An Overview of our new ETB Developer v4 Release

by Brooke Morales on Apr 05, 2021

energy toolbase

ETB Developer

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v4 release

We are excited to announce the launch of a big, new software update to the ETB Developer platform. As many of our users may already know, this release has been in development for quite some time. Our new update, which we are referring to as our “v4 (version 4)” release is one of the most significant updates we have made to the ETB Developer platform in our 7-year company history.

Our v4 platform combines powerful new features and redesigned interfaces with the familiarity of ETB’s beloved workflows and everyday functionality. Our product and engineering teams have strived to balance delivering powerful new modeling functionality while maintaining simple and intuitive user workflows. As with all ETB software releases, our new update has been guided primarily by feedback and requests from our user base. As the solar + storage market continues to evolve, we are confident that our new release will ensure that ETB maintains its leadership position in the market and continues to offer users a best-in-class product for accurately, objectively, and transparently modeling the economics of their distributed energy projects.

It’s important to note that we are rolling out our new v4 release on an opt-in basis. This means that users can optionally elect to upgrade to the new v4 platform or stay on our existing v3 site for the time being. We provide further details on the opt-in process below.
 

Opt-in release process, important items to be aware of:

  • Once you opt-in to the new v4 release, you cannot revert back to the v3 platform.
  • Once you opt-in, we will upgrade your account to the new v4 platform overnight and migrate all your project data and proposals to our new platform and data structures.
  • The opt-in process happens at the Account level. All users within the account will be migrated to the new v4 platform simultaneously.
  • We will ultimately migrate all ETB Developer accounts to our new v4 platform. The forced migration date is still to be determined; it will most likely occur within 60 days after our opt-in release goes live. We will give all accounts and users multiple notifications in advance of the forced migration date.

 

What’s new on the ETB Developer v4 platform? 

Check out our short demo overview video to get a feel for the new features and functionality that our v4 platform offers. Here's a summary of some of the key changes:  

Updated UI’s & UX’s

  • We updated several interfaces and workflows throughout the platform to enable a more streamlined and intuitive user experience.
  • Edit Proposal screen. One of the most noticeable UI changes is moving away from our Step 1 – 7 interface on the Edit Proposal screen, which limited users to only viewing the details of one step at a time. Our newly designed Edit Proposal screen utilizes portlet windows, which provide summary details of the project’s General Information, Utility Rates, Solar PV, Energy Storage, and Financing Transactions. Our new UI allows users to view all summary proposal data on a single page, and then navigate into modal windows to see further details or make edits. 

Proposal Configurations feature

  • Users can now pre-configure commonly used Proposal Configurations templates to further expedite the proposal generation process. Users can pre-configure: General Information, Transactions, Documents, and Meter Data (PV, ESS, incentives) via “Proposal Configurations” and then define which category types they want to apply when utilizing the feature.
  • Watch a2-minute demo video to see this new feature in action.

More robust cashflow capabilities within Transactions and Incentives

  • ETB Sheets: In our legacy v3 platform, adding formulas and custom reference variables to Transactions and Incentives can be a convoluted process. Our new ETB Sheets feature revolutionizes this by bringing Excel spreadsheet capabilities directly into the Transaction and Incentive editor. Users can utilize simple or complex formula logic to create dynamic customize Incentives and Transactions, which opens a world of new use cases and applications.
  • Utility Rate References: users can now reference utility rate tariffs, charge types, and NEM program rules from within Incentives. This unlocks new modeling scenarios, such as front-of-the-meter applications, which we will unpack further in future blogs and webinars.

Utility Rates 

  • We’ve completely redesigned the UI and UX for our rate schedule editor, which allows users to create and edit Utility Rates, charge types, seasons, and TOU periods more intuitively.
  • ETB Developer can accommodate daily demand charges, as well as daily and hourly (RTP) Real Time Pricing charges.
  • We have added several new demand ratchets and charge types that allows our Utility Rates Team to accommodate more global rates schedules.
  • We are now tracking generation charges at the line-item level within our utility rates database, making it easier to overwrite utility generation charges with third-party supplier generation charges.
  • Watch this video for a walkthrough of our newRate Schedule Page.

Enhanced Net Metering Capabilities

  • We’ve introduced new functionality, which allows our data team to track the value of imports, exports, and non-bypassable charges (NBC’s) at the rate schedule level. Tracking utility territory-specific NEM details natively at the rate schedule level will streamline project modeling and set up for users in different regional markets. Note: our Utility Rates Team will be updating NEM details onto individual rate schedules in our database over the coming months and quarters; these have not been defined yet.
  • To help further standardize Net Metering verbiage across our user base and industry and introduce new NEM terms & metering types, we have published a'Metering Types' article in our Help Center.  

New Help Center

  • We’ve rebooted ourHelp Center and updated it with useful and detailed articles and videos. To make relevant information easily findable we are embedding hyperlinks to relevant Help Center sections and video tutorials directly in the ETB Developer UI.
  • Our Help Center no longer requires being logged into the ETB Developer platform.
  • Our Help Center now contains documentation and guides for all of Energy Toolbase’s product offerings, including ETB Developer, Acumen EMS™, and ETB Monitor.

New Document Templates

  • We’ve relaunched our Document Template gallery and will be populating several new Proposal Document Templates in the coming weeks and months. Our new templates and addendums are designed to enable users to more effectively communicate the value proposition of solar and energy storage and help close more deals.

Advanced Authentication

  • In order to further secure user data, we have implemented dual-factor authorization whereby users will be required to enter a verification code sent to their cell phone when logging in.

Watch our short, 3-minute v4 release overview demo below:

 

Getting up to speed on the new platform:

To help facilitate a smooth transition to our v4 platform, we are making a number of training and support resources available, including:

  

Other items to be aware of:

  • The ETB team has done extensive (QA) Quality Assurance testing over the preceding weeks and months leading up to our Opt-in release. If you discover any issues, please report them immediately and we will promptly investigate and address them.
  • In the days and weeks following the v4 Opt-in Release going live, we intend to push updates and make iterative changes based on user feedback and continued testing. Please send feedback directly to your Account Manager and to Brooke Morales our ETB Developer, Product Manager at: brooke.morales@energytoolbase.com.
  • Given that our v3 and v4 sites have separate databases, our Utility Rates team will only be updating global rates on the v4 platform going forward.
  • One other huge benefit of launching our new v4 platform is that we now intend to move back to a rapid release cycle, whereby our engineering team will be pushing out new software updates on a regular, bi-weekly basis.

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