General Billing Data
Input on this screen is required for billing analysis.
Default conditioned area, (SqFt):
Enter the total area of all conditioned spaces in this field. This is a default value that may be changed for each analysis period. It is used to normalize billing analysis outputs, which is useful for comparison purposes.
Default target heating energy usage, (Btu/SqFt-HDD):
This is a default target value that may be adjusted for each analysis period on the Analysis Periodsscreen. It is used to calculate the investment potential of the building as indicated on Heating Energy Scorecard and Investment Guidelines for heating reports. The target is different for different buildings, however the following numbers provide a guideline:
- Best new homes – 2Btu/SqFt-HDD
- Energy Star homes – 5Btu/SqFt-HDD
- Low usage existing homes – 7Btu/SqFt-HDD
- Medium usage existing homes – 11Btu/SqFt-HDD
- High usage existing homes – 15Btu/SqFt-HDD
Default savings term years (target payback):
This is a default payback period that is used to evaluate the investment potential of the building.
Heating Month Threshold, CDD/month:
The value entered here is used to identify the bills that do not have significant heating usage and are candidates for base load estimation. The heating threshold is used for all analysis periods.Note: TREAT uses the reference temperature and average daily temperatures to calculate heating degree-days in each utility bill. It compares the HDD value to the entered winter bill threshold. If the difference for a 30-day bill is greater than the threshold and the bill dates are entirely within the heating season specified on Weather/Defaults screen, the bill is assumed to be heating-only bill. This algorithm is applied to all the bills that have base and/or cooling load in addition to the heating load.
Heating threshold depends on the building heat loss rate, reference temperature, and specifics of heating system control.
You anticipate that the building has the heat loss rate (slope) of 15Btu/SF-HDD and you set your Heating Month Threshold to 50 HDD/month. Then all the months during which the heating energy usage was less than 15 × 50 = 750Btu/SF-month will be used to calculate the base load. This input will work out well for the buildings where the heating system is turned off during warm months. Cooling Month Threshold HDD/month – The value entered here is used to identify the bills that do not include cooling. The procedure is similar to the one described for the winter threshold. This algorithm is applied to all the bills that have a base and/or heating load in addition to the cooling load.
Attempt to generate the missing meter readings:
This checkbox allows the user to activate a feature within TREAT to generate missing billing data.
Two algorithms are available:
- Use average meter readings of similar units for the same time period, if available:This algorithm may be applied to the billing data if there are similar individually metered spaces in the project. For example if there are three one-bedroom units in an apartment building and utility bills are available for only two of them. If this algorithm is used, the missing bills for the apartment are calculated as an average of the bills for two other apartments for the same time interval.
- Use average readings for the same meter for the periods before and after the missing reading, if available:
If there are meter readings available for December and February but not for January, then January daily usage is calculated as an average of December and February. This feature should be used with care if available bills cover time periods longer than one month or if missing billing data are for months of a different type than immediately preceding and following bills. For example, if available bills are for May and September, then the generated bills will not include any cooling energy usage. When this feature is used, the existing bills that cover different month types are not excluded from base load calculations. For example, in an electrically heated building the utility bill that covers August to November will normally not be used to estimate base load because August is non-heating month and October is heating month. However, such a bill will be used for base load calculations in case the bills are auto-generated, because excluding it and generating missing values based on July and November bills will present even greater error.
Note: Use the drop down box to specify which algorithms should be used and in what order. In order to use the first algorithm to the full extent you need to specify the types of individually metered spaces that are present in the building. This is done to avoid the situations where utility bills for a one-bedroom apartment are used to estimate the usage for a three-bedroom apartment. You may either use the suggested descriptors or enter custom ones. Note that if you have an individually metered space on the Metered Spaces screen that uses a descriptor, you may not edit this descriptor on the General Billing Data screen.
This screen should be used only if there is more than one meter that measures consumption of at least one fuel. For example, if there is a single gas meter for an apartment building but electricity is metered separately for each apartment then you may need to describe each apartment on this screen.
Note: You do not need to create individually metered spaces if there is a single meter for each fuel in the project. TREAT will automatically generate the Whole Building space for your convenience. Even though the term “space” on this screen is the same as in the Building Model section, there is no connection between individually metered spaces entered here and the spaces entered for the building model on the Spaces screen. They are likely to be very different.
Space Name: unique name for the space.
Space Elevation, Space Area and Other Descriptors fields are used to describe the space. They allow taking advantage of TREAT’s capabilities to generate the missing billing data. The default value for these fields is NA.
Space Floor: input is used for record keeping.
You may enter the utility bill data here directly, or, if you are more comfortable with a spreadsheet, you can import your data from a comma separated data file (.CSV)
Select Individually Metered Space Name in the drop down box before entering the bills. All the spaces that were entered on the Metered Spaces screen are available for selection. You may also select Whole Building from the box if there is just a single set of bills for this fuel. If you entered fuel bills for the Whole Building space, then you will not be able to enter utility bills for individually metered spaces for this fuel.
