What is Surple?
At Surple we believe that the responsibility for delivering carbon reductions should not simply fall on the shoulders of one individual within an organisation. Our software helps to empower anyone, not just energy or sustainability managers, to identify and engage with energy-saving opportunities.
Surple is an energy management platform that allows you to monitor your energy consumption across a portfolio of sites and helps you to make better decisions about energy.
To sign up, head to app.surpleenergy.com/register. You will be asked whether you want to create a new company or sign up to an existing one. If you are signing up to an existing company you will need to enter a company code to gain access to the platform. This company code can be provided by another user within the company and is found on the preferences page. If you are creating a new company you will be prompted to enter some details about your organisation.
To login, go to app.surpleenergy.com and enter your email and password when prompted. If you have forgotten your password you can click ‘Forgot your password?’ and an email will be sent to the one used to register for Surple. You can then follow the link in the email to reset your password.
We strongly recommend that you use Google Chrome as your browser when using the Surple platform to get the most out of the experience.
Surple is also compatible with Safari, Edge and Firefox.
The platform is not compatible with Internet Explorer and your experience will be greatly affected if you try to use this browser.
When you begin a contract with Surple, we will issue a letter of authorisation to access your electricity data. Once signed, this enables us to access your electricity data through your data collector or electricity supplier, and import it into our system automatically.
The process to obtain and automate the import of your data into our system relies on the organisation holding your data and so will take a period of time dependent on this process. We will make this process as fast as possible and give our best estimates of the timescales involved.
When you begin a contract with Surple, we will issue a letter of authorisation to access your gas data if you require gas data in the platform. Once signed, this enables us to access your gas data through your data collector or gas supplier, and import it into our system automatically. Gas and electricity are often supplied by the same organisation, but if they aren’t you will require two letters of authorisation.
The process to obtain and automate the import of your data into our system relies on the organisation holding your data and so will take a period of time dependent on this process. We will make this process as fast as possible and give our best estimates of the timescales involved. Where gas and electricity have different suppliers, this process will be independent for each and so one set of data may be in the Surple system before the other.
If you have water submetering, you may require water data to be included in the Surple Platform. For water data the process is similar to that of gas and electricity, but depending on the format and supplier can take longer to access and automate. We suggest that you begin with electricity and gas data and get in touch with your requirements for water data.
We use weather data for our degree day regression and to show relationships between energy and temperature. The weather data we use is obtained from the DarkSky API.
How do I identify if I am successfully heating my building?
To assess whether you are successfully heating a building, the insights page can be used. Once on the page, you should select the sun, the site or meter you want to look at, and the date range. When you press update, you will be presented with a set of results across the top of the page, as well as in the graph. Generally, a p-value lower than 0.25 with an r-squared higher than 0.65 means that you are successfully heating the selected meter(s) for the selected time interval.
How do I report on energy consumption for last month?
The best way to see the energy consumption for the previous month is to go to the consumption page, select the meters required and set the date range to be last month. This will give a graph showing the energy consumed over that time period. If you need to see the kWh value, an easy way to do this is to change one of the cards at the top of the consumption page to energy in kWh. This card will then always show the total consumption for any meter and date/time selection.
How can I set consumption notifications?
If you want to be notified when your energy consumption exceeds a certain amount, you should create an alarm. In creating an alarm, you can choose the value and time period and you will get an email when your energy consumption exceeds that value in the given time period.
What do the orange bars on the graphs mean?
When you have smart targets enabled, there will be orange bars on the energy consumption graphs. The orange bars indicate the times where consumption was furthest away from the expected energy consumption in the time period selected. If a bar is orange it doesn’t mean that there was an alarming level of consumption, just that if you were going to take a closer look at your energy consumption then those are the areas you should focus on.
Why can’t I enable smart targets?
It is possible that the data model that runs in the background for smart targets won’t resolve, meaning that you won’t be able to see smart targets. This could be because there has recently been a significant change in the patterns of energy consumption for a particular area. The model will eventually resolve again and you will be able to see smart targets, but this will usually take a few weeks.
How are degree days calculated?
