Lexington's Three Languages of Energy Management

James Bush, Program Manager of Energy Initiatives at LFUCG, describes the program’s history, goals, and successes, including how EnergyCAP enables him to communicate effectively in the governmental languages of Accounting, Budget, and Facilities.

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Steve Heinz: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm going to kick off our webinar this afternoon. This is Steve Heinz, Founder and CEO of EnergyCAP. Thank you very much for joining us today. I think we have a great webinar for you and we'll go ahead and get started. The first one hundred to log in will get a Starbucks gift card. You'll get that via email later on in the week. Blaine, you can move to the next slide. I am very pleased to welcome as our guest speaker today, James Bush. James is the Program Manager of Energy Initiatives at Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. This is Lexington, Kentucky, which has a joint government organization with the Fayette County. Some interesting facts about Lexington-Fayette: it's known as the horse capital of the world. You can tell by their logo. The University of Kentucky is located there and they also have the world's largest peanut butter factory in the area. And one more fun fact, the Lexington is named after Lexington, Massachusetts. They were inspired during the early skirmishes of the revolutionary war. Apparently, the initial name they had given their community peanut butter bill was not gaining any traction. So, the Lexington seemed to have a better ring to it during the beginning of the revolution.

As I said, we welcome James Bush, the program manager of Energy Initiatives. James has a degree from Purdue in mechanical engineering. He worked in the Kentucky office of EnergyPolicy, was hired about 10 years ago as Lexington's first energy manager and this, as will become evident to you as he goes through his presentation, although he won't say it in these same words, but it's obvious he's had a big impact in Lexington-Fayette government, both in instilling a culture of energy management and in bringing about some really solid bottom line energy savings. It's an example for what I see in business every day that the four real keys to business success are people strategy, execution, and capital. People means you need to have the right people who are committed, motivated, and knowledgeable; strategy means you need a sensible strategy that's well-communicated. Execution means that you know how to get things done and capital means that you have some sources of money that you can invest into your strategy. That means you need the support of leadership. They need to have faith and confidence in what you're doing so that you get some attention at budget time to fund your programs. James has been hitting on all four of those cylinders. So without any further ado, let me turn it over to you, James. Thank you.

James Bush: Thank you, Steve, for that introduction and good afternoon to everyone out there. It's always fun to hear what bits of trivia people pick up about our town, but I am a proud Lexingtonian and always enjoy sharing it with other folks. I am trying to move ahead a slide. It worked. Okay. For context then, we are located right in the center of the state in a fairly diverse economy anchored largely by the University of Kentucky, the Bourbon and the horse industries. When you start including the surrounding counties, the population's about a half million here in Bluegrass Region. We are a merged city county government, the first to do so in Kentucky government is comprised of 15 council members, and then a mayor executive. The list there gives you a little idea of the operations across our city county. We are a provider of sanitary sewer. So you see the two wastewater treatment plants and 72 either lift stations or storage tanks related to that. Buildings are very diverse in nature. We have one correction center; it's over 400,000 square feet and a handful over a hundred, but primarily, we are what I call small commercial averaging about 20,000 square feet. In that mix, you have police and fire stations.

Absent as I see with many of my peer groups, we do not have a convention center or the public schools or libraries. Those are handled by other public entities or quasi public entities. Traffic control is done through us, so every major intersection with lighting and other services. And then we lease our street lighting approaching 31,000 and counting with our two major electric utilities here in the county. In terms of organization, my section is under the larger umbrella of environmental programs and what we essentially formalized what was previously done by an ad hoc group of individuals scattered across government. Important to note, we are not outward facing. So, we don't do energy management from a community perspective. Other energy offices I find might be under a sustainability umbrella or coming from an administrative level, but we get our work done here on kind of good grace and manners cutting across all departments and there's three full-time employees and that includes myself in the energy initiative section.

