Partnering with professionals and companies from all over the world has taught us that tariff structures can vary significantly from country to country, making it very tricky to provide a billing solution that fits the needs of such a large variety of different cases without compromising on automation and scalability.

Driven by the idea to give more freedom to the user to create and automate bills that reflect the current tariff structure and costs, we are happy to announce a new feature aimed at improving the flexibility of tariffs and utility bills, called “Cost Meters”. 

This new tool combines the power and versatility of the formula composer tool with the structured approach and automation of the utility bill report, allowing the user to build custom formulas to calculate costs and have them appear as in utility bills as itemised costs.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to generate a Cost Meter and how to populate these to reflect in your utility bill reports.

Table of content:

1 - Navigate to the Formula Composer 

2 - Type a formula to calculate costs

3 - Create a new point

4 - Generate utility bill reports

5 - Export your utility bill for preview 

6 - Support Contacts 

1 - Navigate to the Formula Composer tab

Once you are logged into your dashboard, click on the “calculator” icon on the top menu to access the Formula Composer.

This tool allows to create custom formulas using existing data points as variables. Start by selecting your data point(s) in the left menu tree and apply your tariffs where applicable and conditions (eg. +, -, /, *, ^, <, >, =, and, or, if-then-else, etc.) in order to calculate costs.

2 - Type a formula to calculate costs

In the first example below (Figure 1), we are multiplying the energy consumption of a data point (eg. Hotel leisure centre) by a tariff rate (0.12), and adding a fixed amount (2) (eg. transportation cost, meter management cost) to the result.  

The addition of the tariff rate and operators "*0.12 + 2" shows that you can build formulas. This formula in the example could apply if you are paying a fixed amount for each kWh delivered plus the cost of the kWh itself.

The chart shows the result of the calculation as soon as a formula is properly typed, allowing the user to cross-check that the formula is correct and the results are in line with what’s expected.

Figure 1

Formula: (Floor1 *0.12)+2

Here is a more complex example to show the potential of Cost Meters:

Figure 2

In the second example above (Figure 2) we are using an "IF" clause to replicate the case of an energy distributor that gives different rates depending on the consumption tier: as you can see in the formula, the rate applied will change based on the monitored energy consumption.

Formula: IF(Floor 1<8 kWh, Floor 1 * 0,12, Floor 1* 0.15)

3 - Create a new point

In order to create a new Cost Meter, click on the green box labelled “Create new point” as shown in the following image:

Figure 3

Once the new point is created, a new window will appear to set the parameters of the new cost meter:

Figure 4

In here you can:

  • Assign a name to the new Cost Meter
  • Select the site in your menu tree in which the new data point will appear
  • Tick the “Use as cost meter in bills” box
  • Type a unit of measurement e.g. €, £, $, CAD
  • Choose a starting date of calculation
  • Click on “I agree to add the formula point to my subscription”

Please check that all the details entered for your new Cost Meter are correct before saving. See example below:

Figure 5

Click on save in order to complete the process.
The new formula point will appear in the selected position and will look like this:

Figure 6

4 - Generate utility bill reports

In order to generate a utility bill with your new Cost Meter(s) reflecting, the first step is to navigate to the report definitions page, click on the button labelled “Admin” to access the administration area, where 'Reports' are located.

Figure 7

If reports are enabled in your dashboard tab, click on the reports icon as shown in the image below:

Figure 8

Once you in the report definitions tool, click on “new report definition”. 

Figure 9

In here you are asked to:

  • Choose a name for the report template
  • Type in a short report description
  • Choose the energy type
  • Choose the day you wish the report to be sent out
  • Choose the time shift in months that will be analysed by the report eg.
  • Decide which site is going to be shown in the report. Note that in order to have cost meters in the report, the selected site will need to host at least one of them

You can find more information regarding how to set up a utility bill in here.

The next step is to scroll down the page and tick the box related to “Utility Bill” as shown in the image below:

Figure 10

By scrolling further down the webpage you will find a button labelled “Add Section”, click on it and the table you see in the image below will appear. 

The table will group a list of cost items in your bill, so you can create as many as you need. Give it a name and click on “Add Items” to go on with the bill creation. 

Figure 11

A new portion of the table will appear to map the costs that will appear in the bill. Click on the “Quantity” drop-down menu and select “Cost Meters”

Figure 12

In doing so, you’ll see that the name and price column will not be available for you to make changes. This is because the item’s name is the cost meter’s name itself, while the price is the result of calculations implemented during the creation of the meter.

Click on the green button labelled “Save” in order to complete the process. 

5 - Export your utility bill for preview

In order to export a sample of the utility bill to see how it looks, click on the “Preview” icon.

Figure 13

Then, once in the preview page, choose:

  • The report’s name (the one that you just created)
  • The site you wish to create the report (the site with the Cost Meters associated to it)
  • The month that will be taken into consideration by the report and the year

Thereafter, click on the green button labelled “Generate” to download the Utility Bill in pdf format. The result should look something like the following image:

Figure 14

As you will see, inside the utility bill are the cost items eg. “Floor 1 - Cost Meter” and “Floor 2 - Cost Meter”. 

6 - Support Contacts

For further support and clarifications, please don’t hesitate to contact us at support@wattics.com 

If you are not a Wattics user and want to schedule a demo of this tool, please, contact info@wattics.com 

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