A degree day is the difference between the temperature outside and the baseline temperature. The baseline temperature is the temperature above which a building needs to be cooled, or below which a building needs to be heated. The degree day regression is a linear regression made between energy consumption and degree days, and how strong the correlation is can be used as a measure of how efficiently a building is being heated or cooled.
How do smart targets work?
Smart targets use an ARMA model to calculate the expected energy consumption based on your previous energy consumption patterns. The expected energy consumption is then compared with your actual consumption to identify the times when your actual consumption was furthest from the expected consumption.
How can I compare two sites?
You can compare the energy consumption between two sites by going to the consumption page, and using the graph controls panel on the right, select one of the sites and the time period over which you want to compare. Press update to see the first site on the graph. You can now press the overlay button on the top-right of the graph, select meter(s), and select the second site which you want to compare with the first. This will overlay the second site with the first, so you can compare across a time period.
How can I see which of my sites are consuming the most energy?
On the overview page there is a leaderboard that ranks all of your sites in respect of their consumption. You can normalise the leaderboards by area, number of rooms or number of people if the data exists. You can enter this data for a site from the Sites page.
Why can’t I overlay weather data?
You can only overlay weather for meters in the same location, so if you can’t overlay weather it may be because you are looking at meters in different locations. Additionally, if you have the granularity set as automatic, you will only be able to overlay weather for periods less than 31 days. If you have the granularity set as hourly or half-hourly then you can overlay weather for any time period.
Why do some of the cards at the top of the consumption page say NaN or na ?
If you have chosen a card to show energy per person, energy per room or energy per square foot, then you need to make sure that all of your sites have the relevant information. If you are viewing a site or multiple sites, if one of the sites doesn’t have the relevant information then the calculation to convert energy can’t be made.
Why is the cost on the cards different to my energy bill?
The cost estimate on the cards is an estimate based on the costs you set on the preferences page, or based on national averages. If you are on a variable tariff or buy energy in a different way, then your actual energy cost could significantly vary from the estimate.
Why can’t I see an energy link someone shared with me?
To see an energy link someone has shared with you, you will need to be logged in. If you can’t see it, it might be because you are not logged.
Why can’t I send another message about an issue?
Issues are passed from the person that created the issue to the person that it was assigned to. When you respond to an issue, it is assigned to the other person and is in their hands to make the next update. You are only able to respond when the issue is assigned to you.
How can I make a suggestion to someone within my company?
You can make a suggestion by going to the issues page, and submitting an issue of type ‘suggestion’ from the form on the right.
How can I make a suggestion to someone at Surple?
For any issues or suggestions for the team at Surple, you can email email@example.com
Who can I contact if I think my energy data is wrong?
If you think there is something wrong with your energy, gas, or water data, please get in contact with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
How is missing data handled?
Sometimes the files we use to input data into the system have some missing data points. If there is data missing for a period of 6 hours or less, the data will be linearly interpolated. If there is missing data for over 6 hours it will not be added into the system. Contact us at email@example.com if you think there is missing data where there shouldn’t be.
How do I know if my energy consumption is normal?
Energy consumption levels and patterns are different for every business and every building. We cannot tell you whether your consumption is normal, only if it is normal compared to the usual patterns of energy in that particular building.
What can I do to reduce my energy consumption?
There are many ways to reduce your energy consumption, and the best ways for you will depend on the building you’re looking to reduce energy consumption in. Some of the general things to consider would be switching all lightbulbs to LED lightbulbs, putting timers on lights, and assessing the heating and cooling systems.
What are operating hours used for?
Currently operating hours are being used to develop new tools for the insights page, as well as update the models used to calculate expected energy consumption and anomalies.
What if I want to see energy consumption for more specific areas?
Our system is based on your existing meter infrastructure. If you need to see your energy consumption for more specific areas then you will need to get submeters. If you have submeters we will be able to collect and use the data from them, so please get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if this is something you require.
Why isn’t Surple working for me?
If surple isn’t working for you, the first thing to check is that you’re using a compatible browser. If you are, then please get in contact with us at email@example.com with the details of your problem.
Can I change my company code?
