Web Services FAQs

Below find the answers to many Frequently Asked Questions about SMUD's Web Services. Web Services is a free tool provided by SMUD that uploads energy usage data directly into your Portfolio Manager property record.

Q - Is there a user's Guide to help me set up automated data uploads from SMUD?

A - Yes! Download the SMUD Guide "How to Enroll in Web Services" here.

 

Q - Why is Sacramento Municipal Utility District SMUD (SMUD-ELECTRIC) not showing up when I search under Add Contacts?

A - If Sacramento Municipal Utility District SMUD (SMUD-ELECTRIC) does not appear in your Contacts search, it may be because you have previously connected with SMUD. To verify whether you are connected, go to “Contacts.”

  • If Sacramento Municipal Utility District SMUD (SMUD-ELECTRIC) is not listed under your contacts, make sure you are searching for “Sacramento Municipal Utility District”. Searching for “SMUD” does not work.
  • When you are successfully contact connected with SMUD, you will see Sacramento Municipal Utility District SMUD (SMUD-ELECTRIC) in your Contacts list.

 

Q - How should I set up my meters in Portfolio Manager if I want to enroll in Web Services?

A - Once you enroll in Web Services, SMUD will provide an automated upload of site energy consumption data into Portfolio Manager in one of two formats. You can request either individual meter data*, or aggregated (summed), whole building data. The energy meter set up is different for each of these options.

For individual meter data: For each SMUD meter that you are enrolling in Web Services, add one electric grid meter to Portfolio Manager. Obtain a recent SMUD billing statement, note the number of SMUD meters, and record the Account Number and Location Number for each meter at the site. Individual meter data is updated by SMUD on a monthly basis, after an initial transfer of up to 24 months of historical data.

*Individual meter data is not available to large SMUD accounts on Campus Billing. These customers may only receive aggregated usage data.

For aggregated, whole building data: For SMUD meters that you are enrolling in Web Services, add one electric grid meter to Portfolio Manager for each Location Number at the site. If the site has multiple addresses, there may be a distinct Location Number for each address. SMUD will aggregate data for meters associated with each Location Number separately. Obtain a recent SMUD billing statement, note the number of Location Numbers, and record one Meter Number associated with each Location Number at the site. Aggregated Data is provided in a one-time transmission of up to 24 months of historical, calendarized data. Monthly updates of aggregated data are not provided.

 

Q – What is the difference between aggregated and individual meter data?

A - Individual Meter Data – If you set up Web Services using this option, SMUD will transfer over your billing data into your meters on an individual basis, meter by meter. The energy consumption and cost data added to Portfolio Manager will match the energy use information you see on your billing statements from SMUD for each meter at the site. 

Aggregated Data – If you set up Web Services using this option, SMUD will sum up, or aggregate, the energy consumption for all electric meters at the site, and import the summed energy and cost data into the one meter in Portfolio Manager (for buildings with only one Location Number). This single Portfolio Manager meter will then contain the energy usage data for the whole building. This is known as “Whole Building Data.” Sites with more than one address can have more than one Location Number. In those cases, each Location Number is associated with a subset of the physical meters at the site. You should create one meter in Portfolio Manager for each Location Number at the site. 

 

Q - Which type of data should I use to benchmark my building, aggregated or individual meter data?

A – If you have access to billing statements covering all meters at the site (i.e. you have access to all Account Number, Location Number, and Meter Number data for the site), then there is no reason not to opt for Individual Meter Data. The Web Services set up is more complicated initially, but since you’ll be getting monthly data going forward, you’ll only have to do this set up once. Another benefit – you’ll gain a more complete understanding of how your building consumes energy if you can review past energy usage meter by meter. That said, any building owner or building owner's agent who prefers aggregated data may request it.

Aggregated Data enables Building Owners who only have access to meter numbers to benchmark their buildings, so they may comply with benchmarking laws. A sufficient quantity of Aggregated, whole building data is provided to the building owner in a one-time data transfer, for the purposes of benchmarking. Data aggregation protects the privacy of SMUD customers.

