Home Monitoring (geeky) — Bulb Community

Home Monitoring (geeky)

Hi All, first post here, somewhat geeky!

Has anyone got any sort of home monitoring setup in terms of Energy usage? Ideally something that can be hosted internally on my home network? And accessed from a single web page?

I have been developing a system to monitor my heating with a view to expand this. Currently I have flow, return and ambient temperatures being monitored and graphed on a server (Raspberry Pi). I plan on adding in an open therm monitor so see what the Nest thermostat is calling for and graphing this too. I plan to eventually add in electricity usage and gas usage and finally PV generation. The aim is to have a single pain of glass / page that I can have displayed showing the current house usage / generation.

In short anyone doing anything similar or interested in developing such a system?

Comments

  • edited February 2017
    Hi @andy saw your email but in case you catch this first here's some answers to your query :)

    What you're talking about here is an Energy monitor! They're pretty snazzy and can let you know the energy usage in your home in real time (so you can go around your house turning appliances on and off and see how much energy they're using).

    Here are some links to energy monitors you can buy online for around £30-50:

    https://www.loopenergysaver.com/

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/deo/GEO-PCK-MP-003-geo-Minim-Electricity-Energy-Monitor/B00JIMQP6Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1486720667&sr=1-1&keywords=energy+monitor

    Another really cool tech we've found is tado! This is a smart thermostat you can put in your home which controls your heating similar to google nest but links up to your all the smartphones of people in your house to track their GPS to know if everyone is out, and to turn the heating down automatically. It can also tell when you're on your way home and will turn it back up again so it's warm for when you arrive.

    https://www.tado.com/gb/

    We would love to know if you have any reviews or suggestions with other similar tech!
  • @andy if you happen to live near Manchester there's a really cool group called eco home lab that meet and do stuff around this if you want to connect with others. I am down in London so never get a chance to go, but here's the link: https://www.meetup.com/Eco-Home-Lab-Manchester/

    Also, Open Energy Monitor are a bit more expensive, but have loads of free resources to learn about stuff, and you can get a "make your own monitor" kit :) https://openenergymonitor.org/
  • rachels42 said:

    @andy if you happen to live near Manchester there's a really cool group called eco home lab that meet and do stuff around this if you want to connect with others. I am down in London so never get a chance to go, but here's the link: https://www.meetup.com/Eco-Home-Lab-Manchester/

    Also, Open Energy Monitor are a bit more expensive, but have loads of free resources to learn about stuff, and you can get a "make your own monitor" kit :) https://openenergymonitor.org/

    Cheers Rachels42!

    I am keen to start implementing the openenergymonitor. Have you built one / or bought one? I am getting solar installed soon and this looks to be perfect! And I can host it locally at home without all that cloud rubbish ;)

    Cheers
    Andy
  • Hi Andy,

    If you are getting solar, pay the little bit extra and get the monitoring device (we have solaredge). It basically does everything you've mentioned and there's an API so you can pull your data (the service can be a bit flaky).

    Also checkout OpenHAB, its more for home control but there's lots of montoring plugins for it too.
  • The Loop Energy Saver referenced above is really good, just check that it can read your meters. My gas one works by putting a sensor over the dial and reading it as it goes around, so other types of meters may not work with this. It can be set up to share your data with Uswitch which makes comparison easier, which is partly how I ended up with Bulb as an energy supplier.
  • I totally recommend Loop, really easy to set up (I'm on electric only) and great user experience - real time monitoring, budget setting and tariff checking/switching based on actual data! What more would you want?
  • @matthew744- awesome to hear that Loop helped make your switch choice :+1: We think they have a pretty neat simple design going on there!

    OWL is another brand that's good to check out for a simple add-on to your meter
  • B&q and amazon are out of stock of loop monitors any ideas guys?
  • I wouldn't buy one new at this point, the fact that they've been out of stock for ages isn't a good sign.

    I got one second hand, had to take over the previous owner's account as Loop wanted to charge me to send it in to have a new ID put on it (rather than just doing the sensible thing of detaching it from the old account for free!). Works well so far, though would be nice if I could just hook into my smart meter's Zigbee network instead for 100% accuracy.
  • @Ged, what monitoring are you hoping for? Something on an app which tells you current (and historical?) energy usage?

    @BenWoodford, that kind of difficult account transferral/product transferal rubbish is the kind of thing that really puts me off companies!
    Have you succeeded in getting anything connected to your smart meter's ZigBee network?
    I had a bit of a read of the SmartThings discussions on the matter but it appears that after people realised they couldn't just use the same hub, everyone seemed to give up.
    I have a few ZigBee radios/devices lying around that I could possibly configure for the HAN network but I have no smart meter!
  • edited November 2017
    SMETS1 doesn't allow stuff on the HAN, despite the fact that it was meant to. SMETS2 will and that's what Bulb will be rolling out next year.

    Clip-on monitors are honestly "ok" at best, they're not terribly accurate. Can't wait till a mass-market Zigbee enabled one for smart meter HANs appears, I'll buy that in a heartbeat if the price is right (perhaps I've found a market niche)
  • @BenWoodford, I think the big thing that people overlook with clip on meters is that they only measure current. You can buy really accurate ones but they still only measure one part of what's required.
    To measure real power like your meter does, you need to know the phase difference as well. Most of the Open Energy Monitor project devices measure this and I believe they're then pretty accurate.

    It sounds like some SMETS1 meters did allow other devices to be connected (PG&E had some) but you were still relying on the supplier to support it.
    I suspect that SMETS2 will be similar though. You'll probably still have to request the pairing of a device from your supplier.
  • Hi,
    I have had the Loop monitor for about 2 years. The great thing is it does the Gas side as well. My Electricity readings on it were slightly wrong so they monitored the inaccuracy and then supplied new electric sensor set up so now quite good.
  • edited January 12
    mowcius said:

    You'll probably still have to request the pairing of a device from your supplier.

    Fortunately we're all with a much more cooperative supplier now. Though I believe SMETS2 has a requirement that they allow you to connect other devices to it anyway. Shocking isn't it? Our government being forward thinking

    I would expect a few devices to come out onto the market when that occurs, which will be fantastic as it's far too niche to find anything decent but cheap yet.
  • evie said:

    Hi @andy saw your email but in case you catch this first here's some answers to your query :)

    What you're talking about here is an Energy monitor! They're pretty snazzy and can let you know the energy usage in your home in real time (so you can go around your house turning appliances on and off and see how much energy they're using).

    Here are some links to energy monitors you can buy online for around £30-50:

    https://www.loopenergysaver.com/

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/deo/GEO-PCK-MP-003-geo-Minim-Electricity-Energy-Monitor/B00JIMQP6Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1486720667&sr=1-1&keywords=energy+monitor

    Another really cool tech we've found is tado! This is a smart thermostat you can put in your home which controls your heating similar to google nest but links up to your all the smartphones of people in your house to track their GPS to know if everyone is out, and to turn the heating down automatically. It can also tell when you're on your way home and will turn it back up again so it's warm for when you arrive.

    https://www.tado.com/gb/

    We would love to know if you have any reviews or suggestions with other similar tech!

    Hi

    I just clicked on the loopenergy site and they have a free trial but when i selected it nothing happened have loop gone out of business ?

    I want an energy monitor to track dual fuel

    Thanks

    Jeni
  • It looks like you can just buy and then return within 45 days if you're not happy.
    https://www.loopenergysaver.com/product/dual-fuel/lifetime

    About as close to a free trial as you'll get I suspect.
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