriate line then clicking. The Confirm window appears.
Click Yes to remove the line.
Click No to cancel the operation.
After making your selections, click OK.
Modifying an Existing Template/Template Version
To modify an existing template, highlight the template NAME or the most current template VERSION from the Template Manager. Then right-click and select Properties from the popup menu. Make the required changes and click OK to save the modifications.
NOTE: Modifications made to a template will be reflected in the current version of that template. When multiple versions are available, modifications made to a non-current template VERSION are effective only for that version. Modifcations made to a CURRENT template version will also be reflected in the template itself. Line Item changes made to the template itself will only affect the most current version and NOT previous iterations of the same template. Changes to the Template Code and Display will be reflected in all template versions, regardless of where the change is made (at the template or version level).
Assigning the Bill Template to a Meter
- Select Acounting | Accounts and select the account for the desired meter.
- Click the Assign Bill entry Templates link to open the Assign Templates … window.
In the Template History pane, click on the METER (NOT the account!) to enable the ‘Add’ and ‘Edit’ functionality.
CAUTION: Although it is possible to assign a bill template to an account, this is not usually recommended. Because most bill templates include usage/consumption, these values should always be associated with a place/meter rather than an account.
- Click the 'plus' icon ( ). The Choose Start Date window will open.
- Input the Start Date for the template into the Start date Field or use the drop-down arrow to select the date from a calendar.
- Click OK. The Bill Templates for Commodity Type: … window will open.
- Click (highlight) the template you created and click Select Template.
Testing the Bill Template
The following is a suggested short QA procedure for verifying the integrity of the newly-designed template.
- Assign the template to an account meter. If you wish you can use a ‘dummy’ meter in a ‘dummy’ organization/place.
- Add one ‘test’ bill to the meter. Make sure to save the bill.
- Navigate to the Facility Manager and select the ‘dummy’ meter.
- Check all PowerView charts in the General tab to ensure that cost/use information graphed and displayed accurately.
- View Monthly and Bills tabs to verify that raw bill information is accurate.
- Add an additional bill to the meter. Make sure to save the bill.
- Recheck PowerView charts to make sure that bills are tallying correctly.
- Run Report AN01, filtering for the Place associated with the meter, to check cost tally.
- Run Report BL-02CC, filtering for the Place associated with the meter, to check and verify the cost and cost/per unit calculations.
- Run other reports unique to your organization reporting requirements and the specific commodity/template selected. Ensure reporting accuracy and appropriateness of observation types.
- When satisfied, delete the ‘dummy’ data.
Common Mistakes in Bill Template Creation
- Mistake #1: Using a CONSUMPTION observation TYPE but NOT selecting a consumption/usage for the bill template line
- Mistake #2: Using two or more consumption types with different units of measure
- Mistake #3: Duplicating cost in multiple places/lines.