Select from fuels listed in the drop down box. All the fuels entered on the Fuels/Rates screen are available for selection. The column headings on the table of utility bills will change to reflect the units for the selected fuel. Import Billing Data button opens billing data import utility that allows importing utility bills from text file into TREAT. The utility is described in a separate section of this manual.
Using the “Utility Data Import Template:
- Enter data on the first empty line under the column headings; the rest of the essential years’ worth of data will automatically fill down.
- Enter data down the Elapsed Days, Cost, and Unit Usage columns; change the estimated column only if necessary.
- You may add as many rows as you need (keep the formulas intact), and remove any unused rows.
- IMPORTANT – save, and then Export the data as .CSV file for import to TREAT.
Note: Old formatted utility data files will not work with this new import. Copy the essential data from old to paste into this new template. Be sure to order the columns correctly.
- Even if you don’t have your data in a spreadsheet now, you may find it easier to “Import Billing Data” and use the “Utility Data Import Template.”
- If there are utility bills for an individually metered space other than the “Whole Building” for a particular fuel, TREAT will require that billing data is entered or generated for all the spaces entered on Metered Spaces screen.
- Make sure that the metered space and fuel in the drop down boxes are set correctly before entering the bills. TREAT does not have a tool for copying the bills from one metered space to another.
You need to enter data for a multifamily building that has eight apartments. A single meter measures natural gas used for space heating. Each apartment has a separate electric meter. In order to run a billing analysis for both fuels you need to enter each apartment as an individually metered space on the Metered Spaces screen. On the Utility Bills screen, select Whole Building in the top drop down box and Natural Gas in the drop down box below. Enter the utility bills for the gas meter. Select the first apartment entered on the Metered Spaces screen in the top drop down box. Change the fuel to electricity and enter electric bills for this space. Enter the electric bills for all other apartments in the similar manner.
Manual Billing Data Input:
- Start Month: The starting month of the utility bill, found on the billing statement.
- Start Day: The starting day of the utility bill, found on the billing statement.
- Start Year: The starting year of the utility bill from the billing statement. There is no default for starting date of the first bill. For other bills the default is set to the next day following the end of previous bill. You will not be allowed to save a utility bill if it overlaps with other bills for the same space and fuel.
- Elapsed Days: The number of days between the start and the end date of the utility bill. TREAT assumes that the amount of fuel specified in Usage field was consumed during the time period specified in Elapsed Days field, starting from the start date of the bill.
- Usage, units of fuel: This input is used to enter fuel usage from the utility bill.
- Bill Type: Is the data from an actual Bill or a calculated estimate?
- Include the Bill in the Analysis: Set the field to Yes if the billing data is reliable and represents typical usage during the time period. Set it to No otherwise, for example if you know that the occupants were away on vacation during this period or that there was construction on the site that might have significantly affected the fuel usage.
- Arrange the paper bills in chronological order to simplify data input. If the fuel is continuously provided by utility company (electricity, often natural gas) then elapsed days may be taken directly from the utility bill. If the fuel is shipped at variable time intervals (filling oil or propane tank), then enter the time in days between the two consecutive bills. If the fuel is shipped at variable time intervals (filling oil or propane tank), the usage shown on the following bill should be entered on the preceding bill.
- Use Billing Data Import utility accessible from Accessories menu to import billing data in comma-separated format (.csv) into TREAT. See the corresponding section of the manual for more details about the utility.
The oil company delivered 200 gallons of oil on January 3 and filled up the oil tank. The next delivery of 175 gallons was on January 23. From these two bills we may conclude that 175 gallons of oil (usage) were consumed in 20 days (elapsed days) starting January 3 (start date).
- Usage, $: Input the dollar cost of fuel. This cost is used to calculate the average cost of fuel displayed on the Analysis Periods screen. The input logic is similar to units of fuel input described above. Enter dollar amounts without using commas; for example, enter $1000, not $1,000.
- Bill Type: Set the field to actual or estimated. Utility bills are treated differently during the calculations depending on the bill type.
- Include the Bill in Analysis: Set the field to Yes if the billing data is reliable and represents typical usage during the time period. Set it to No otherwise, for example if you know that the occupants were away on vacation during this period or that there was construction on the site that might have significantly affected the fuel usage.
The Analysis Periods screen is used to set the time period for which the utility bills will be analyzed and to run billing analysis calculations. You may create any number of analysis periods in the project. To create a new analysis period click the “New” button in the upper right corner of the screen and enter the period name. Use the Delete and Rename buttons to delete and rename the analysis periods.
In order for TREAT to run a billing analysis, it must have weather data for the time period covered by the analysis. Check the Daily Weather Data library to confirm that TREAT has data for the period of interest. Start Month and Start Year define the starting date of the period. TREAT assumes that the period starts on the first day of the specified month. End Month and End Year define the ending date of the period. TREAT assumes that the period ends on the last day of the specified month.
Note: An Analysis Period may be of any length. All utility bills that are completely within the start and end date of the analysis period are included in the analysis. As with all statistical calculations, the more utility bills are included the more reliable the outputs are, so an analysis period should cover as many bills as possible.
