Getting Started

What is Surple?

Surple is the trusted energy analytics solution for energy professionals that streamlines your workflow and helps you make smarter energy decisions.

Signing up

To sign up, head to app.surpleenergy.com/register. You must choose if you want to create a new company or join an existing one.

If you are joining an existing company, you need to enter a unique company code to gain access. This company code is found on the Preferences page and can be provided by a Surple administrator within your organisation.

If you are creating a new company, you need to enter some additional details, such as your companies name and location.

Logging In

To log in, go to app.surpleenergy.com and enter your email and password when prompted.

You can click the Forgot your Password link and enter your email address if you have forgotten your password. If your email address is correct, you will receive an email that will allow you to reset your password.

Please allow a few minutes for this email to be sent. If you haven't received the email after an hour, please get in touch at support@surple.co.uk.

Browser Compatibility

We strongly recommend that you use Google Chrome as your browser when using Surple to get the optimal experience.

Surple is also compatible with Safari, Edge and Firefox.

Surple is not compatible with Internet Explorer, and your experience will be significantly affected if you try to use this browser.

Data

Utility Data

During the sign-up process, we will ask you to sign a letter of authorisation, which allows us to access your utility data. We typically extract data from your registered data collector or energy supplier and import it into our system automatically.

Obtaining and automating the import of your data into our system has a reliance on your supplier or data collector. This process is typically quick but can sometimes take up to a few weeks. We do everything we can to make this process as speedy as possible and will always keep you informed of the timescales involved.

Weather Data

We import weather data into Surple so that you can use it to run degree day regressions and to analyse the relationships between energy consumption, temperature, wind speed and rainfall. We obtain our weather data from DarkSky via their API.

FAQs

How do I identify if I am heating my building efficiently?

The degree day analysis tool on the Degree Days page calculates whether you are effectively regulating temperature in your buildings.

To run a degree day regression, select the meters and date period that you are interested in and press update to see the results.

Generally, a p-value lower than 0.25 with an R-squared higher than 0.65 means that you are successfully heating the meter(s) chosen for the selected time interval.

Can I receive notifications if my consumption exceeds a certain threshold?

Alarms can be useful if you would like to receive email notifications when your consumption or spending exceeds a certain threshold. You can create alarms from the Targets & Alerts page.

How do you calculate my expected consumption?

We use time series analysis to calculate expected energy consumption based on your historical usage patterns.

We do not directly compare to historical data. Our technique is more developed, and over time, recognises changes to usage patterns. More recent readings have the strongest influence, but gradual changes over time are also accounted for.

As our model automatically understands seasonal and weekly cycles, it is perfect for buildings such as offices, schools or homes that follow a cyclic usage pattern.

Why can't I see my expected consumption?

Sometimes you will not be able to see your expected consumption on charts because our model can fail to resolve. The model can fail to resolve when there has been a significant change in the pattern of energy consumption for a particular area. The model will fix itself, but this can take up to a few weeks.

What do the coloured bars on the charts represent?

We use different coloured bars on charts to draw your attention to points of interest.

The orange bars represent periods where your consumption was the furthest above the energy consumption that the system expected based on your historical usage. An orange bar doesn't necessarily mean that there was an alarming level of usage but can help you identify periods for further investigation.

Green bars represent periods where your consumption was the furthest below the energy consumption that the system expected based on your historical usage. A green bar typically identifies a period where you were efficient with your energy use.

Red bars represent anomalies. These are periods where the system has identified unexpectedly high or low energy consumption. A red bar could indicate that a piece of equipment is malfunctioning.

How are degree days calculated?

A degree day is the difference between the temperature outside and the baseline temperature of a site. The baseline temperature is the temperature above which a building needs to be cooled, or below which a building needs to be heated.

You can edit a sites baseline temperature from the Sites page.

We use degree days on the Degree Days page to run regressions that inform you whether or not you are regulating temperature in your building effectively.

How can I compare the energy consumption of two of my sites?

You can easily compare the energy consumption of two sites from the Analytics page.

Select the first site and period over which you want to compare from the Graph Controls panel and press update.

To overlay the data for the other site, press the + icon above the chart, choose meter as the overlay type and then select the site of interest.

Upon clicking apply, you will see the energy consumption for both sites on the chart. You can overlay additional data sets if you wish to compare with more sites.



How can I see which of my sites are consuming the most energy?

The Dashboard has a leaderboard that lists your sites in order of their energy consumption. You can normalise the leaderboard if metadata exists for all sites. You can update a site's metadata from the Sites page.

Why can't I overlay weather data?

You can only overlay weather data for meters that are in the same location.

