1. What could cause a delay in response time with some features and functionality?
Browser Compatibility. EPB was designed for, and is maintained to stay current with, the latest web standards and protocols. However, not all web browsers (e.g., Safari) comply with these standards in the same way, or are updated and maintained with the same frequency. For an optimal user experience, we recommend using the latest version (or previous major release) of Google Chrome. google.com/chrome
2. How do I create a Price Request?
Price Requests can be initiated three (3) ways:
- Within Dashboard, select "Create New Price Request," which launches a clean set of inputs within the Workspace, enabling the user to enter and save inputs as a new price request. See Screenshot below.
- Within Workspace (using an existing price request), select the "Clear" button, which will clear all existing inputs and then prompt the user to enter a new input set and save it as a new price request. See Screenshot below.
- Within Workspace (without an existing price request), user starts with a clean set of inputs, enabling the user to enter and save inputs as a new price request. See screenshot below.
3. Can I save a price request without submitting that price request for processing?
Yes. By selecting the “Save” button, the system enables the user to save inputs for a price request without requiring the user to submit the price request (for processing). To submit a price request (for processing), the user selects the “Get Pricing” button, which not only submits the price request (for processing), but also autosaves the user-selected inputs and corresponding output. See also Overview FAQ #12.
4. Can I create a new price request from an existing price request?
Yes. Within Workspace (using an existing price request), edit any input and then save this revised input as a new price request . See screenshot below.
5. Can I update/revise an existing price request?
Yes. Within Workspace (using an existing price request), edit any input and then update the price request with this revised input. See screenshot below.
6. How do I export (and print) pricing data?
For Subscribed Users (Basic & Premium), pricing data can be exported/printed two (2) ways:
- Workspace: For each price request, users can export pricing and corresponding inputs by selecting the "Export" button on the Workspace output panel, which downloads all (current day and historical pricing) data to Excel. Users can then print this data from the downloaded Excel file. See screenshot below.
- Dashboard: For each utility, users can export a listing of all saved/submitted price requests and the latest pricing for these price requests, by selecting the "Export" button within the Dashboard. Users can then print this data from the downloaded Excel file. See screenshot below.
7. Can I share EPB pricing with others?
Yes. All EPB users (free and subscribed) can share pricing and corresponding inputs by clicking the "Share" button on the Workspace output panel, which takes a snapshot of the webpage and attaches it to an email for sending. In addition, all users can share the EPB site via links located in the footer of the website. See screenshot below.
8. Can EPB pricing be automatically sent to me?
Yes, pricing can be automatically sent two (2) ways:
- Price Alerts
Subscribed Users - Basic & Premium. After submitting a price request, a subscribed user can set Price Alerts within the Dashboard. Price Alerts are an automated way of being notified of significant price movements for a request, which are based on user-defined thresholds that can be set for any price component of any selected term. See screenshot below.
- Dashboard Email Push
For Basic & Premium subscriptions, users can set a snapshot of the dashboard to be automatically emailed on a reoccurring basis ("Dashboard Email Push"). This Dashboard Email Push includes all saved/submitted price requests and refreshed pricing (for these price requests). See screenshots below.
9. How far forward can EPB price and why are some term lengths unavailable to price?
EPB can price any term within a forward 60 month window of the current date upon which a price request is submitted, wherein the first month of this window is the calendar month immediately following the submission date ("Forward 60 Month Window").
For example, if a user submits a price request on Dec 15, 2020, the first month of the Forward 60 Month Window is Jan 2021 and the end month of this window is Dec 2025. Furthermore, if the user submits a price request on Dec 15, 2020 with a start month of Jan 2025 (4 years out), then only a 12-month (or less) term length will be available to price. Term lengths greater than 12 months (e.g. 24 and 36 months) would not be available for the user to select/price because they contain end months that are beyond the Forward 60 Month Window of Jan 2021 through Dec 2025. See screenshot and diagram below.
10. For each price request, how many term lengths can be priced?
Free Users & Registered Users
One (1) standard term length can be priced (12, 24, or 36 months), presuming the end month of the selected term is within the Forward 60 Month Window (defined in #8 above).
Up to three (3) standard term lengths can be priced (12, 24, and/or 36 month), presuming the end month of any selected term is within the Forward 60 Month Window (defined in #8 above).
Up to three (3) standard and custom term lengths can be priced (12, 24, 36 month and/or custom), presuming the end month of any selected term is within the Forward 60 Month Window (defined in #8 above).
See Subscription Plans.
11. If a price request includes multiple terms, why are there times when a shorter-term length
(e.g.,12 mo.) includes more historical pricing than a longer-term length (e.g., 24mo, 36mo)?
For each user-submitted price request, EPB provides both current day and historical pricing. The amount of historical pricing available for any selected term length is dictated by: (1) the current date on which the price request is submitted or refreshed, (2) the user's subscription level, and (3) the user-selected start month and term length. As defined in Detail FAQ #8 above, the user-selected term length must be entirely within the Forward 60 Month Window. Therefore, if a price request includes multiple term lengths (each having the same start month), the shorter-term length may have more historical pricing available compared to the longer-term length. As shown in the diagram below, if a (Premium) user submits a price request on Dec 15, 2020 for a Jan 2021 start month, the historical pricing available for the 12 month term goes back to Dec 2016, whereas the 24 month term only goes back to Dec 2017 and the 36 month term only goes back to Dec 2018. See diagram below.
