# FAQ

Many common software questions are answered in the categories below. If you can’t find a response for yours, try checking our User Forum, or, contact HelpDesk for direct assistance

 Metrix » Conversion Factors
Q: What are conversion factors?

A:

Following is some basic theory of how Metrix deals with bill data:

When you import utility bill data into Metrix, you may have noticed that you also import a conversion factor with it. In the MT1 import format, there are a couple of fields that correspond to conversion factors for energy usage and demand respectively. Metrix uses these conversion factors to convert the utility amounts from your MT1 file into BTUs. Internally, Metrix stores all data (except water) in BTUs (if you use SI units, this is still largely true). Faser imports also include a conversion factor.

So if you import 1000 therms of gas for a month, and use the conversion factor of 100,000 BTU/therm, then Metrix will save the data as 100,000,000 BTUs (1000 therms * 100,000 BTU/therm). But if you import 1000 therms of gas for a month, and use the conversion factor of 3413 BTU/therm by mistake, then Metrix will save the data as 3,413,000 BTUs (1000 therms * 3413 BTU/therm) as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Conversion Factors’ Affect Upon Internal Data Storage

 Imported Energy Units [Therms] Import Conversion Factor [BTU/Therm] Value Stored in Data Base [BTU] 1000 100,000 100,000,000 1000 3413 3,413,000

If no rates are attached to a meter, then Metrix will use a default conversion factor to convert from BTUs back to your energy units (therms), and will display the results in the bill register and reports. If you look in the version 2.0 User’s Manual on page 263, you will find default values of conversion factors for different utility types.

If there is no rate attached to the meter, Metrix will assume the default conversion factor for this fuel type, which is 100,000 BTU/therm. In our example, if you have no rate attached to the meter and if you look in the bill register, you probably will see 34 therms for the month. Metrix divides the 3,413,000 BTUs in the database by the default conversion factor (100,000 BTU/therm ) to get 34 Therms (as is shown in the 2nd row of Table 2).

Table 2. The Use of Default Conversion Factors to Retrieve Values From Internal Database

 Imported Energy Units [Therms] Import Conversion Factor [BTU/Therm] Value Stored in Data Base [BTU] Default Conversion Factor [BTU/therm] Value You See in Bill Register [Therms] 1000 100,000 100,000,000 100,000 1000 1000 3413 3,413,000 100,000 34

In the rate item that you can attach to the meter in the rates view, you can enter a conversion factor which overrides the default conversion factor. This conversion factor is used to convert BTUs stored in the internal database back to your energy units (therms). The results of this conversion are shown in reports and in your bill register.

In our example, if you attach a rate to the meter, and leave the conversion factor as is (default = 100,000 BTU/therm), then you will still see 34 therms in the bill register (Table 2 again).

If you then change the conversion factor to 3413 BTU/therm (which is not the correct conversion factor for natural gas), then you will see 1000 therms in the bill register, which is exactly what you wanted to see. (In this case, two wrongs do make a right.) What Metrix did here was to divide its 3,413,000 BTUs in memory by the conversion factor in the rate (3413), which equals 1000 (See row 2 of Table 3).

Table 3. The Use of Conversion Factors to Retrieve Values From Internal Database

 Imported Energy Units [Therms] Import Conversion Factor [BTU/Therm] Value Stored in Data Base [BTU] Conversion Factor in Rates Form [BTU/therm] Value You See in Bill Register [Therms] 1000 100,000 100,000,000 100,000 1000 1000 3413 3,413,000 3413 34

This is not to suggest that you correct your mistakes by making another one.

Suppose you did not make any conversion factor mistakes upon import bill data. If you want to see the effect that conversion factors have:

1. go to the bill register in the bills view and note the energy amounts there (cost units are not converted by conversion factors).
2. go to the rates view, and attach a rate to the meter (if there isn’t one there already) and change the conversion factor to 1.
3. go back to the bill register in the bills view, and note the energy amounts there. You are now looking at BTUs (assuming this is not a water meter).
4. go ahead and repeat steps 4 and 5 a few times with different conversion factors if you want.
5. change the conversion factor back to what it was, then delete the rate if you added it.

After you delete the rate, Metrix will continue to use the last effective conversion factor.

I can’t find the answer to your question ? Try checking our User Forums.

Otherwise feel free to contact our Tech Support staff at (805) 329-6565, or via email at helpdesk@abraxasenergy.com.

MetrixMarketManagerReportMakerOption C