Monthly Archives: February 2017

Utility Data Management for Marketers

For energy marketers, utility data management and utility relations are a big piece of the success “pie”. The energy customer is, after all, a customer of the utility as well as the energy marketer. In this relationship the customer is, of course, at the center. And as every good energy marketer knows, keeping the customer happy requires keeping the utility happy. Given the sheer number of utilities under which many marketers operate today, good utility relations can be an important strategic advantage. But maintaining that relationship can also be a challenge.

Enter Safari Suite Utility Data Management. Having grown up with the Safari Suite comprehensive system for energy sales and service, the Utility as a manageable entity has long been an integral feature of our energy marketing software and system. From automated EDI to tariff and price modeling, and from dynamic customer data management to utility-specific data operations and rates, Safari has you covered.

EDI Transaction Management

As our blog post on Safari 3rd party interfacing points out, Safari is “EDI ready” in many deregulated markets.

The Safari UDI component (or Utility Data Interface) acts as a bridge between the Safari system and the EnSite customer’s commercial EDI provider to enable seamless, automated communication between the Marketer and EDI utilities (for Bill Ready, Rate Ready, and Dual Billing). In terms of sophistication, the EDI system goes beyond simple data or transaction transfers to conduct complex behind-the-scenes processes in Safari (such as automated price generation/submission for Rate Ready end users). These automated processes permit the Marketer to manage high-volume EDI transactions with minimal human intervention.

Tariff and Price Modeling

Safari Suite’s robust tariff and price modeling functionality takes the guess work out of estimating or creating  “pass-through” Utility charges. The Tariff Model is set up by the EnSite user for one of two purposes:

  • To generate Transportation/Distribution charges based on the Utility’s tariff for the customer’s assigned Utility Service Class
  • To generate comparison pricing based on the Utility’s tariff for the customer’s Sales Class to demonstrate on the invoice the difference between what the customer is paying the marketer and what the Utility would charge for the same service.

In addition to the user-designed Tariff Model, EnSite employs internally developed “tariff programs” that determine rules and methods used for nominating natural gas to the Utility, balancing daily nominations with supply, and managing storage balances.

Account Utility Data

Safari Suite’s Customer Care system manages a variety of date-effective utility data applicable to individual Accounts. Known as “Utility Services”, such account-level data describes characteristics of the Account set by the Utility. Examples include the Account Rate Class, Service Class, its electricity  Capacity/Transmission Obligations, its Maximum Daily Quantity for gas nominations, and much more. In fact, there’s no limit to the amount or type of Utility service data that can be managed in Safari. Users can easily manage updates to values for service data over time, and updates of utility service data via EDI transactions is fully automated.

Utility Rates and UOM Conversion

Users can create and manage unlimited rates for modeled utilities in Safari, known as Tariff Rates. Tariff Rates are available for selection throughout Safari for such purposes as factoring line loss (distribution loss) into metered volumes purchased at the city gate, assigning the utility’s BTU value to natural gas supply,  charging unit-based fees such as transportation fees, setting rates for electricity charges related to Capacity and Transmission, and much more. Tariff Rates are also utilized in setting up utility-specific “conversion factors” that allow Safari to translate usage in one Unit of Measure to billed units in a second Unit of Measure.

Safari Suite: Unlimited Utility Support

As this review demonstrates, the Safari utility is a highly developed, constantly evolving, and inherently flexible model for managing utility-based Account data and processes involving utility usage, rates and charges. It will continue to evolve, as Safari Suite users in partnership with EnSite bring more utilities and utility tariffs into the system.

Don’t get left behind—grow your markets with Safari Suite. We are standing by to incorporate your market footprint into the system that knows how to support your business, your utilities, and the customers you both serve.