The How-To section contains practical articles that tell you how to do specific tasks via the API. These discrete tasks are often common across products. Below we’ve organized them into logical groupings, but you should look at the descriptions of them all in order to find the one that best matches what you are trying to do.
Costs & Savings
These how-to articles are primarily related to running calcuations of either energy costs or monetary savings.
- Run a Calculation to Match a Bill - use the on-demand cost calculator to accurately reproduce the customers bill.
- Improving Accuracy with Rate Criteria Properties - Learn how to identify the relevant tariff rate criteria properties that impact rates and set those in your calculations to increase accuracy.
- Determining System Peak Demand - shows you how to determine what tariffs have a system peak demand charge, how to pass your customers value in, or how to estimate it if you need to.
- Tips on Getting more from the Savings Analysis API - there is quite a lot of flexibility in the questions you can answer using the savings analysis endpoint. This goes into the details.
- Calculation results Detail Level and Group By - using the
groupByrequest parameters to get back the level of detail you require returned when you run a calculation.
- Include Storage in your Savings - how to pass the calculation APIs a storage profile, as well as tips on how to model storage and increase savings
Usage & Models
These how-to articles are about meter reading data, solar production modeling and other activity related to energy usage, whether actual or forecasted.
- Use a bill to estimate consumption - estimating a customer’s annual energy usage from a single bill based on the cost
- Load Time-of-use (TOU) readings into a Profile or Calculation - uploading a customer’s usage profile or running a calculation with TOU reading data
- Model Solar PV with the Integrated PVWatts - NREL’s industry standard tool is available as one of many options to model solar production. This article details how to do it.
- Use Intelligent Baselining - intelligent baselining (IB) is a way to take some usage data, such as a consumption number from a bill, and a) extrapolate it out to a full year, b) interpolate it into hours and c) project it to a different time period. Read this article to get a better understanding of IB.
- Calculate your own Baseline - calculate your own “intelligent” baseline using our Typical Baseline data
- Upload usage data files - some standard file formats, including Green Button files, and files from a number of popular Solar PV modeling tools.
Utilities, Tariffs, Taxes & More
These how-to articles deal with things like data about utilities, tariff rate structures, specifying taxes, custom contracts, Solar PV incentives and other miscellaneous things that aren’t related to calculations or usage data.
- Set up an Account - dives into the details of how to create and populate an Account (a.k.a. Site)
- Select the Right Utility and Tariff - selecting the right utility and tariff for accounts and calculations
- Baseline Regions - which tariffs have rates that vary by location within their service area (common in California), and how to handle them.
- Handle Taxes - passing tax rates in a calculation request and setting tax rates on an account
- Contracted Rates in Deregulated markets - for deregulated markets, micro-grids, what-if contracts and more, here’s how to use contracted rates. We include some detailed examples of how to model Block and Index contracts.
- User Adjusted Rates - add one or more of your own rates to any calculation.
- Find & Value Incentives - finding and calculating incentives for your customer
- Show Utility Logos - we have image files that contain the logos for most of the utilities in our database. Here’s how you can display them in your applications.