Utility Data Management (UDM) FAQs

UDM​ – Project Implementation

I am having trouble logging in.
When will I have access to the platform?
How can I get access to the UDM platform? Can I give others access?
Who has access to my data?
Will my data be publicly accessible?
Do I have to use the UDM platform? What if I don't participate?
I am with a local government in Tennessee, can I access the platform?
Will I be able to compare my facilities with other State of Tennessee facilities?
We have a new building on campus. How do I include this in the UDM platform? How will the utility bills be captured? 
If I notice a bill anomaly, how can I share this with a non-user for review?
If I notice something incorrect in the platform (buildings, account, meters, etc), whom do I contact?
How were building names and codes created? (i.e., naming convention)

UDM – Platform Features

Does the UDM platform support Energy Star or integrate with Portfolio Manager?
Does the UDM platform support interval or real-time meter data?
Will UDM tie in with my Accounts Payable or General Ledger system?
Will UDM integrate with my building automation systems?
I can't find the right report for what I am interested in evaluating. Where should I look?​
Can I share reports or platform images with non-users?

UDM​ – Accounts Payable (General Government)

Is there a field within the accounts payable section to indicate whether a bill is marked for AP or GL export? 
If an account switches from check to bank draft payment, how is that information updated in EnergyCAP? Does the OCR process recognize bank draft language on the utility invoice?
We have utility vendors that switch meter numbers but keep account numbers, or vice-versa. How is that handled?
On the GL side, where/how is speed chart information captured?  
Can you perform a percentage allocation for a single meter? (e.g. an 80/20 split between federal and state funding)
Can you select multiple bills for approval? 
When you approve an invoice containing all commodities, are all approved?
How are account-level charges handled?
Are demand charges captured in the UDM platform? 
Is the utility vendor still sending utility bills to agencies?
What is the UDM "reformatter"?
If the reformatter returns an error, how is the error resolved in a timely manner that avoids late fees? 
If the individual responsible for bill payment is on vacation or not responsive for any reason, how do we ensure that the bill is paid without incurring late fees?
Are there any tools that we can use for reconciliation? (e.g. a bill includes charges incurred at the end of the fiscal year in June, but the bill is paid in July)
When bills are approved for export, is this process timestamped?
Can bill images be sent along with reformatted data to meet "Accounts" criteria for paying AP bills in Edison? A bill image is required to process payment.
Does the ECI bill process budget checks against Edison?
What is the cost to the department?  

SFUM  – Team History

In which division is State Facility Utility Management (SFUM) located? How long has it been around?
Which State statutes are supported by SFUM's work?


UDM​ – Project Implementation 

I am having trouble logging in.

Please email us at TDEC.SFUM@tn.gov, or call the Energy Hotline at (615) 741-5524 or toll-free at 1-800-342-1340.

When will I have access to the platform?

Tennessee's UDM platform is rolling out in 2 phases. The first is a pilot group, who were granted access in Q3 2017. The next phase is general access in Q1 2018.

How can I get access to the UDM platform? Can I give others access?

Tennessee's UDM platform is rolling out in 2 phases. The first is a pilot group, who were granted access in Q3 2017. The next phase is general access in Q1 2018. The majority of end users will have the opportunity to attend training sessions in Q1 2018. Additional users must be created by the SFUM team.

Who has access to my data? 

State of Tennessee platform users have credentials that are specific to tenant groups. A tenant is a government agency or higher-ed institution. Users only have access to data within their tenant group. SFUM team members have access to all tenant groups.

Will my data be publicly accessible?

Certain high-level data (e.g., total electricity consumption for all State facilities) will be made publicly available; no tenant-specific data will be made publicly available without a tenant's permission.

Do I have to use the UDM platform? What if I don't participate? 

The UDM platform is optional and free to use for State facility and utility managers, fiscal personnel, technical assistance providers, and sustainability professionals. We do, however, encourage engaged users as all State-owned and leased facilities will be included in the State's annual Building Energy Management report. Being engaged allows the user to correct any data anomalies that may be included within this report.

I am with a local government in Tennessee, can I access the platform?

