360 Energy Inc. is pleased to announce it is taking steps to form a new not-for-profit organization that will transform utility customer billing in Canada. The Utility Data BarCode Association will promote, develop and use a common, open format barcode for utility bills. Barcodes, which are in wide use throughout other sectors, can revolutionize how customers and their associated utilities communicate and manage monthly electricity, natural gas and water consumption and cost information.
360 Energy, a recognized Canadian leader in the energy management services industry, knows from long experience that customers have a common problem of understanding and easily capturing the data on their utility bills. This lack of knowledge and understanding keeps customers from improving their energy efficiency and energy procurement practices. A simple solution, until now, has not been available to energy users.
A universal, open source barcode will help Canadian customers and utilities better capture and communicate energy and water use on utility bills. Customers will find it easier to responsibly manage their consumption once they have better knowledge of the information embedded in the barcodes.
360 Energy is inviting energy industry leaders from across the country to join with them in creating a common platform and standards for the use of the new Canadian barcode. The independent, not-for-profit association will act on behalf of various stakeholders to promote, develop and use a common, open format barcode. Having a national standard will enable the best and most effective implementation for all Canadians.
For the past three years, 360 Energy has invested resources and research into developing the barcode concept. When they introduced the results of their research at the EUCI Utility Billing Conference in Toronto earlier this month, they received an enthusiastic response. "We knew there was an appetite for this solution," said 360 Energy CEO and President, David Arkell, "but we were taken aback by the enthusiasm for it. We realized immediately we needed to pull everyone together and make it viable for a rollout across the country."
Arkell has issued personal invitations to major energy users, utilities, software/application developers, energy services providers and governments to join in forming the Utility Data BarCode Association. 360 Energy has a wide network from which to draw in forming the Association, having worked with stakeholders across Canada for more than a decade. He expects the new group will be underway by the end of April.
"Canada is in the midst of charting a new national energy strategy. Governments have to understand that every Canadian company, institution and individual is an energy consumer. It will be a 'game changer' if we can create, on every utility bill in Canada, a way for customers to better understand how they use energy. Improving every Canadian's understanding of their energy use is strategically important to Canada if we want to better manage it in our country," Arkell concluded.
For more information about the UDBA and how you can be a part of the Association, visit our website at udbca.org or contact Julie Kee.
Julie Kee | Secretary to UDBA