Inspiration

Our future depends on protecting our shared planet. Currently, household emissions directly account for 140,000-kilo tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. It is often difficult to break our energy-spending habits, because most of us don't track our energy usage nor are we motivated enough to change our current ways.

SaveE is our vision of engaging communities to tackle climate change together by instilling behavioral change in a easy, intuitive, and fun way. This app provides value through educating users about energy awareness, providing tailored tips to reduce users' energy bill, and turning household energy consumption into a competitive game. Our app relies on the idea that humans thrive on competition - people are incentivized to lower their energy usage if they compete with others!

What it does

  • Connects with your BCHydro account to gather your energy usage data
  • Graphs your energy usage over time to give you insight on your own energy usage
  • Quick and easy way for you to access your data - necessary numbers and data are displayed in an aesthetically pleasing, accessible design
  • Provides helpful tips based on your energy usage history or predicted weather data to inform you of your energy usage. (e.g. in winter, when most people walk into their cold house after work, they overcompensate by turning the thermostat higher than it needs to be. SaveE would provide a suggested temperature for people to turn their thermostat to to avoid unnecessary heat usage)
  • Ranks you and your neighbours based on your energy consumptions. Your rank and other neighbours' data are displayed on a map of your area

How we built it

  • Backend built using Python and the Django framework
  • Frontend built using Figma, then later translated to HTML and CSS code
  • A primitive design is available on Github, while a functional user interface is available on Figma

Challenges we ran into

  • Downloading the required software - as a team made entirely of first-years, most of our members were new to coding, so downloading plus learning how to use programs took a significant chunk of time!
  • Learning new languages - the team had to learn how to use tools we'd never seen before, such as Django, Figma, HTML, Git, and more!
  • Integrating back-end and front-end - we had difficulty transferring our Figma prototype to actual HTML code, and then getting the HTML code to work with our server-side programs to display the necessary information. This took us a whole night of Googling!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Learning so much in a small amount of time. We went from knowing almost nothing about building programs to managing to build an entire prototype for a mobile app from scratch! This felt like a huge accomplishment for us inexperienced first-years

What we learned

  • Google and Stack Overflow is our best friend
  • Perseverance
  • A whole bunch of new languages
  • Literally the entire process of building a mobile app from the ground up

What's next for cmdf2020

If we were to continue developing our application in the future, we'd like to implement the following:

  • Integrate with home automation system so the app can contorl and monitor your usage
  • Rewards system for top performers such as gift cards, event tickets, discount on bills
  • Implement a more interactive map for neighbourhood (using google maps API)
  • Implement weather API to gives users energy usage tips based on weather forecasts and seasons

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