So, prior to EnergyCAP, there was no single person or systematic process towards energy management. It was, you know, up to individuals and primarily related to bill payment. So, a bill would have to be large enough that, you know, you'd remember it being maybe atypical and it would get flagged for review and that made things difficult when you do it through your accounts payable system often. That means costs are rolled up by a division, but not necessarily by a facility and sometimes if you're using collective billing, even the individual bills would be collapsed. So it would take sometime and sleuthing to dig any deeper. We were fortunate and it's no coincidence there in 2009 that I was hired, but the city did use an appropriation for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to purchase EnergyCAP and we used a competitive solicitation for that. I recall we spoke with five or six providers and had three serious contenders, but in the end, the EnergyCAP won out both on cost and performance and I can say we've been very pleased since then. The criteria is it's easy to list. That's much harder to quantify in those RFP processes.

So I'd really encourage people considering a software platform to test drive it, you know, get a temporary account because it’s that access to the information that is very difficult to make it an objective criteria. That image there in the lower right, that's I developed that in a Microsoft Access database and I use it often. It just reminds me that, you know, you could do this on your own, you know, stitching all these various databases and inventories that people have collected around your organization, but it's just not pretty and nor is it particularly easy to use so. So, we implemented in 2010 another key difference. We are not integrated with our accounts payable system. So, we use energy cap for utility energy management, but accounts payable operates in parallel to us paying bills the old fashioned way. The commodities that we track within energy cap are the big three; your electric, gas, and water. The number of accounts is shown there. We're still one-to-one relationships on the gas and water; electric though, we use collective billing.

So from a practical standpoint, accounts payables looking at roughly a dozen bills a day in these quantities. Annual spend there, you see about half of that electricity is our lease of streetlights and on the water side, approximately four million of that is the lease of fire hydrants for public. So, to elaborate a bit on the distinction then between me and AP, so they're receiving paper bills, whether individual, collective and those are paid and the costs only are logged in our financial system. Now, I receive from our three largest utilities, a monthly spreadsheet. So, it's just a batch file and it has a line item for every service that’s being built. It's a proxy for all those bills coming onto the third floor and accounting. We manually enter a few bills with some smaller utilities that operate in the county and they're just, it's not worth anyone's time to set that up in a more automated process.

So, from workflow, we're reformatting those spreadsheets and we developed a template tool that just finds a key piece of information and gets it organized properly for import and that allows us do a little preliminary Q&A just to see if there's any new service that we weren't expecting and we run through bill audits, which are fairly standard just to double check accounts, you know, the time period of the billing and the costs. It's the energy audits where things get deeper because that brings in, you need that knowledge of, your building knowledge and relationships with the operators to tell if consumption seems out of whack for what you might've been expecting.

Steve Heinz: Let me ask you, from an outside perspective and outside vantage point, you look at this and you would say, well, that doesn't make much sense that these bills are being entered into two different systems; it's double the work. AP is keying every single bill into accounts payable and then at the same time, you're getting electronic data. You're reformatting the spreadsheets from the vendors. You're bringing it into EnergyCAP. You're doing auditing of the data. And I think it illustrates that in some organizations, although it might appear -- well, it would make sense to combine these functions into a single workflow where the data comes in, the EnergyCAP gets audited, gets approved and then flows electronically to accounts payable. What would seem to make sense from an efficiency and a workflow standpoint, sometimes meets obstacles, organizational obstacles of a finance department or accounting department that has other priorities and I think you had said that they did a PeopleSoft – an upgrade to PeopleSoft and their hands were full doing that and just couldn't take on the project of integrating EnergyCAP. So sometimes in the real world, we see that what would appear to make sense, the streamline workflow is hard to do because of organizational obstacles.

James Bush: Yeah. Good point, Steve. We did discuss trying to accomplish both tasks and as you pointed out, they were undergoing a major revision to their financial system and you could tell their eyes got a little wide when I was posing the idea of moving to EDI and on top of that, a little inertia, cultural inertia within the department, but I've mellowed a little bit. I think as a purist you're right. We have some redundancy, but we also, our section is a little more nimble and flexible because we're not tied to that financial system. I can make changes to the database that don't affect it. You know, it doesn't initiate a check being cut or anything like that. So, when we see something that's abnormal and we know it's been corrected, it's a simple swipe and type within the database. So there's pros and cons to both and if you are bringing in EnergyCAP or other software for financial payments, that is another layer of complexity to the development and definitely your IT group then has a much more legitimate involvement in what you're doing anytime you're liking with your financial institutions.