The UDM platform is limited to certain State employees or UDM-specific contractors. State of Tennessee platform users have credentials that are specific to tenant groups. A tenant is a government agency or higher-ed institution. Users only have access to data within their tenant group. SFUM team members have access to all tenant groups.

Will I be able to compare my facilities with other State of Tennessee facilities? 

UDM end users only have access to data within their tenant group. On a case by case basis, the SFUM will consider requests to compare entities across tenant groups. In these cases, permission will be requested by the involved parties.

We have a new building on campus. How do I include this in the UDM platform? How will the utility bills be captured? 

The SFUM team is here to assist with including new buildings, as well as revising your current building portfolio. The utility bills for new facilities will need to be scanned and emailed to TDEC.SFUM@tn.gov. After receipt, the SFUM team will send the information over to BillCAPture for initial enrollment. Initial enrollment will include setting up dual billing with the respective utility vendor.

If I notice a bill anomaly, how can I share this with a non-user for review?

Currently, bill images can be shared by exporting to PDF. In version 4 of the vendor platform, estimated to be available Dec. 2017, it will be possible to send a URL to the bill image.

If I notice something incorrect in the platform (buildings, account, meters, etc), whom do I contact?

Please email us at TDEC.SFUM@tn.gov, or call the Energy Hotline at (615) 741-5524 or toll-free at 1-800-342-1340.

How were building names and codes created? (i.e., naming convention)

The UDM naming convention is based on Archibus precedent for general government and THEC for higher-ed.


UDM – Platform Features

Does the UDM platform support Energy Star or integrate with Portfolio Manager?

The vendor module to support Energy Star Portfolio Manager is not currently enabled in the TN UDM platform. Please reach out with the the details of your request, as we are currently evaluating the need for Portfolio Manager integration.

Does the UDM platform support interval or real-time meter data?

On a case by case basis, the UDM platform can be configured to support import of interval data. Please contact our team to learn more.

Will UDM tie in with my Accounts Payable or General Ledger system?

Accounts Payable (AP) and General Ledger (GL) integration is included in the project scope for TN General Government. TDEC is interested in exploring funding opportunities with higher-ed institutions that would allow integration with the BANNER and IRIS AP/GL systems.

Will UDM integrate with my building automation systems?

UDM does not currently integrate with building automation systems.

I can't find the right report for what I am interested in evaluating. Where should I look?​

Please see the vendor report finder here: https://reports.energycap.com/. SFUM is also happy to recommend reports.

Can I share reports or platform images with non-users?

Yes, platform reports and images can be exported to PDF and Excel. Please consider whether requests for data should be forwarded to your agency's or institution's contact(s) for public records requests.


UDM – Accounts Payable (General Government)

Is there a field within the accounts payable section to indicate whether a bill is marked for AP or GL export? 

Not at this time. The AP / GL settings can be seen in the GL Code Subcode 20 settings under Meter Properties or in an Update Sheet downloaded from the UDM administration section. Meter Groups can also be used to Auto-Group meters by their Subcode 20 setting.

If an account switches from check to bank draft payment, how is that information updated in EnergyCAP? Does the OCR process recognize bank draft language on the utility invoice? 

The OCR process will not recognize the switch. Subcode 20 will need to be updated to reflect the switch for each meter listed on the account that is switching. When Subcode 20 is updated in EnergyCAP, the new value will apply immediately to any bill that is exported after the update is made (even bills that were already in EnergyCAP before the update).

We have utility vendors that switch meter numbers but keep account numbers, or vice-versa. How is that handled?

It is up to individual agencies to maintain meter and account numbers in the system. If a bill is rejected due to the account number not being present in the system, there is a "kick-out" process managed by the SFUM team. In some cases, SFUM will be able to resolve the kick-out, in others SFUM will reach out to the end user.

On the GL side, where/how is speed chart information captured?  

Speed chart information is captured in GL sub codes.

Can you perform a percentage allocation for a single meter? (e.g. an 80/20 split between federal and state funding)

Yes, there are a variety of ways to split bills in the UDM platform. On the facility side, an allocation by square footage or other distribution can be used. On the accounting side, bills can be allocated by funding source.

