The How-To section contains practical articles that dive deeper into you how to do specific tasks via the Switch APIs. Before reading these we recommend reading the Tutorial that best matches you use case. Then come back here to perfect your integration.
Getting your customers Account provisioned
First set their location, utility, tariff rate plan:
- Create 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
- Handle Baseline Regions - which tariffs have rates that vary by location within their service area (common in California), and how to handle them.
Then baseline how much electricity they are using:
- 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
- Forecast a years energy usage with just one bill using 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.
Some techniques for specific markets and more accurate results:
- 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.
Model Solar and Storage
These how-to articles are about how to integrate your solar production modeling and other activity related to solar and storage impacts on usage, whether actual or forecasted.
- 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.
- 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
Determine Utility Savings
These how-to articles are primarily related to running Savings Analysis calcuations that will forecast utility cost savings.
- 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.
And if you are taking advantage of our residential Solar Incentives data:
- Find & Value Solar Incentives - finding and calculating residential solar incentives for your customer