Let's see, I see at the end, if I didn't finish up on that workflow, we do have things set up. So, after we've audited our data to our satisfaction, there's some automated reports that kick out and they've been coded. So, each operations group is just getting information that's germane to them and it is typically in the form of a trend history. So, it's a visual graphic that’s intended for them to just perhaps catch something we didn't, but also it's not just a bunch of numbers on paper. I like the visual look for that and occasionally my phone will ring when they want to know, you know, why was something high or low and we can talk about it.

So, it's good engagement, reminds them that we're out here. But by and large, because we don't have that accounts payable, there's four daily users and after that, it's ad hoc people, you know, jump in on an as-needed basis. So, the immediate benefits were as we moved away from simply our cost basis in our accounting system and into EnergyCAP was seeing the information at the meter level. Now we have the cost, but also the use, when it was used and rate code and at that point, your normal process in energy management, you're going to cross reference that meter with something and from a desktop without doing the field work, it's usually the address on the bill. So, there we are cross referencing and we're identifying, you know, meters that we didn't know about, you know, in addresses or places that we don't have a property, found one even across the county line, unused meters, like the photo at right, you know, just an old dormant meter rusting away in a park that we turn off.

With the AP information, you'd see meters that didn't make sense from a budget standpoint. You know, this address might be a police house yet it was being paid by parks and rec and also, you know, meters assigned to wrong addresses as well. The deeper dive, which is just continually progressed is to actually field verify and we do that certainly on our major accounts and meters, but it's really only if something warrants it, it just doesn't make sense, we'll go out in the field and put eyeballs on it, document that long coordinates for more detailed history. So, on the financial side of things, we experienced considerable savings once we had the meter associated with a place and we knew what its purpose was. So that's when we began the rate review and we right sized more than 500 of our electric accounts. Now that sounds like a big number, but it was all of our traffic controls which qualify for a special rate with our local utility. The savings on that, I recall being about 75 or 80,000 dollars a year.

So, now when you do the math, you can see those remaining 70 meters constituted hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings by right-sizing them in, I mean, it was largely between the general service, commercial and a demand-based pricing and we moved up and down that scale accordingly. That graphic there at the bottom was one we ran. So, we're comparing two different rates and below the line, it would cost you money on one rate versus save you money on the other side, and the net difference told you which way to go. So, we ran that exercise, the total savings around 700,000 and there was always – you can see a lot of eyebrows raised. So, we did do the numbers again just to confirm it was a good long-term decision; it was also a good exercise when we brought someone else in the department and found it did indeed held true and that spread due to rate cases and use patterns had only grown. So, four years later, it was a million dollar right decision. So, we did get a lot of kudos certainly in attention related to that project, but as an engineer and an environmentalist, it didn't really change the physical attributes. There are no emissions reductions, it was all financial. So, there was quite a bit left on the table that we want to accomplish.

The bundling there at the bottom that's when we were able to see the unit pricing with both the cost and consumption of natural gas. And at that point I would have expected everything to be close to the same line, but it turned out over the years, our gas accounts had been brought in under different supplier agreements. So, since then we have -- every couple of years we'll do a bulk RFP for our gas volumes, looking for a fixed price would be at one, two or three year kind of timeframe, but a fixed price, which my budgeting group of course loves that there's no quarterly swings in there due to rates in there fiscal year. So, ongoing the ease of use that I mentioned with any software platform that is foundational. So, this is a fill in the blank, and I just could not think of any action that didn't require the data to be right there at your fingertips.

So, very much of appreciated how EnergyCAP just minimizes that friction between users and the data because as soon as it stops being convenient, you just stop asking the questions. We can now run things in batch rather than ground up, repeated kind of activities. You can, you know, -- whether you're sorting or queering by a group or a certain level within your organizational structure really helps for the analysis and wanting an intuitive run in for utilities and energy. There's a lot of databases out there of course but one that understands. I'm going to ask for a load factor or I want to see my demand trend toggled with my consumption trends. So, you know, EnergyCAP is bringing that information to the front because they know you're going to ask for it and I've always liked that. Centralizing too we're moving away from, you know, those personal notes, or you've got to find that gentlemen has been with the city for 30 years to get some history on a building or a piece of equipment or something.