Begin by naming your analysis period and selecting a start and end date. The following inputs are also necessary:
Target Heating Energy Usage:
This value is by default equal to the corresponding input on the General Billing Data screen. It is used to estimate the investment potential of the building.
This value is by default equal to the corresponding input on the General Billing Data screen. It is used to estimate the investment potential of the building. Compare billing data for the period with the model created for box is only used if the building model was created. You may select the Base Building (the existing building without any improvements) as described on the building model screens or any package created on the Packages screen for which calculations have been performed. The required information about the building is taken from the building model screens. All the inputs described below are disabled if this box is checked.
Refers to the building insulation and tightness. Select the building description from the drop down box. This input helps you to estimate the default heating reference temperature in the box below.
Heating Reference Temperature, F:
The maximum outdoor temperature at which the building requires heating. It mainly depends on the thermostat set point, building insulation, air tightness, mechanical ventilation, and internal, as well as, solar gains. This temperature is always less than or equal to the average indoor temperature during the heating season.
Cooling Reference Temperature, F:
This value is the same as heating reference temperature, but for cooling. This temperature is always less than or equal to the indoor air temperature during the cooling season. The default value does not depend on the selected building type because internal and solar gains have a greater influence on the reference temperature.
Heated Area, SqFt:
The total area of conditioned space. The default value is based on the input in the corresponding field on the General Billing Data screen. The value is used to normalize results of billing analysis for presentation in reports.
Is Building Cooled:
If this field is set to Yes it is assumed that the electric bills included in the billing period reflect cooling usage in addition to other loads.
Primary Heating Fuel:
The fuel used by the main heating system. Select from the list of fuels entered on the Fuels/Rates screen.
Secondary Heating Fuel:
The fuel used by the back-up heating system that operates when the primary system cannot satisfy the heating load. Select a fuel other than the primary heating fuel from the list entered on Fuels/Rates screen.
Fuels Used for Base Load:
Check the box next to the name of the fuel that is used for loads other than heating and cooling. Multiple fuels may be selected.
Calculate Base Load Statistics:
Click the button to analyze utility bills for the analysis period to separate base load usage from heating/cooling usage for each fuel selected as primary, secondary or cooling fuel. The calculation results are displayed in the table.
Average Fuel Cost, $/Unit of Fuel:
The sum of $ divided by the sum of units for all bills in the analysis period. Bills partially in the analysis period are pro-rated. Average Fuel Cost $/Unit of Fuel includes any fixed monthly meter costs that are included in the utility bills.
Note: If the billing analysis is used to calibrate the model, use the average fuel cost displayed in the table for the Energy Cost $/Unit field of Fuels/Rates screen.
Base Load for Analysis:
- Select the “calculated base load”button to use the base load calculated by TREAT and displayed in the table for the billing analysis. In some cases the billing information that you have entered may not be sufficient to calculate the base load.ExampleOil is used for space and hot water heating. You have entered a single record on Utility Bills screen for the annual oil usage. In this case TREAT is not able to separate the bill into heating and base load portions and you are asked to enter estimated base load. A similar situation occurs if you enter multiple bills, but all of them are for the time periods with a higher HDD/month than the value of Heating Month Threshold, HDD/Month set on the General Billing Data screen. If each bill contains both heating and base load, then the base load cannot be calculated.
- Select the “estimated base load” button to use the estimated base load displayed in the last row of the table for the billing analysis.
If you feel that the calculated base load displayed in the table does not reflect the actual base load or if TREAT is unable to calculate the base load automatically, you may choose to use estimated base load for billing analysis. Enter the base load for all heating and cooling fuels in the window that appears after the radio button is selected. You may also enter or edit this value directly in the table on the Analysis Periods screen.
Note: For analysis periods compared to model, you may choose to enter the model base load as estimated base load. The base load for each fuel is comprised of lighting, appliance and domestic hot water loads. Lighting and appliance load of the model may be obtained from the Model Inspector Lighting/Appliances tab. Lighting and appliance load for electricity is equal to the sum of the load in Btu/Day-SqFt shown below the lighting table and the electricity load from appliances shown in the corresponding row of the Appliances table. Appliance load for other fuels may be taken from Appliance Load table. DHW load may be taken from Model Energy Report.
Use the following equation to convert DHW load to correct units:
DHW[Btu/Day-SqFt]=DHW[$/year]/EnergyCost[$/Unit] × EnergyContent[Btu/Unit]/365/HeatedArea[SqFt]
- DHWLoad [$/year] may be obtained from the first chart of Model Energy Report.
- EnergyCost [$/Unit] and EnergyContent [Btu/Unit] may be taken from the DHW fuel row of the Fuels/Rates screen.
- HeatedArea [SqFt] is shown on the Analysis Periods screen.
Run Billing Analysis:
Click the button to perform billing analysis for the analysis period. The detailed calculation results may be viewed on the reports for the analysis periods. Calculation summary is shown in the pop-up window after the calculations are complete.