I want a small and portable application to be used to manage monthly utility data for building owners. Users enter data via a wizard that imports an Excel record of standard form and then views monthly trends via adjustable charts. The application will also export reports and data as Excel files for use in other applications. Finally the application will have a license that expires periodically and needs a new key to be used.
The attached narrative of features should provide a reasonable picture of what is needed.
1. User has many different kinds of utility data, usually monthly readings, with many variables (columns) per reading date. Call this the "utility data"
2. Utility data is maintained by the user as an Excel spreadsheet with typically standardized format. Application should ask user to match columns of data where the header title is not exactly as expected. This is a function similar to the RETScreen Plus application you reviewed for me earlier.
3. Utility data is to be imported into the application and stored on (1) a per client basis and (2) a per building basis (there may be many clients and there will certainly be many buildings). Multi-client and multi-building functionality is to be a premium feature that can be "unlocked" later
4. Imported data will be of the form of fuels, electricity, and water. Each will be treated differently, such as being converted from one unit type to another for comparision
5. The user will also be entering a few details about the building and location of each building to accompany the utility data such as size (square meters).
6. One of the accompanying data types is daily weather (temperature) which is location specific and is available from a website. I have a VBA script that scrapes this data and imports it to a spreadsheet (although the host site may have changed slightly as the final imported data has an error with the header)
7. The sequence of operations for a new user is as follows: (1) enter building name, size, and select a location for weather data. (2) organize their utiilty data to suit the import (external to the app). (3) Import the utility data. (4) Import the weather data for the range of dates in the utility data. (5) Review data as entered. (6) Review summaries of data in Tables and Charts. (7) Possibly print the reports for sharing. (8) If there are multiple buildings the user may want to compare the energy charts for any number of buildings in a composite chart.
8. There will be one chart for electricity data that will display the monthly electricity (kWh) use per year for a user adjustable number of years. The most recent year will be a solid area chart, the next year back will be a solid line chart, the third back will be a dashed line, and all others will be thin lines.
9. There will be a second chart for fuel matching that of the electricity.
10. There will be a third chart for electricity as compared to weather where a user selects a range of monthly electricity readings (usually 12-24 months) where the electricity (kWh) is displayed as a solid area chart and the corresponding heating degree days (HDD) and cooling degree days (CDD) for the same range are overlayed as blue and red solid lines (secondary axis). (There is usually a strong correlation of electricity to weather in Southern climates)
11. Note that Degree Days are easily calculated using a formula that I will give you and examples. They give you an idea of the intensity of the weather during the heating and cooling months.
12. There will be a fourth chart similar to that of 10 for fuel (there is usually a strong correlation of fuel to weather in Northern climates).
13. There will be some summary tables (1) adding up each energy type by the reading year, (2) the fuel data will also have a value converted to kWhs (electricity units) for comparision to electricity, (3) there will be a total electricity + fuel kWh divided by area value (aka energy density), and (4) there will be "record tables" reiterating the inputed energy data for the Clients' reference (the imported data will have costs, taxes, and other fluff which will be filtered out in this "record table" which will only be energy and dates).
14. There should be an export function to export the entered data into a standardized format for use in other applications. The user should be able to select which columns of the data they want exported to csv or Excel formats.
15. I want to be able to use each instance of this application to import a new clients' data and create charts and tables for use in my reports and then be able to provide the app to the client for continuing use. There needs to be the option for a limited free license which is renewed with a license key at a later data.
16. The application needs an installation wizard so that it can be installed on a clients' computer. I will require a wizard to add each customized database (with data imported and tables and charts pre-configured) for distribution to each client. When a client receives the application it will be loaded with their data and ready for installation on their computer.
17. The application should have a data backup option to protect data integrity.
18. Eventually I will probably get someone to make up some custom icons and put a pretty skin on it all (if that is possible).