The ability to tag it within EnergyCAP is very helpful. So, we're all sharing the same information and keeping it in the same place. As higher priority as the ease and access to the data is the structure is more important and we're going to talk about that a little later. I think that transparency of the system having that open database, these are more indirect benefits, but that's been very helpful generate trust with the section. You know, it wasn't my personal information or, you know, a spreadsheet that someone created themselves, but people being able to view it through their own account and draw their own conclusions, I think is, has been immensely helpful. The gatekeepers -- removing gatekeepers is another one. Just it's not that anyone really grows up thinking I want to be a gatekeeper in a municipal government, but sometimes there's only certain people who have those lookup tables. They know what accounts associated with what building or how it's split and they kind of reverse engineer then a history. So, this way all that is just removed and we're working from the same page. It also I think frees up, you know, if you're spending your time just on obtaining the information about a facility it's not a real good use of your human capital.

So, this I think elevates what people can do, what they're working on there, you know, and can get deeper into analytical or identifying projects or even working on the projects. And I do recall that one time when someone was asking for some information on how much a certain facility used and I got the email and I thought, well, that's a copy paste and I sent it back. And then my phone rings and pick it up and the person was like, is this valid? I said, sure. There's no reason to doubt it but the reason they called was because it just took a couple minutes and they had done that before. And it was a, you know, a 7-to-10-day process until the right person was around to unlock all those codes across government. So, people don't feel as invasive. They're more apt to share information and ask those questions. And again, it was very positively received early on and in 25 to 15 is when we added water utilities largely waiting on the utility company themselves to be able to provide that electronically. But it was a good progression in the commodities for us.

So, in summary, I think all of that, that goodwill, the energy section establish itself were very much a go-to source. If you mentioned utilities, if you mentioned energy, it usually crosses my desk. We're, you know – for the things mentioned there the rate case impact, I'll point out that one came a little later, but as our law firm and our interaction with the public service commission for Kentucky recognized that we could run analysis to know very specifically what an cost impact would be to an end customer that we've been tapped more and more to intervene in these cases and provide testimony. The additional workload I think and as various departments were tapping us, it demonstrated we both won. We could justify it but also that we had a workload for additional managers. That's when we expanded to three people and we've been shifting then rather than waiting for end of life, you know, for equipment to fail and then you just replace it with something that's more efficient only because time has resolved that.

We're now intersecting while buildings are in operation and we can focus on what I call the live efficiency, you know. It may make sense to replace that piece of equipment not wait for end of life. And I always encourage my staff at our job shouldn't be just about data. Data doesn't change your buildings, doesn't change our operations. I really want us to just simply use that to identify where opportunities are and make change in our facilities. So, the three languages or theme of our webinar here and this also alludes that structure that I talked about. And I spent a lot of time in that development at 2010 to make sure it was structured so it was familiar to the audiences who would be using it and to do that, I needed to use names and codes from existing inventories in government. So, the three we're going to hit on real quick, facilities, accounting and budgeting, next slide. And to me facilities is the most logical, you know, just associating your consumption, your commodities with a physical property. How much did that building use or what about all utilities as a park? Hey, we could compare it to another year, seeing it graphically now in the new version. This one again to me is most logical, easy navigate, intuitive. Accounting was a little it's a little different. It's, you know, account codes are they're really made up, but they do match. They have a paper trail because they're matching that bill that comes in be it by vendor or invoice. And so here are tree structure in EnergyCAP, it matches what's happening down in accounts payables.

So, I can compare my role at utility company to theirs, or if they're using collected billing, I've got those numbers. And if it's a one-to-one relationship, we can compare accounts and all that helps us from reconciling their payments from our financial system versus what I have in EnergyCAP. And we meet quarterly to do that. It's never off by very much. And the places it is, you either find out, you know, a bill may have been paid by a wrong charge string, or perhaps it is something that went under our radar as a new service. Credits and adjustments, those two become a reason for a discrepancy and I don't know about all the listeners, but the adjustments they don't always credit back to the account that where the original problem was. So, sometimes they just get tacked on or you receive a check and where that is credited in the accounting can be a little tricky. And again, back to that past comment about it makes us a little more nimble or flexible. We can clean up our data. Not have to worry about that so much.

