Watching your daily watts may not be everyone’s cup of tea. And I have a kettle that goes on the gas stovetop when I want a cuppa anyhow.
That said, however, it’s amazing what having real-time data on electricity use literally at your fingertips tells you about how those nasty quarterly power bills come about. When you have a household of six, there can be a lot of energy use going on!
Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week and appliance by appliance, it suddenly becomes easy to understand the consequences of every flick of the switch … and when you forget to turn things off as well.
Oh look, that’s the distinctive signature of the clothes dryer, which was turned on around 11.09, and off again about 11.23 (electricity use surged from 1663 watts to 3631 watts as soon as the dryer came on).
When you have the data – cause and effect – in real-time it makes responding right then and there easy. Getting a three-monthly or even monthly retrospective on your utility power bill just can’t compare.
There’s another one, with bathroom heat lamps (left hand side of graph image) being switched on around 11.31 – first 2 lamps, then 4 lamps – and then turned off again a minute or so later. Two lamps took the graph from 1626 watts to 2208 watts, then 4 lamps bumped it up 2785 watts, before it fell back to 1628 watts when all 4 lamps were turned off.
On the right hand side, you can see the pool pump being turned off around 11.36, with electricity use falling from 1693 watts to 792 watts.
Tell your kids the power bill’s high for the past quarter and you’ll get nowhere. Show them what just happened when they left the heat lamps on after spending way too long in the shower, and you’re in with a chance of getting some positive engagement.
There’s a lot more, of course. Here’s the vacuum cleaner in action, coming on around 14.29 after a false start a few minutes earlier (the tube was blocked).
That’s an everyday household consumer perspective.
From a business point of view, say as a new-generation energy services provider looking to help householders and businesses save energy, and also influence when electricity is used to help with peak-load challenges, real-time data online is a game changer.
Perhaps you’re a solar PV installer and want to share visibility about performance with your customers. Yep, we can do that, and here’s what solar PV generation mapped over household electricity use looks like on a nice, sunny early autumn day in Sydney.
Welcome to the energy information age, delivered by Wattwatchers, where you can have your electricity information on your computer, smartphone or tablet – where you want it, whenever you want it, and on display independent of your power utility.
What will you do with accurate, real-time energy data?