General Utility Accounting Questions

How do Utility Manager and The Energy Center differ from each other?

The Utility Manager and The Energy Center are two independent full-featured utility accounting software products.  The Utility Manager is software that is installed on your network behind your firewall.  The Energy Center, on the other hand, is 100% web-based, accessible from any browser or mobile device.

For additional information on how Utility Manager and The Energy Center differ, see Compare Utility Manager and The Energy Center.

What is Energy Accounting and Utility Accounting?

Both Energy Accounting and Utility Accounting represent a systematic way of recording, analyzing, and reporting energy and other utility costs and usage on a regular basis.  Originally, software for this purpose tended to track only energy services (which can be converted to "British Thermal Units") such as electricity, natural gas, propane, oil, etc.   As a result, it was called Energy Accounting software.  As software has evolved and "non-energy" utility services such as water, sewer, and garbage were added, the software and the process became known by the broader term

How do Utility Manager and Energy Center software compare to just using spreadsheets?

Simple spreadsheets are fine for just recording the information on your utility bills, but when many dozens, hundreds, or thousands of utility bills need to be tracked, spreadsheets quickly become the wrong tool for the job.  Database applications such as Utility Manager (for your network) or The Energy Center (100% web-based) provide the needed horsepower to process and analyze larger numbers of bills.  The programs have been specifically designed over the last 30 years to streamline the data entry process and ensure the accuracy of the utility account numbers, dates, and billing

How can Utility Manager or The Energy Center software pay for themselves?

Both Utility Manager (for your network) and The Energy Center (100% web-based) can often pay for themselves through more careful monitoring of your utility usage and cost.  A powerful billing audit feature can analyze your utility bills against the history of each account through a series of nearly two dozen checks designed to flag abnormal usage and costs, overlapping service periods, duplicate bills, etc.  Many Utility Manager users have caught and recovered many thousands of dollars in utility billing errors by using Utility Manager's billing audit feature.

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