Forecasting Wizard for Energy Marketers

Ziphany, LLC has improved its load shaping and forecasting tool – a module built into Ziphany’s Energy Operations Platform (ZEOP), for energy marketers (also known as ESCOs – Energy Service Companies). The Forecasting Wizard provides increased simplicity and accuracy.

Implementation of the new tool to Ziphany's current customers of ZEOP began last Wednesday. According to Ziphany Account Executive, Heather Jackson, "reports have been very positive, and the ease of implementation has been very smooth."

ESCOs must give to the grid a forecast for each of their customers. Once an accurate forecast is constructed, the energy marketer can define a consistent buying strategy, fully aware of the level of risk being taken. When purchasing wholesale energy, the ESCO benefits from having optimal foresight. Based on the usage forecast, the energy marketer will decide what percentage to buy in the Day-Ahead verses the Real-Time market.

Energy marketers have to deal with varying rules when forecasting load shapes for each utility. In effect, meeting the competitive needs in multiple territories is a difficult task. According to Project Leader, Klaus Hannes, "The [forecasting] wizard is fully integrated into the ZEOP application, and it automatically calculates expected usage baselines for individual customers of natural gas and of electricity." And for electricity, it is also integrated in the bid-process. "Even for customers without sufficient historical data, the wizard can still calculate proper load shapes based on a number of preprogrammed criteria," says Hannes.

Once implemented for a new partner, Ziphany's Forecast Wizard guides the user through the procedures, requiring no knowledge of forecasting methodology on the user's behalf. It creates a detailed log, and it allows automatic scaling for customers with insufficient historical data. The Wizard improves the quality of market bids, allowing the accurate prediction of usage for electricity and natural gas. "The operational benefits lead to better buying decisions," says Hannes.