If you can't overlay weather data, it may be because you are currently looking at meters in different locations.

If you have the data granularity set to automatic, you will only be able to overlay weather for periods less than 31 days. If you have the granularity set to hourly or half-hourly, then you can overlay weather for any period.

Why do the cards on the Dashboard display NaN or Infinity?

If cards are displaying Nan or Infinity, your sites could be missing required metadata such as area or number of rooms. You can enter this metadata from the Sites page.



Why is the cost on the cards different to my energy bill?

When you first sign up to Surple we set your utility prices to the national average. If you need to update the costs associated with your electricity, gas and water usage you can do so from the Cost page.

Someone sent me a link to an energy chart. Why can't I see it?

To see an energy link someone has shared with you, you need to log in to your Surple account.

I have an idea that will improve the efficiency of my company. Can I send it to someone?

You can submit your idea by going to the Communications page and creating an issue of type Suggestion.

Can I suggest improvements to Surple?

If you have any suggestions for the team at Surple, feel free to email us at support@surple.co.uk.

Who can I contact if I think my energy data is incorrect?

If you think there is something wrong with your utility data, please email us at support@surple.co.uk as soon as possible.

How is missing data handled?

Sometimes the data files that we receive from your supplier or data collector can contain missing data points. If there is data missing for less than six hours, we linearly interpolate it. If there is missing data for longer than six hours, we do nothing. Contact us at support@surple.co.uk if you have any questions about your utility data.

How do I know if I am energy efficient?

Energy consumption levels are different for every business and every building. We cannot tell you whether your consumption is typical, only if it is reasonable compared to the usual patterns of energy in that particular building.

Can I see sub-meter data in the system?

If your building has had sub-meters installed, then we may be able to import the data into Surple. If you require this, please get in touch by emailing us at support@surple.co.uk.

Can I change my company code?

You can not change your company code as we use it for identification throughout our system. If you think you have a security issue with your company code, then please get in contact at support@surple.co.uk, and we will deal with your case individually.

How can I delete my account?

If you wish to end your contract with Surple, please get in touch at support@surple.co.uk. Your contract should contain more information regarding contract cancellation.

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. We will not share your energy data with any third party unless we have your permission.

Why are there grey bars on my charts?

Bars will appear grey if missing data points are present. Sometimes a bar will appear more transparent. A transparent bar indicates that we have linearly interpolated your data. We only do this if the gap is less than a period of six hours.

Why can't I click on an intervention I have created?

You can only click an intervention if it is associated with utility data. If there is no data for the utility type, meter selection or date of intervention, then you will not be able to click through to the Analytics page.

Why are the map markers coloured differently?

The colours of the map markers on the Sites page represent their normalised consumption on a scale from green to red.



The highest consuming site will have a red marker, the lowest will have a green marker, and the colours of the other sites are determined by how much their consumption differs from the lowest consuming site.

Sites with no data for the current selection are coloured grey, and when there are less than two sites with data available, they will be coloured blue.

Features

Dashboard

The Dashboard acts as your homepage and is the first thing you see when you log into Surple. You can update the data on display by adjusting the inputs at the top of the page.

You can click on the individual bars on the Dashboard chart if you would like to take a shortcut to see this data on the Analytics page.



You can also keep an eye on the progress of Targets and check how often Alarms trigger from the Dashboard.

The leaderboards on the Dashboard help quickly identify your highest or lowest consuming sites. The leaderboard data can be normalised by factors such as area and number of rooms if the appropriate metadata has been set up correctly on the Sites page.



Your newsfeed can be found on the Dashboard. The newsfeed is continuously updating and displays critical information, summaries and warnings. You can filter posts in the newsfeed by subject, and you can also star or hide posts.

Analytics

The Analytics page contains your consumption/generation data for all of your utilities. On this page you can interrogate your data to identify trends and anomalies.

You can update the chart by using the Graph Controls panel. You may also click on a bar or use the Navigation Bar to update the chart.

Currently you can't mix consumption and generation meters in one query. However you can overlay consumption/generation onto a chart containing the opposite type of meter.



The icons above the chart can be used to perform various actions as detailed below.

Settings

The settings cog allows you to change the name and the colour of datasets presented on the chart, as well as the graph title.

Share

The share button creates an energy link that you can share with your colleagues so they can see what you're looking at on their machine.

Toggle Expected Consumption

Pressing the target icon toggles the expected consumption line and coloured bars on or off (expected values are not available for generation).

Toggle Anomalies

This button toggles the red colouring of bars that represent anomalies. Anomalies will only show on the chart at half-hourly, hourly or daily granularity. Anomalies are not currently calculated for generation data.