You cannot change your company code as it is used for identification throughout our system. If you think you have a security issue with it then please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will deal with your case individually.
I landed on a page that says ‘Whoops…’ what does this mean?
This is an error page from our back-end, and if you landed on it we will have got an email about the error. We will get in contact with you if possible, and fix the error as soon as we can. If you get this page persistently then please get in contact with us as email@example.com.
How do I pay for Surple?
When you have an agreement with Surple, you will be invoiced according to the terms of your contract.
How can I delete my account?
If you wish to end your contract with Surple, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org with your company number and request. Details of cancelling your contract will be detailed in your contract.
How do you handle my personal data?
We do not store any sensitive personal data. The data we store about you will never be shared with or sold to any third party. Your energy data will never be shared with any third party without your prior written permission.
Why are there lots of grey bars on my charts?
If you have missing data (this can be common with sub meters) we will either colour the bars grey or make them more transparent. A more transparent bar means we have estimated some of the data , this will happen if the gap in your data is less than 6 hours. If you have a gap of more than 6 hours we don’t estimate this data due to a probable high level of inaccuracy, in this case we colour the bar grey.
Why can't I click on my intervention?
Interventions are only clickable if there is utility data associated with it. If there is no data for the utility type, meter selection and date of an intervention then you will not be able to click through to the consumption page.
Why are the map markers different colours?
If there are more than two sites on the map, they will be coloured according to their normalised consumption. The highest third will be red, the middle third orange and the lowest third will be green.
The overview page acts as your homepage and is the first thing you see when you log into the platform. At the top of the page are selectors for the utility, and for the date range. These selectors will update anything on the page which is energy-related, as described below. By default, the utility selector will be set to whichever meter type your company has the most meters of, and the date range selector will be set to the most recent 30 days of data.
Going from top-left, the first panel shows a graph of the consumption for the selected utility type and date range. Clicking a bar on the graph will take you to the consumption page for that date range and utility. You can also access the consumption page by clicking the link at the bottom of the panel. On the right of the graph is another panel which displays consumption in terms relevant to you. You can edit this on the consumption page.
The next panel displays the status of any targets you have for the current utility and date range selection, and the number of times an alarm has been triggered. Clicking the link at the bottom of the panel will take you to the targets and alarms page.
To the right of the targets and alarms panel are the top 3 and bottom 3 leaderboards. If there are less than 3 sites in the current utility selection, meters will be shown in the leaderboard. If there are 3 or more sites, sites will be shown. Clicking on a site/meter name will take you to the highlights page for that site or meter. If sites are being shown in the leaderboard, at the bottom of the leaderboard panels there will be a normalisation select box. Selecting an option from this drop-down menu will divide all the values by the selected figure. If a site doesn't have the relevant data associated, it will no longer be shown in the leaderboard. You can set all data for a site on the s another panel which displays consumption in terms relevant to you. You can edit this on the sites page.
At the bottom-left of the page is the activity panel, which shows you how many users have logged in in the past 30 days. This panel doesn't react to either utility selection or date range selection. At the bottom of the page is a link to the s another panel which displays consumption in terms relevant to you. You can edit this on the users page, where you can see more information on each user within your organisation.
At the bottom-right of the page is the issues panel. This panel updates with date range selection but not with utility selection. It shows the number of issues created, updated, and resolved in the selected time period.
On the right of the page is your newsfeed, which displays key information, summaries and warnings. The newsfeed can be filtered by subject, and items can be starred or hidden. Only the 100 most recent items will be displayed on the newsfeed. It will not react to changing the utility or date range selected.
The consumption page offers you the ability to interrogate your energy consumption in detail and can be used to identify trends and anomalies. Several overlays including weather and historical datasets can also be added to help identify patterns.
The three cards across the top of the page can be set to show energy in contexts that you find useful. When you change these they will also change the cards on the highlights page.
The default data displayed on the graph is the most recent 30 days of data. The icons on the top-right of the graph panel are used for various controls of the graph as detailed below.
