Web vs. Desktop Applications

Using the web to track your energy usage is useful for large organizations. Large companies dispersed around the globe can enter their utility usage, and see reports comparing the usage in Lubbock to the usage in London. Central energy managers can then easily allocate energy costs across the enterprise and locate high usage facilities and concentrate efforts there. However, enterprise web applications are usually relatively expensive and often offer only basic analysis functionality. There are a great number of web applications available, most of which focus on interval (e.g. 15-minute) data.

Limitations of Web-Based Utility Tracking Services

There are also some internet bill tracking services that are relatively inexpensive. These applications will present your data to you on the web in a number of ways, but at present appear to be limited in analytical capacity and functionality.

For example, these web services typically will not weather normalize utility data, which results in faulty year over year comparisons of utility bills.

Advantages of Desktop Utility Tracking Software

There are only a handful of utility bill software programs in the desktop market. Desktop applications usually offer more sophisticated analysis than their web brethren, and usually at a much-reduced price compared to web software.

Many desktop packages also offer some interface to the internet, such as: downloading bills, interval or weather data, and creating html reports.