Interventions

You can click this button to add an intervention to the current chart.

Download

Pressing this button downloads the data currently being displayed in csv format.

Chart Type

This button toggles the graph type between bar and line.

Overlay

The plus button allows you to add additional datasets to the current chart. Overlay options include date period, meter and weather.

You can use date overlays to see data from the same meter(s) but with a different date range, for example, to compare February 2019 with February 2018.

Meter overlays allow you to compare the energy consumption of different meters during the same period.

Weather overlays allow you to visualise temperature, rainfall and wind speed with your energy consumption/generation.

Image

This button will download the current chart as a png image for use outside of the platform.

Back

The back button takes you back to the previous state of the graph.


Graph Controls

You can use the graph controls panel to change the data displayed on the chart. You can change the meters selected and the date period. You can also choose the granularity of the data or just leave it set to automatic. If you make any changes, you must press the Update button for them to take effect.

The Save Query button allows you to save the current selection for quick access at a later date.

Automatic Granularity

If data granularity is automated, it will be determined by the length of the date range on display.

For line charts, 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 charts, 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.

Degree Days

You can run degree-day regressions from the Degree Days page to identify if you are effectively regulating temperature in your buildings. The degree day calculation uses the baseline temperature for your sites, which you can edit from the Sites page. The default is 15.5 degrees celsius, but you should set it to the temperature above which you turn on cooling systems and below which you turn on heating systems. Please be aware that changing the baseline temperature of your sites can cause your historical degree day data to become inaccurate.

You can use the insights page controls to select the degree day mode, date range, meters and operating periods that are of interest to you.



The statistics panel on the page shows the equation of the line of best fit, the R-squared and p-values for the regression, and the best and worst heated and cooled days in the selected period. 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.

Sites

The sites page consists of a map and a leaderboard. The map shows all of your sites by default, and clicking a site icon will zoom in to that specific site, and open an information window with its details. Using the map search bar, you can search for particular locations. The leaderboard search bar allows you to search by site name. To create a new site, you can press the + NEW button.

You can change the data on the page by adjusting the inputs at the top of the page. Updating the data changes the information on the map as well as the leaderboard.

Clicking on a site takes you to the Analytics page, with selectors filled for that site. The edit and clock icons allow you to update various details about a site such as its name and operating hours, and the delete button deletes a site entirely.

Meters

There are two 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. You can search for a meter by name or ID, and filter meters by site, utility type, and meter tier. If you select sub-meters as the meter tier, another filter will appear that allows you to filter by parent meter. Clicking a the chart icon for a meter in the list will take you to the Analytics page, with selectors filled in for that meter. You can edit the details for a meter, assign it to a different site, or attach it to parent meter by clicking the edit icon.

The filter on the virtual meters tab allows you to filter by utility type or by a meter. Any virtual meter that has the filtered meter associated with it will appear in the list.

Clicking on a virtual meter will take you to the Analytics page, with the selectors filled in for that virtual meter. A virtual meter is a custom data formula, meaning you can add or subtract meters as well as multiply or divide by constants, allowing you to calculate the differences in meters and to normalise data to fit KPI requirements. The rules for creating a new virtual meter are as follows:

  • A meter can not be multiplied or divided by another meter
  • The formula must be mathematically valid, e.g. you can not divide by zero
  • All meters included in the formula must be of the same type, i.e. all meters must be gas meters

Interventions

The interventions feature allows you to record an intervention you have carried out on 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 an intervention has utility data associated with it, you can click it and go straight to the Analytics page. Interventions appear as vertical lines, with up to 15 days of data on either side of it. If an intervention has no utility data associated with it, you will not be able to take a shortcut to the Analytics page from the Interventions page.

Reports

There are two types of reports, custom reports and scheduled reports. You can create custom reports from the tab with the same name. Custom reports can be created and downloaded instantly. When you create a custom report, it will be added to the list of reports, clicking it will open it as a PDF.

A scheduled report is one that you can set up to receive at regular intervals in your email inbox. You can also add other individuals as recipients to a scheduled report even if they don't have a Surple account.

Alarms

You can create an Alarm if you would like to track and receive notifications when your energy usage exceeds an absolute value.

The alarms panel displays a list of all the alarms you have created and information for each alarm, including the alarm metric and associated threshold. You can search for an alarm using the search bar. 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 its been triggered over time.

You can create a new alarm by pressing the + NEW button. Alarms can be of either type Aggregate or Single Interval.



Aggregate Alarms

Aggregate alarms are alarms that will only be triggered when the total usage in all the chosen intervals, for all the selected meters, 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 day or week.