If you are looking at a bar chart the colours of the bars can tell you something about your data. If a bar is orange it means it is noticeably above the expected value (see smart targets), if it is green it is below expected. If any of the bars are grey this means that you have missing data in the date range of that bar. If the bar is more transparent than other bars it means it some of the data has been estimated by us.
This cog shows the settings of the current data displayed on the graph. From here you can change the name and colour of the datasets being displayed, as well as the graph title. The date range of the data is displayed at the bottom of the modal.
The share button will display a link which you can copy and share with others.
Pressing the target button will enable or disable smart targets. They are enabled by default, but if you don’t see them when the page is loaded it may mean that the model is currently unable to resolve.
Pressing this button will open up a modal from which you can select an intervention to display on the graph. You will only by able to see the intervention if the date is within the current date range displayed on the graph.
Pressing the download button will download the data currently being displayed in csv format.
Pressing the line/bar toggle will change the graph type from bar to line or vice versa.
The plus button will bring up a modal prompting you to choose which type of data you would like to overlay on top of the current data being displayed. The options are date, meter and weather. Date will allow you to overlay data from the same selection but with a different date range, for example to overlay February 2019 with February 2018. Meter will allow for the overlay of another meter or selection of meters and weather allows you to overlay weather when possible.
This button will download the graph as a png image.
When an action has been made, a back button will appear, and clicking it will take you back to the previous state of the graph.
Navigating the Graph
The consumption graph can be navigated in a number of ways. When viewing the data in bar graph format, clicking one of the bars will zoom into the date range of the bar. In addition to this, the navigation bar at the bottom can be used to navigate through datetime ranges of the current data. You can highlight as much of the graph as you want to see, and drag the highlighted area across the navigation bar.
The graph controls panel on the right-hand side of the page can be used to change the data being displayed on the graph. You can change the type of data being displayed from electricity to gas, the site/meters/virtual meters to show, and the date range. You can also select a custom granularity for the data, or just leave it at automatic. For any changes to have effect, you need to press the ‘update’ button towards the bottom of the panel.
The ‘Save Query’ button will bring up a modal with details on what you want to save with the current selected data. You will need to name the saved query and select a date range. The options in the date range drop-down will always be adaptive to the current date, so if you choose ‘Past 30 days’ from the drop-down and save the query, then load the query for example on the 30th of June, the date range shown will be the 1st to the 30th of June. Similarly if you loaded the same query on the 15th of October, the date range shown would be the 15th of September to the 15th of October. The only option in the drop-down which is not reactive is the ‘Selected’ option. Choosing this will always show the same date range no matter when you load the query. When a query is saved, it will appear in a list at the top of the graph controls panel.
The graph controls panel can be collapsed by pressing the ‘x’ in the top right corner.
Automatic data granularity will select the granularity based on the time range being displayed. For line graphs, the granularity is half-hourly for periods less than 14 days, hourly for periods between 14 and 31 days, and daily for periods of longer than 31 days.
For bar graphs, the granularity is half-hourly for periods of a day or less, daily for periods between 1 and 31 days, weekly for periods between 1 and 6 months, and monthly for periods greater than 6 months.
If you select auto, it will always show the current granularity in brackets next to the select option, and in the graph title.
The insights page is where you can see the results of degree-day regressions for any of your sites. The degree day calculation is based on the baseline temperature for your sites, which was set on creation and can be edited from the sites page. The default is 15.5 degrees but it should be set to the temperature above which you turn on cooling systems and below which you turn on heating systems. If this is changed, the historical degree day data will not change so may be inaccurate.
From the left, the cards at the top of the page show the equation of the line of best fit, the R-squared and p-values, and the best and worst heated/cooled days in the selected time period. You can click on the words ‘Well-heated’ and ‘Poorly-heated’ to see a list of the top/bottom 10 respectively.
At the top of the graph are the controls, where you can select heating/cooling by clicking on the sun/snowflake, the date/time range, and the meters selected. If selecting multiple meters, they must be within the same site.
On the right of the page is a panel explaining the data and what it means.
