Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
CESI has been working with the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) in multiple capacities since 2009. In 2010, we worked together to win $20M of Better Buildings competitive grant funding from the Department of Energy for 12 Southeastern municipalities. In 2011, SEEA engaged us to select and implement an IT solution to help the municipalities with data collection, contractor management, budgeting, marketing, and outreach.
CESI does not develop software but does have expertise in selecting IT solutions that are appropriate for their clients’ needs -- from small-scale solutions to full enterprise management tools. We developed an RFP for an IT vendor, using our knowledge of SEEA and its sub-recipients, to make sure we selected for the most appropriate software features.
Working with SEEA, we selected an enterprise-scale tool that is appropriate for a $20M program. The tool combines several functionalities: financial and program management for cities, a web interface for customers, and an energy savings and auditing module for contractors. The tool includes Surveyor, Salesforce, and Green Energy Compass functionality.
In addition to selecting the vendor, we customized SEEA’s central database as well as the implementations for all 12 sub-recipients. Due to our familiarity with SEEA and with municipal energy efficiency, we can ensure that the tool fits their needs and enables strong tracking, marketing, and branding. As the project manager for the ongoing implementation, we are actively working on:
- Content generation
- Contract modifications, to allow cities to manage 100s of customer records
- Training for municipalities on how to make the most of the software
- Advocating for municipalities when modifications or customizations are needed
- Using the tool to market and brand SEEA and each sub-recipient's program
Because CESI understands not only IT but also municipal program design and branding, we are able to harness the power of an IT solution to support our clients goals. Moving forwards, CESI is poised to help communities explore web 2.0 and social media solutions, which are becoming more and more common in the energy efficiency sector.