  • Can only be triggered once per week
  • Can be associated with one or several meters
  • Selected meters can be import or export but not both
  • Can be related to one or several days
  • Exceeded when the total usage of a combination of meters exceeds a set value

Interval Alarms

Interval alarms are triggered if your usage in any 30 minutes exceeds a set value. Interval alarms can be useful if you know the non-operational baseload of a particular meter and would like to be alerted if usage exceeds this value.

  • Can be triggered several times per week
  • Can only be associated with one meter
  • Selected meter can be import or export
  • Can be applied to one or several days
  • Triggered when the usage of a single meter in any 30 minutes exceeds a set value

If you would like someone else to receive emails when an alarm is triggered, you can add them as an additional recipient at the end of the alarm creation process.

Targets

A target can be useful if you are trying to monitor your utility consumption, your spend on energy or your carbon emissions. The targets panel lists 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. A target’s status is determined by whether or not the actual value of your spend or consumption is higher than the set value. A target’s status can fall into two categories:

Achieving/Achieved - your total spend, consumption or emissions are below the target value that you set

Failed - 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 button. On the targets end date, you will receive an email telling you whether or not you achieved your goal.

Target values can either be strict values or a percentage value that you wish to reduce something. If you want to create a Percentage target, the value will be automatically generated based on the percentage and comparison period you choose. You have two options when it comes to selecting a comparison period for a target.

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 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 chosen meters and apply a carbon multiplier. Spend targets take into account your electric, gas and water consumption and associated costs.

If you want other platform users or even people who don't have access to the Surple platform to be notified when a target is a success or failure, then you can add them as additional contacts.

Anomaly Detection

Our anomaly detection service automatically detects periods of unexpected consumption not consistent with your historical usage patterns. Currently, the anomaly detection service only analyses your electricity and gas non-generation data.

The anomaly detection and expected consumption services are not linked. The anomaly detection service notifies you of extreme energy consumption problems. In contrast, the expected consumption service gives you an overall picture of your sites energy usage patterns.

Anomalies appear as red bars on the Analytics page chart and are only visible at a half-hourly granularity, while looking at one meter.

If you have turned on anomaly detection for a meter, when we detect an anomaly, a newsfeed post gets created. Clicking this post will visualise the unexpected consumption on the Analytics chart. You, and any assigned contacts, will also receive an email describing where and when the anomaly occurred.

You can update the meters that you receive anomaly emails/posts for by clicking the Notifications button. The system will still identify and visualise anomalies on meters where notifications are off.



You can track the number of anomalies that have been identified over time from the Anomaly Detection panel on the Targets and Alerts page.

If you would like other individuals to receive email notifications when an anomaly is detected, you can assign them to meters from the Assign Contacts tab on the anomalies Notifications panel. External contacts can only receive notifications for a maximum of 10 meters.

Communications

You can create issues or suggestions from the Communications page and send them to your colleagues. If the issue is urgent, a red warning symbol will appear next to it in the list. You can click an issue to expand the panel and see the original description of the issue. Clicking the message button will show the issue's history.



If an issue is currently assigned to you, the message button will have a red dot next to it. This red dot signifies that it is your turn to respond to the issue. When you open the history of an issue that and it is your turn to respond, a message box will appear. 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 an issue is marked resolved, it will appear grey in the list, but you will still be able to see the history.



You will receive email notifications when issues get created and updated if you have opted into Issue Notifications from the Preferences page.

Preferences

From preferences, you can change your email and password, and find your company code to allow other users to sign up. You can also select which emails you would like to receive and set the approximate cost per unit of energy for your organisation.


Out Of Platform Contacts

You can manage your Contacts from the Preferences page. A contact is someone that needs to receive alarm notifications, target updates or scheduled reports but does not have a Surple account.

You can edit or delete contacts from the Preferences page. You can assign contacts to a target, alarm or report when you create the object.

Cost

The Cost page shows the cost models associated with your sites. Each of your sites will have a cost model for all the utility types you have in Surple. There are 3 different types of cost model:

  • Default: This means your site will use a flat price which is determined from your company default values (which can be edited in the Defaults tab).
  • Fixed rate: Your site will use a flat price, which you can set per site, for all hours of the day.
  • Variable time: Your site can have up to 5 tariffs on weekdays with a further 5 on weekends. These tariffs will allow you to give a price with a start/end time (30 minute increments). When creating a variable time tariff you will need to remember to cover all 24 hours in the day and to make sure none of the created tariffs overlap each other.

Users

The Users page shows a list of people with Surple accounts in your company. You can see their name, email and role in the list, 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.