And then the third language, the budgeting to me is the most abstract of the three. And this one took the longest time to configure, but I had a real good developer, a manager and he leveraged the chargeback function within EnergyCAP so that we could -- what we used to call splitting a bill into multiple places. So, I think that graphic at the bottom shows it best where I've got an electric meter, you know, it's sitting on the side of a building, but we're going to pay it from four different budgets. And so, we use that chargeback feature to put it in proper budgets. And these are the ones that the directors in our government that they're looking at in their monthly reviews. So, it interject us in that conversation to speak with the directors and it's also very good. You know, that's how I think most people view government, they want to know how are their tax paying dollars being spent. And that's typically in the budgeting world, you know, it's for police or it's for fire or water treatment. So, that was essential in getting at their table. Future benefit.

Steve Heinz: Let me ask.

James Bush: Yeah, jump in.

Steve Heinz: Let me just interrupt for a sec. Let me ask you a question about the budgeting process. We've seen some EnergyCAP government users that go through a process like that where the utilities budget is distributed to the agencies or the departments. And in some cases, they have shared facilities as you just showed where they have to take the utility bill for one building and split it out multiple ways because they're shared agencies or departments in the building. So, we have some clients who distribute the budget and then we have other government clients who pay all utility bills out of a public works budget or a general services budget. And they don't go through the exercise to distribute it to the agencies and I've seen it in a lot of cases where they do distribute it to the agencies, they do it with a sense that the agency is going to be more energy conservation aware, and active and engaged if they have a sense that their budget is paying for their utility bills as opposed to utility bills are paid by some central budget. And what we do here in the building has no impact on that or has no impact on our budget. Have you found that by distributing the utilities budget to the various agencies makes them more engaged and aware in energy management, or is it largely a non-issue or ignored?

James Bush: We're a little bit of a hybrid. We jump through all those hoops for what I'll call full accounting in terms of down to different divisions. But from a practical standpoint, we really only care about the high-level fund because we do have separate revenue streams for Lexington and that's the hard line in the sand where we don't want one revenue stream subsidizing another. But underneath that, the divisions, even though we go through the hurdles they're largely ignored. So, your question though, about, does that engage or not engage people with regard to energy consumption, it's not the budget because the directors, because they can't control that very well. They aren't penalized for under overages. My approach because of that though is typically from the environmental side. I always I raise or wave the cost flag as necessary when we have some egregious problems but by and large I approach things based on opportunities for financial savings and environmental resources.

Steve Heinz: Okay, that's good. So, you're saying in your experience, you're not going to change the culture in a government organization simply by spreading the budget out across the divisions or the agencies that's not enough that there needs to be a much more deliberate information campaign and communication and awareness campaign and presence if you want to change the culture?

James Bush: Yes. I'd agree with that and I'll add I think the danger is if you extrapolate on that, the game will be played where people want to pad their budget on the front end and then claim those savings on the back end for something else and that's always a danger. So, this way I'm working directly with budgeting to say, here's a realistic budget for the upcoming year based on history of consumption and I know our rates and I know what rate cases are headed. The wildcard largely becomes weather because, and that's where the weather normalizations are helpful. We can put kind of some boundary on it, but I've said that to the director before I'm like, if you tell me how cold it's going to be this winter, I'll tell you how much money we need. And so, we're at a stalemate and we start at a nominal point and if we need to move that up or down, mid-year, that's possible only because we can do that forecasting. And we couldn't before.

Steve Heinz: Yeah. Okay, good. Thank you.