Can you select multiple bills for approval?  

Yes, batch approval is a highly used feature. 

When you approve an invoice containing all commodities, are all approved? 

When a bill is approved, it is approved for everything on the bill (if there are multiple meters, all meters are part of the approval). However, if a vendor bill is setup to be split in EnergyCAP, the split bills are created after the vendor bill is approved and each split bill needs to then be individually approved itself before it is exported to accounting.

How are account-level charges handled?

Non-meter account charges are accounted for in UDM; if cost itemization is available on a bill, this is read during the OCR process and input into the UDM platform.

Are demand charges captured in the UDM platform? 

Yes, demand charges are captured.

Is the utility vendor still sending utility bills to the agency? 

Yes, a strict requirement in implementing UDM was to not disrupt existing workflows. Going forward, after the full implementation of the UDM AP integration, it is intended where possible to stop cases of dual billing that were established during implementation. PDF bill images are available within the platform, and are available for export in AP/GL Edison transactions. Is some limited cases the project incurs a cost to establish dual billing, and in general it is a burden on the utility vendors to maintain dual billing indefinitely.

What is the UDM "reformatter"?

The reformatter is a software application that takes the output from the UDM platform and reformats it for import into the State's Edison AP system. The reformatter is the link between the UDM bill management interface and Edison.

If the reformatter returns an error, how is the error resolved in a timely manner that avoids late fees?

The end user would need to log in and clear up any errors to prevent the bill from being processed.  

If the individual responsible for bill payment is on vacation or not responsive for any reason, how do we ensure that the bill is paid without incurring late fees?

The same process that is currently used would be used. Reports are available in UDM that show bills that are due for payment. 

Are there any tools that we can use for reconciliation? (e.g. a bill includes charges incurred at the end of the fiscal year in June, but the bill is paid in July)

The reconciliation process needs to be discussed in greater detail as part of a workflow discussion per agency. It is likely that existing reports in EnergyCAP and/or bill lists can provide the necessary information to perform the desired reconciliation.

When bills are approved for export, is this process timestamped?

Yes, all exports are timestamped.

Can bill images be sent along with reformatted data to meet "Accounts" criteria for paying AP bills in Edison? A bill image is required to process payment.

Yes, bill images for reformatted bills can be copied to an ftp server for download or links to the images can be provided as part of the reformatted bills.

Does the ECI bill process budget checks against Edison?

This is possible; a custom configuration can be setup to do this using temp tables in the database. We would recommend carefully considering whether this is truly necessary as the maintenance for custom configuration can become time-consuming and confusing for the users of the system after implementation is complete.

What is the cost to the department?  

There is no cost to individual agencies for the duration of the project contract. The SFUM group and UDM project are enabled by the following statutes.

4-3-1012. Transfer of office of energy management functions relating to state buildings and state-owned facilities.
4-3-1017. Energy management program -- Development and implementation through the state building energy management program.
4-3-1018. Energy management program -- Liaisons -- Action -- Reevaluation.
4-3-1019. Energy management program -- Interagency cooperation.

Note: These statutes have not been amended to indicate TDEC oversight.


SFUM  - Team History

In which division is State Facility Utility Management (SFUM) located? How long has it been around?

State Facility Utility Management (SFUM) is a section within TDEC's Office of Energy Programs, and is located in TDEC's central office in Nashville. In January 2017, Governor Haslam transferred the responsibility for various state building energy management statutory responsibilities to TDEC. SFUM was then formed.

Which State statutes are supported by SFUM's work?

Four Tennessee statutes relate to utility and energy management in State facilities, as shown below:

4-3-1012. Transfer of office of energy management functions relating to state buildings and state-owned facilities.
4-3-1017. Energy management program -- Development and implementation through the state building energy management program.
4-3-1018. Energy management program -- Liaisons -- Action -- Reevaluation.
4-3-1019. Energy management program -- Interagency cooperation.

Note: These statutes have not been amended to indicate TDEC oversight.