The default view of the sites page is a map with a search bar at the top. This map will by default zoom out to show all of your sites, and clicking a site icon will zoom in to that specific site, and open an info window with its details. The search bar at the top of the page can be used to search for locations, and the one on the sidebar on the right can be used to search for site names. On the right of the search bar is a button which can be used to create a new site. This button will bring up a modal where you can enter all the details of the new site.
Below the search bar at the top of the page is a selection of optional normalisers to apply to the page. By default, the sites are shown with consumption of the utility with the most data in your system. You can change the utility, select a time period, and choose what to normalise by. When an option is applied, it will change the values on the map as well as the list on the right of the page.
If you click on a site on the map, a pop-up will appear with the site details. Clicking on the site name will take you to the highlights page for that site. At the bottom of the pop-up are 3 buttons, the edit button where you can edit any details for the site, the clock button where you can edit the operating hours for the site, and the delete button which will delete the site entirely.
On the right of the page is a list showing all of your sites with the current normalisation applied. Sites with no data for the selection will not appear in the list. Clicking on a site name will take you to the highlights page for that site.
There are three tabs at the top of the meters page, meters and virtual meters. The meters tab shows a list of all the meters in your company. Clicking on a meter in the list will take you to the highlights page for that meter. Clicking the edit button will allow you to edit the details for the meter, assign it to a different site, or assign it a parent meter if it is a submeter.
The virtual meter tab allows you to create new virtual meter, see your existing virtual meters, edit and delete them. Clicking a virtual meter will take you to the highlights page for that virtual meter. A virtual meter is a custom data formula, meaning you can add/subract meters as well as multiply/divide by constants. Allowing you to calculate the differences in meters and to normalise data to fit KPI requirements. The rules for making a virtual meter are:
- A meter can not multiplied or divided by another meter.
- The formula must be mathematicly valid, e.g. no dividing by 0 etc.
- All meters included in the formula must be of the same type, i.e. all gas meters.
The interventions feature allows you to record an intervention or change you may have made to a site, meter or your whole company. At the top of the page is a search bar, and a button to make a new intervention. Below this are filters you can apply to the list of interventions, and the list itself, which you can sort by clicking the headers.
When making a new intervention, you need to include a name, description, date, utility type, and area. If you select meter or site as the area the intervention is applicable to, then you will also need to select a specific meter or site.
If an intervention has data associated with it, you will be able to click on it and go to the consumption page. This will show the intervention as a vertical line, with up to 15 days of data either side of it. If there is no data for the date, meters and utility type of an intervention then it will not be clickable.
The highlights page is a page that shows the important information for a meter, meter group or site. At the top of the page are three cards which show energy in terms relevant to you. These are chosen on sign up and they can be changed from the consumption page. Below the cards is a graph which by default shows consumption for the page 30 days. You can change basic information such as the type of data being shown and the date range displayed. On the right of the page is a list of relevant updates for the currently selected meter, meter group or site, and if you are viewing a meter group or site there will be a breakdown of consumption per meter.
At the top of the reports page there are two tabs, Custom Reports and Scheduled Reports. On the custom reports tab you can create a new custom report, and see previously created reports. A custom report is a report that is created and instantly downloaded, as opposed to a scheduled report which is created and sent out at specific points in time to specific individuals. When a custom report is created it will be added to the list of reports, clicking it while open it as a pdf.
On the scheduled reports tab you can create reports that will be sent out at designated times.
Targets and Alarms
The targets and alarms page has a panel to create targets, a panel to create alarms, and a newsfeed showing updates related to targets and alarms.
Alarms can be set when you don’t want your usage to exceed a certain value in a set interval. Alarm intervals can be as small as one half hour period and as great as a week long period. You will receive email notifications if your usage does exceed the threshold, outlining how much greater the actual usage was than the threshold. Since alarms are associated with certain time periods in the week, they can only be triggered once per week.
The alarms panel displays a list of all the alarms you have created and information for each alarm including the type of alarm and the associated threshold. You can search for a specific alarm using the search bar at the top of the panel. Clicking on the chart icon will open the alarm tracker panel which contains more information such as the time intervals and meters associated with an alarm as well as the number of times that it's threshold has been exceeded each month.