James Bush: Okay, I'm staring at version 7. I think like a lot of users I use it daily and I like what I see. We've got a faster cleaner environment and that HTML5. I think the map views are -- they're eye candy to a certain extent, but practical also, if you're largely spread geographically, it may have more value for me than other users. The formats and the reporting is a lot cleaner as well and then the big prize is how is the software going to handle and how is it handling interval data? I think I'm probably not atypical in getting more and more sources of interval data and I'm trying to figure out I need a tool that can easily collect it, store it, analyze it and you know, it just made me smile because I was like, this is where I was, at a coarser resolution when we were looking into utility management software. So, I do feel like I'm back where I started. I believe there's a question along those lines. So, I won't dabble in there right now. Yeah. Boom. We've served it up. So, on submetering, we do use submeterings. Now it's primarily a whole building redundant meter to our utility company and we're doing that so I can get real time data very close to, and more detailed three phase and power quality, and the like.

In terms of the types of submeters, we have again, whole building for the most part and that's on our larger facilities and they're typically in the form of being integrated through my building automation systems, which the energy section here in Lexington has also taken over that role. So, I'll bring them in through my front ends and that's where I'm at a decision point of do I leave it within that building automation system or, and we have more than one or do I need to consolidate that into a tool that's more specific for analyzing interval data and that's ongoing review right now. We do have some submeters where I've got a single utility meter serving multiple buildings. So, I've got a power meter on the buildings themselves, so I can split that out but after that I'm more relying less on energy metering and more on major equipment. So, it'd be just run times, you know, we can go out get the nameplate information off the equipment if I know how long it's running or at, you know, what's it's load or modulation. We can back calculate what we think it's doing to the building.

Steve Heinz: Let me comment on that also. In EnergyCAP, we can pull in interval data so we can connect to a building automation system or a sub-metering system of some sort. We have some clients that use e-gage meters very successfully, where we can grab that data directly and pull it into EnergyCAP so that you have your billing data and interval data side by side. I have seen some organizations that where they can log into a building automation system and look at interval data or into a third-party tool or into a vendor website for that matter, but it's not all in one place. So, there's a lot of jumping around and navigating around to look at a lot of interval data, you know, across multiple buildings at once, which can, you do that for a couple of days and you just give up. It's just too much navigation, but one thing that's been evident to me as a mechanical engineer, myself, that when I look at the interval data, I say, this is great stuff. That we should be taking a quick look at our interval data every morning.

The first thing I should do when I get to the office is scroll down a dashboard of all my interval data in my major buildings. I can do it in 30 seconds. And if something wasn't right last night, yesterday, it's going to jump out at me because I have an eye for it and you'd take action. And we see a lot of systems out there today that are talking about actionable information. Everyone is saying, we need all this information because it gives you actionable information. But the weak link I've seen is that so many organizations maybe get inundated with actionable information, but they have no one to take the action. And if you don't have anyone to actually take the action, it doesn't see a whole lot of good to have actionable information and you know, I would really have to commend you and your office there for having the right staffing.

I said at the beginning, you need the people, the strategy, the execution, and the capital and most important there is, is the people. We see many organizations, government in particular that has such turnover in their people in their energy office or their EnergyCAP operators and I suppose all across government continual turnover that they don't have people that build up enough expertise and enough tenure in a position to really accomplish much of anything. And I don't know what some of these organizations can do about it other than take a look at their employment rules and find upward mobility opportunities, promotion opportunities within an office so that someone doesn't have to always be looking for a move to another office to get a promotion. Do you see that as being a problem and what's the key to your longevity there? Because 10 years in a position like yours in government is a long time and I really commend you for that.

James Bush: Well, thanks, Steve. Keys on that, I mean, I'm curious by nature I think like a lot of engineers but what I found was I'm also much more applied. You saw my bio in the beginning and obviously I spent a lot of time in the lab, but I'm not a theoretician. I really liked the applied nature. It was my strength in DDC and instrumentation that got me really is what brought the building automation into my office. So, I've got utility management on one side and all that software development, but on the other, I've got a couple of front ends going down to all the equipment. Now there's an obvious intersection point between the two as you described. And that is really the point in time I was trying to describe earlier that I'm balancing, you know, what's the time and the effort and the cost of bringing that added awareness and response time to our fingertips and it's not trivial.