 

Q - I understand that Aggregated Data is calendarized. What is calendarized data? 

A - Calendarized Data has been mathematically reallocated from the original meter billing schedule into uniform periods which run from the first day of a month to the last day of a month. This process is needed to align the varied billing cycles associated with the individual meters at a property into a standard start date / stop date format.

 

Q - I own or manage a multi-tenant building. How do I benchmark my building when some SMUD accounts aren't in my name?

A – Most building owners or property managers have access to the meters at their site. Refer to the instructions for requesting Aggregated data found in the SMUD Web Services User Guide. You will only need one Meter Number for each Location Number at the site. Buildings with multiple addresses often have more than one Location Number. SMUD will validate the meter number, locate all other meters at the same address/Location Number, and upload aggregated data for the building, all while maintaining your individual tenant's privacy. Note: If the building has two separate addresses (such as a building located on a corner), some meters are associated with the second address. To obtain whole building data, you must provide one Meter Number for each Address/Location Number when sharing your meters with SMUD.

 

Q - Why did I receive less historical meter data than I expected to when I signed up for Web Services?

A - For meters that have been successfully connected, SMUD will populate up to 24 months of historical energy data for that meter, as well as monthly data updates going forward (for individual meters, not aggregated data), with the following exceptions:

  • The Meter has existed for less than this amount of time.
  • Change in Customer of Record: To protect customer privacy, SMUD will not send meter entries that were billed under a previous Customer of Record.
  • Existing meter entries: If you have manually input usage entries for the meter before authorizing Web Services, SMUD will only populate sequential entries following the most recent one that you entered. See the next FAQ for a resolution to this issue. 

 

Q - I had existing data in my meter, which blocked my historical data upload. How can I get my historical data now?

A - If you have existing data in your Portfolio Manager meter, SMUD will only upload historical data from the date of your most recent meter entry going forward. Existing meter data is often the explanation behind a partial historical data upload. The other common reason for this issue is a change in Customer of Record. Historical data can only be provided for the current Customer of Record.

If existing meter data blocked your historical data upload, use the following workaround to get this information.

  • Step 1 – Download the existing data in the meter in question, if desired. (Why do this step? If you have meter data which is older than two years, you may want to preserve it. This older data can be reuploaded later.)
  • To do download your meter data, go to the Energy tab, and click on the meter name of interest. Once you are looking at this meter’s data, scroll to the bottom of the page and click ”Download to Excel”. Save the resulting Excel file in a safe place.
  • Step 2 – Delete the meter in question. To do this, from the same page, scroll to the top and look for the Basic Meter Information Section above the meter data. Expand this section by clicking on the small triangle at left of the words Basic Meter Information. Then click “Delete Meter”. Click “Continue” To confirm your selection. When the page refreshes, your meter will be gone.
  • Step 3 – Add a new Meter to replace the one you deleted. Do not add any billing data to this new meter.
  • Step 4 – Unshare and reshare your site and all of your meters with SMUD. Follow the Unshare / Reshare directions in the SMUD Guide to Benchmarking. This action breaks the SMUD Web Services connection to the meter you deleted, and establishes a new connection to all of your meters, including the one you just created.
  • Step 5 – A few hours after SMUD accepts your site/meter share request, you should see your historical energy data upload into your new meter. Success!
  • Step 6 – If desired, upload any of the older meter data you downloaded in step 1 back into your new meter. Be sure not to overlap any dates. For guidance on Uploading Meter Data by Spreadsheet, see the spreadsheet template and directions found below the data entries in your new meter.

  

Q - Why am I getting an “overlapping meter entries” error message?

A - Portfolio Manager requires that meter entries do not overlap by more than one day. You may be getting this error for the following reason:

Before signing up for Web Services, you might have had previously entered meter data manually, and the start and end dates did not accurately match the meter read cycle. For example, if you entered 1/1/15–1/31/15 when the actual meter reading was for 12/25/15– 1/24/15, you will want to correct these dates by editing the meter entry start and end dates. Then the data you entered will line up with the data uploaded by SMUD.

