The presenter, Stephanie Fetchen has compiled and expanded on her answers to the questions that came in during the Q&A session. All those answers can be found below, and if you have any further questions or would like to get in contact with Stephanie regarding Rate Acuity, electricity rates, or any other programs please contact her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full webinar is on-demand and available for viewing by clicking here.
What API did you use for the utility rate data?
It is an in house API developed by RateAcuity. The API can be used by our customers to access data from the RateAcuity data base directly. The RateAcuity API has versions that enable data to be retrieved in JSON or XML format, including current and/or historical rates.
Can you help to integrating Rate Acuity into my platform?
Yes. We don’t do the integration for you because you are the expert of your own platform. But we can provide guidance and instructions on how to access the RateAcuity data and pull it into your system, and on how you can best use the data once you get it to your side.
How does the data get updated? What is the mechanism for getting the data updated?
We have a software tool that monitors the utility website pages that contain the rate schedules, tariffs, and rates. We run that tool and it reports to us when a change is found. Once it reports a change to a schedule or the webpage that contains rates, a team of researchers look at the actual changes to determine if those updates contain information that is included in the RateAcuity data base. If there is a change to information included in the RateAcuity data base, our team then enters that information into the data base, a second team member does a Q&A process on the data that has been has been entered, and then it becomes available to our customers.
What is the source of the information in RateAcuity? Would you pick up extra ordinary rates like a nuclear plant cost overrun, where rate payers may be affected from the over runs for a particular plant like Santee Cooper or Georgia Power? Would they be subject to whatever is available on the providers website?
Our source for all the information in RateAcuity is the provider. Usually we get the data from the utility tariff, or sometimes the utility does not publish their tariff publicly and they just have the rate information on the website. So as we become aware of special charges, and they are included in the legal documents or published on the utility website, they will be available in RateAcuity.
How frequently is the data updated in Rate Acuity?
We update the data in RateAcuity every day. So I would like to say the changes are available the day they are effective. That is not always the case because some utilities are not timely about publishing new rates to the website, but as soon as they are published on the website and we have access to the data we go through the updating process mentioned earlier.
Is the rates data base only for US utilities?
We have a several utilities in Canada included in RateAcuity. We have also had some discussions with customers that they might have upcoming needs for rates from Scotland and the UK. We are open to adding international rates as long as they are available to us, and as long as they fit the rate structure we have setup within the data base. For example, if customers need an additional utility from Canada that we do not already have we can pretty easily add those. For other countries, we can definitely look at them to make sure the way they do their pricing matches closely enough with the RateAcuity data structure that we can make work in our data base. If the rate documents are provided in a foreign language there might be an additional challenge to get those translated correctly. But adding additional countries is definitely something we would be willing to look at.
Do you run trend analysis like the ones your presented for your clients?
We don’t actually run trend analysis for our customers. We provide our customers the data so that they can do it themselves. We really consider our self a data company, not a software company. So in all cases possible we provide data to our customers to enable them to define their own logic and do their own analysis.
What is your utility coverage?
We have all investors owned utilities covered within RateAcuity. We have most of the co-ops and municipalities as well. The reasons for the difference there, especially with the co-ops, is they don’t have to make their information publicly available. We have tried to include every co-op in the country. If we don’t have the information for their rating and the rate schedule is not available on their website it is not included in RateAcuity. That is not to say that they can’t be added. If there is a co-op or municipality where we could not get the rates from the website and a customer has a specific need for the utility, we can contact the co-op and ask them to provide the rates. Co-ops are a special challenge because they don’t have to provide the rates to RateAcuity because we are not a customer. If you have a need for one of these, it is usually because you or one of your customers is served in that co-op’s territory. Usually if the actual end user account requests the rates, because they are a customer the co-op will pass the rates to them. Then if the end user can provide the rates to RateAcuity they can be added.