So, you've got the technical resource you're looking at, or I should say the technical skills you're looking for in people and then also that more to the tenure standpoint of you want people with that knowledge about our buildings, but it takes a full I wish a gentleman were here, but I'd say he would probably attest to maybe eight months or more in the saddle and we're still visiting buildings. Just this week that he hasn't, he hadn't been to before. So, it does take a while. So, you can picture a facility related to its energy profile.

Steve Heinz: Okay, good. Thanks. Let's move onto the second question.

James Bush: And we do not add a service fee. So, cost of my section, we're strictly overhead government operations. And again, this is largely because the operations I described are internal to our government. We don't have many tenants and where we do, we handle utilities through the lease agreement, but we don't do them on a consumption basis.

Steve Heinz: Yeah. Okay. Where that question comes from is we do have some county and city government EnergyCAP users who add a service fee, we're not talking about for tenants we're talking about for other agencies or other divisions, so that when those divisions pay for their utility portion of a shared building for instance out of their budget, there's also a half a percent fee or a 1% fee that goes back to maybe public works or general services to pay for administering the EnergyCAP program and for processing the utility bills on their behalf. So, it's something that seems to be pretty common in some governments and, you know, foreign concept to others, which is why that question came up. We have another question here. Someone said earlier you talked about rightsizing a meter and the dollars that you save by rightsizing. Can you explain what right-sizing means?

James Bush: I can. Yeah, it is somewhat of a made-up term, but what we're doing is selecting the appropriate rate for that meter service and the simple example was our traffic control devices where they were originally built as a commercial meter. So, all 400 plus intersections in Lexington, you had a commercial meter and then the base fees are about 30 bucks a month plus the little electricity you use. Well, there's a rate specific for traffic control devices and that's down around I think5 dollars a month plus electricity. So, 25 dollars per meter per month times 400 boom. Now more complicated though when could move between commercial rates, like small commercial buildings all the way up to industrial with time of day and demand pricing that was that image I showed where we have to do a more sophisticated analysis using prior history to say, well, if we operate the way we did in the past year or two, we would save money by being on an industrial rate. And you can shoot yourself in the foot on that, which is why you want to go back in time, you know, minimum of a year, preferably two or three, looking for how the worst months might impact you for those who are familiar with ratchet charges and power quality problems and things of that nature. So, you want a good history basically to build your confidence that making this decision is worthwhile.

Steve Heinz: Yeah. Okay, good. And that also illustrates the fact that one of the fundamental value streams of EnergyCAP is as you mentioned having all your data in one place and very rich data in one place, because you find that in the realm of sustainability and energy management and energy conservation, and just good utility account management that everything is built on a foundation of data. 10 years ago, when the utility bills were going to your AP department and simply the due date and the cost was keyed into AP, you would have had no way that you could do that analysis that you just described because you didn't have consumption. You didn't have demand data. You would have been pulling copies of utility bills out of a filing cabinet and seeing them into excel to do an analysis, you know, meter by meter, I'm sure.

James Bush: Yeah, so true.

Steve Heinz: The theme repeated over and over again. So, just having that data at your fingertips might not seem like it's going to save you money, but it's going to facilitate a lot of other activities that are money saving. So, that was a good illustration. Well, we're about at the end of our time, James again, thank you very much. And congratulations on your success and your service to the people and the taxpayers of Lexington. I didn't -- where is the bourbon trail? Is it near there?

James Bush: It ends in Lexington.

Steve Heinz: You know, I didn't realize that. I should have mentioned that.

James Bush: Be more than happy to pour you a glass.

Steve Heinz: Yes. I should've mentioned that earlier because the next time I go to Lexington, I'm not going to focus on the peanut butter plant, I'm going to the bourbon trail. Good to know. Well, again, thank you very much.

James Bush: Good to know.

Steve Heinz: Yes, and for everyone who attended this afternoon, thank you very much. We appreciate that and for all of you who are EnergyCAP users, we as always want to voice our appreciation to the partnership that we share with you for EnergyCAP sustainability and good energy management. Thank you all and I will certainly keep you posted when we have our next webinar planned out for a few months from now. Thank you. Have a nice afternoon.