12. Why does the kWh volume displayed in Dashboard not always match the volume entered/displayed in Workspace?
For each term of a saved price request, Dashboard displays the term usage in kWh, whereas Workspace displays the user’s entry for annual Volume – which can be in units of kWh, $ spend, or KW peak. Furthermore as illustrated in the diagram below, if a price request includes a standard (non-custom) profile (e.g., Professional Building: 1 to 2 Stories) with a custom term length that is not evenly divisible by 12 (e.g., 4 months), the displayed usage in Dashboard will not match the annual usage in Workspace because the Dashboard term usage is calculated for the specific months of a term based on the user defined: (i) start month (e.g., Jan, May and Sep), (ii) term length (e.g., 4 month), and (iii) facility profile (e.g., Professional Building: 1 to 2 Stories). See diagram below.
13. Within Price Breakdown, why doesn't the sum of the subcomponent prices (exactly) equal the total component price?
Within Price Breakdown, subcomponent and total component prices have been rounded to 4 decimals for simplicity (because raw calculations go out to 10+ decimals). Therefore, within Price Breakdown, summing the displayed subcomponent prices will not always equal the displayed total component price.
See screenshot below.
14. In deregulated markets, what could cause a difference between EPB Supply price estimates and actual Supply pricing from third party suppliers?
- Different Pricing Date: Confirm that the EPB price estimate and the third party supply quote are based on the same pricing date.
- Different Product: Confirm what type of product suppliers are quoting (e.g., fixed, variable, hybrid, etc.). Specifically, confirm if subcomponent costs like energy, capacity, RPS, ancillaries, etc. are included in product/bid price (i.e., no pass-through charges). If the product/bid price does include a subcomponent cost, confirm if this subcomponent is held fixed or varies for the duration of the contracted term. EPB price estimates are based on an all-in, fixed product, where all subcomponent costs (energy, capacity, RPS, ancillaries, etc.) are included in the price estimate, and all subcomponent costs are held fixed for the duration of the user-selected term. Suggestion: To identify major price driver(s) between the EPB price estimate and supplier pricing, perform a line item analysis by comparing EPB’s cost breakdown vs the supplier’s cost breakdown. See also Overview FAQ #9 regarding EPB Price Breakdowns.
- Different Volumetric and/or Credit Risks: Confirm if suppliers are charging additional risk premiums for uncertain volumetric and/or credit risks. Although market risk (i.e., the rise/fall of energy prices) is largely addressed in the product type (see B above), suppliers also have to account for a customer’s volumetric risk (i.e., the future rise/fall in customer kWh usage and KW demand) and a customer’s credit risk (i.e., the customer’s ability to pay). To this end, suppliers may add an additional risk premium for any uncertainty regarding a customer’s volumetric and/or credit risk, which is especially true with lower volume customers (below 500,000 kWh/year). Although EPB price estimates do include an adder for typical volumetric and/or credit risk, EPB does not account for additional risk premiums associated with the uncertainty of volumetric and/or credit risk that are unique to a small subset of customers.
- Different Load Profile: Confirm that the EPB price estimate and the third party supply quote are pricing similar usage/demand profiles. Selecting a standard (non-custom) EPB facility profile may cause the EPB price estimate to differ from actual supplier pricing because the selected EPB profile will most likely not be an exact match of the kWh usage and the KW demand data being priced by suppliers. Suggestion: To minimize this variability and increase the accuracy of EPB price estimates, select “Custom Profile” and enter your facility’s specific kWh usage and KW demand data. This data can be requested from bidding suppliers or the applicable utility. See screenshots below.
15. What drives EPB’s price range (High, Low and Best Estimates)?
Although common formulas and known market inputs (e.g., forward energy curves, capacity & transmission markets, RPS requirements, tariff rates, applicable taxes, etc.) drive the majority of pricing for all applicable components (i.e. Supply, Distribution, & Taxes), the following factors introduce price variability, which is captured by EPB’s high, low and best price estimates:
- Supplier differences (e.g., size, financial backing & leverage, degree of asset-based generation, current portfolio mix, etc.)
- Uncertainty, and amount of visibility, in forward capacity and transmission markets
- The method by which load-specific uncertainty (risk) is priced (i.e. volumetric (kWh) risk, demand-based (KW) tag changes, etc.)
- Uncertainty, and amount of visibility, into future RPS requirements & (tier) rates
- Uncertainty surrounding a load’s utility rate class, and delivered voltage level
- Ongoing utility tariff changes
- Future changes to any applicable state & local taxes on electricity
EPB’s High Price Estimate utilizes reasonable, higher cost presumptions regarding the variable input costs and risk factors listed above to calculate sub-component prices (e.g. Energy, Capacity, Transmission, etc.), which are then summed to arrive at a high estimated component price (e.g., Supply High Price Estimate). Conversely, EPB’s Low Price Estimate utilizes reasonable, lower cost presumptions regarding the variable input costs and risk factors listed above to calculate sub-component prices (e.g. Energy, Capacity, Transmission, etc.), which are then summed to arrive at a low estimated component price (e.g., Supply Low Price Estimate). Lastly, EPB’s Best Price Estimate utilizes the most likely cost presumptions regarding the variable input costs and risk factors listed above to calculate sub-component prices (e.g. Energy, Capacity, Transmission, etc.), which are then summed to arrive at a best (or most likely) estimated component price (e.g., Supply Best Price Estimate).