ESG kWh Tracking Automation for an Energy Company

Smartbridge implemented an ESG kWh tracking automation for an energy client to track their performance against KPI targets for their ESG commitments. With this intelligent automation solution in place, the firm is experiencing an error rate reduction of 99% while freeing up 24 hours to reallocate to more strategic tasks.

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This client is a top-tier energy company that provides clean-burning, natural gas to the United States. In an environmentally responsible manner, they extract one billion cubic feet of natural gas daily and operate over 100 drilling sites. 

INDUSTRY: Energy & Utilities

Industry Background

In recent years, the oil and gas industry has seen Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments shift from low on the priority list to the top. As ESG public policy has grown in importance, and as environmentally friendly technologies have been developed, ESG commitments have become a high priority for most oil and gas firms. As the industry expands and matures, ESG commitments are likely to stay as a strategic initiative to track performance against key performance indicator (KPI) targets for ESG.

The oil and gas sector has been substantially influenced by the ESG trend. This is due to increase public policy as well as socially conscious investors investing in companies that emphasize ESG scoring and compliance.

ESG tracking Automation

Organizations recognize the importance of ESG performance and are putting efforts into ESG scoring solutions to help them become more efficient and better manage risks. In addition to deploying an ESG tracking solution, there is an increase in requests for ESG reporting, and how it ties into the organization’s overall strategy and enterprise risk management.

Key Challenges: Current Business Processes

Most of the company utilizes extremely outdated, siloed software to drive processes in sales, financial metrics, investor statements, operational insights, and KPIs. The resources and software expenses needed for these processes are very time-consuming, costly, and take a greater amount of work than the efforts needed in the current age of connected systems, advanced technologies, and citizen developers.

Client Objectives

When it comes to ESG tracking and scoring, various vendors from 2,000+ wells provide the client with energy consumption invoices that include multiple meter IDs, service periods, and kilowatts (kWh) used during that respective period. Once the client has these invoices, they manually extract all the data to calculate kWh usage by copying and pasting values into an Excel spreadsheet. Sometimes, these invoices have a service period spanning multiple months, so the client must manually calculate the average kWh per day to forecast their monthly and quarterly kWh usage.

Given the current volume of invoices being received at regular intervals, this existing process is no longer meeting the needs of the organization. The client wanted to leverage the capabilities of intelligent automation to enhance their kWh usage tracking process. The overall objectives for the client were:

Smartbridge has extensive experience in automation implementations

  • No longer rely on Excel as their primary database for data extraction, data storage, and calculations 

  • Reduce the time spent on manually gathering, extracting, and forecasting data 

  • Reduce kWh tracking errors due to manually copying and pasting the values 

  • Increase operational efficiencies and performance with an integrated technology ecosystem 

  • Streamline and automate the following business processes with intelligent automation:

    • Data gathering and extraction
    • Calculating kWh usage per day and per month average
    • Forecast kWh usage per quarter
    • Financial metrics reporting

The Smartbridge Solution

Smartbridge experts utilized components of Microsoft’s Power Platform to create an ESG kWh tracking automation to streamline data entry for invoices, document processing, and usage calculations.

ESG tracking automation power apps
ESG scoring power automate
ESG tracking automation dataverse

Microsoft Power Automate orchestrates the overall process while AI Builder provides the intelligence required to efficiently extract the needed information from the documents. Smartbridge created an application with Microsoft Power Apps to allow users to review and approve the processed documents and take necessary manual action if needed. After documents have been reviewed, Microsoft’s Dataverse manages the document queue and stores all of the data, files, calculations, and forecasts.

ESG scoring data
Image courtesy of Microsoft

Success Through a Modernized Implementation

With the Smartbridge ESG tracking automation in place, the users can focus on more strategic tasks while intelligent automation handles the data extraction and calculates the kWh usage and forecast. Now, the software bots track the client’s performance against their KPI targets for ESG. The automation assists in monitoring and assessment activities, promoting a successful ESG auditing initiative.

This ESG kWh tracking solution helped the client in the following ways:

  • Removed redundant and unnecessary additional steps that created friction in the existing manual kWh usage tracking process

  • No longer manually copying and pasting values into an Excel spreadsheet for each invoice received from the respective vendors 

  • Streamlined and automated the kWh usage tracking process, reducing the entire processing time from 24 hours to a minute

  • ESG kWh tracking automation reduced errors by 99%, given the nature of how the manual process was carried out

  • Reduced resources required to update kWh usage tracking to allow internal users to work on more productive activities

With this intelligent automation in place, business operations for this component of ESG scoring have become much more efficient. This has promoted further automation adoption throughout the organization.

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