Read more about fixing overlapping data in this ENERGY STAR FAQ.

 
Q – My building has 5 meters. I requested aggregated data, but instead of creating one meter in Portfolio Manager, I created five. Now I have aggregated data for the whole building in each meter. What can I do? Also, my ENERGY STAR score is a 1. Is this related?


A – To resolve this issue, you should delete the four duplicate meters. The ENERGY STAR FAQs provides directions for deleting meters. Steps: Open each duplicate meter by clicking on its meter name as shown on the Energy Tab. Expand the Basic Meter Information above the meter entries. Click Delete Meter. Click Save Changes. Repeat for each duplicate meter. Note: Having so much duplicate energy data in your Portfolio Manager property profile will definitely result in a very low ENERGY STAR score (from 1 to 20 or so).


Q – I benchmarked my building in the past using individual meter data entered by hand. Now I want to switch to using aggregated data automatically uploaded from SMUD. What should I do?


A – Create a new meter in Portfolio Manager for each Location Number at the site. Use your new meter(s) to connect with SMUD Web Services. Tip: Name each meter “Location Number X - Aggregated Data” or something similar. Once you have the aggregated data from SMUD, note the start date of the earliest aggregated data meter entry (for this example, let’s say that date is 10/01/2016). Deactivate each of your individual data meters, and set them to having gone out of service on 10/01/2016. By using this same date, you will avoid having incomplete meter data at any time.

 

Q - I was previously receiving energy data via SMUD's automated data upload system, but it no longer works. What happened?


A1 - This interruption is most likely a result of some change in the customer account (customer name, property management company name, or SMUD account number or meter number). The first step would be to double check a recent bill to verify that the account details you are using are accurate. To make corrections, Re-set the property/meter share by using Unshare/Re-share technique illustrated in the SMUD Web Services User Guide and input the new information during Re-share. This should restore the flow of billing data from SMUD.
A2 - Are you sure the billing data was previously coming over from SMUD every month? Customers receiving aggregated data get one time uploads of historical data from SMUD, and each of the up to 24 entries comes over from SMUD on the same date. If you review your meter data and see the prior entries all arrived on the same day, you just need to request another batch of aggregated data. Tip: Look at your meter entries and inspect the date appearing at the far right of each row. Individual meter entries come over from SMUD every month. If your prior meter entries arrived on a monthly basis, see A1 above to restore your data feed.

 

Q - I received aggregated data using SMUD Web Services, but my ENERGY STAR score is very high. I think I may have more than one Location Number at my site. Can SMUD confirm this?


A - Building owners seeing an unusually high ENERGY STAR score (90 to 100) should refer to a recent SMUD energy statement to determine if a second Location Number was overlooked. If this is the case, some meters at the site are not being accounted for, explaining the high score. For example, if a property has three Location Numbers, three aggregated data meters should be created in Portfolio Manager. Use one Meter Number associated with each Location Number to share each aggregated data meter with SMUD. Building owners who don’t have access to billing statements for all meters should reach out to SMUD for assistance.


Q – I received aggregated data using SMUD Web Services, but I’m not sure all meter data at my site is included. Can SMUD help?


A – SMUD will supply a list of the meter numbers being summed upon request, obscuring all but the last four digits of each meter number, to protect customer privacy. A building owner or property manager will be able to tell if these meters represent all meters at the site.

 

Q - My account is set up on SMUD’s Campus Billing. I went through the steps to request individual meter data, but nothing happened. Why didn't I receive any data?


A - For customers on Campus Billing, SMUD can only upload the aggregated energy usage data that appears on your bill. However, a custom solution may be available to those Campus-billed customers who require energy consumption data by individual meter in Portfolio Manager to fulfill state reporting requirements. Please contact SMUD for details.

 

Do you have a question about setting up Web Services? We'd be happy to help. Please write to our benchmarking expert at info@sellingenergy.com for assistance

To contact SMUD, reach out via Benchmark@SMUD.org or (916) 732-7399.

Updates

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