You can create a new alarm by pressing the ‘plus’ button in the top right corner of the panel. Alarms can be updated and deleted using the buttons on the right side of the table. Alarms can be created to monitor utility consumption but also spend and carbon emissions.
Alarms can encompass more than one time period and more periods can be added by pressing the 'Add another day' button. Upon adding more days you will be prompted to select whether you want the alarm to be calculated Independently or Cumulatively.
Cumulative alarms - creates one alarm that will only be triggered when the TOTAL usage in all the chosen datetime ranges exceeds the threshold value. These can be useful if you have an inconsistent pattern of consumption but you know how much you should be consuming in any given week.
Independent alarms - creates a new alarm for each of the datetime ranges selected. These individual alarms can be triggered separately. This can be useful if you have a consistent pattern of consumption and you want to apply the same threshold to each day of the week.
A target can be used if you are trying to monitor your utility consumption, your spend on energy or your carbon emissions. The targets panel displays a list of all the targets you have created and information for each target including the type of target and its current status. You can search for a specific target using the search bar at the top of the panel. A target’s status is determined by whether or not the actual value of your spend or consumption is greater than the set value. A target’s status can fall into two categories:
Achieving/Achieved (green) - your total spend, consumption or emissions are below the target value that you set
Failed (red) - your total spend, consumption or emissions are greater than the target value you have set
You can create a new target by pressing the New Target button in the top right corner of the panel. When creating a target you will be prompted to give it a name, select a type and select the areas of your business that you want to apply the target to. You will also be prompted to enter a start and end date for your target. On the end date you will be notified as to whether or not you have achieved the target via email and a post in the newsfeed.
Target values can either be strict number values or a percentage value that you wish to reduce something by. By selecting 'Number' you will be prompted to enter a value that you want to keep below by the target end date. If you select a 'Percentage' target the value will be generated automatically based on the percentage and comparison period that you choose.
There are two options when it comes to selecting a comparison period that will be explained in more detail below.
Period Directly Before - Compares your actual usage between the target start and end date with the actual usage from the period directly before. For example, if the target start date was 01/08/2019 and the end date was 01/09/2019. The comparison period would be 01/07/2019 - 01/08/2019.
Same Period Year Before - Compares your actual usage between the target start and end date with the actual usage from the exact same period in the year before. For example, if the target start date was 01/08/2019 and the end date was 01/09/2019. The comparison period would be 01/08/2018 - 01/09/2018.
Electric, gas or water targets only take into account the utility consumption of the meters selected. Carbon targets take into account the electricity and gas consumption of the selected meters and apply a carbon multiplier. Spend targets take into account your electric, gas and water consumption and associated costs.
The communications page is made up of a list of all issues that have been created by you or assigned to you. Each item in the list has a type, summary, site and date. If the issue is urgent, it will have a red warning symbol at the start of the summary. Clicking on an issue summary will expand to show the original description of the issue. Clicking the message button will show the issue history. If an issue is currently assigned to you, the message button will have a red dot next to it. This means that it is ‘your turn’ to respond to the issue. When you open an issue history where the issue is currently assigned to you, a message box will appear where you can respond and to the issue as assign it back to the other user you are communicating with. Unlike a traditional messaging system, the issue tracker only allows for one message to be sent in response, passing responsibility between users as you do so.
An issue can be marked resolved by either the person who created it or the person it was assigned to. When an issue is marked resolved, the other user will have the opportunity to either approve or reject the resolved status. If it is rejected, a message has to be sent explaining why it is not resolved, and it will be reassigned. If an issue is successfully marked resolved it will be greyed out, but you can still see the history.
At the top of the page is a button that allows you to create a new issue. The assignee of your issue will get an email to inform them of the issue. Emails will also be sent to update users on issues when it is reassigned.
From preferences you can change your email and password, and find your company code to allow other users to sign up. You can also set which emails you would like to receive, and set the approximate costs of energy for your organisation.
The users page shows a list of the users in your company. Their name, email and role is shown, along with when they last logged in. If you are the Super Admin for your company then you can change the role of users by pressing the wrench icon or delete them by pressing the trash icon.