The Energy Insights application was created by Cortex Energy Management as a submission for the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge.
We developed functions for using the Ontario Green Button Connect My Data standard API and accessing data from the Data Custodian. But the data available at the Data Custodian was not actual electricity consumption data. It was generated data and did not produce realistic output that would demonstrate the meaningful features of our app. For this contest we decided to use a sample data from Green Button of actual energy usage. Also, we did not want users to have problems accessing the data that would require our attention to solve the problems.
Energy Insights requires a data file of 365 days of hourly energy consumption data. The app for this contest uses a sample data set of actual usage from PowerStream.
With a smart meter, the cost of electricity is different at different times of the day. Non-energy charges can be 50 percent of the utility bill. Reducing the total cost of electricity depends on the time of day of use and the length of time of appliance usage. Most energy management programs do not include these costs and do not show the user the true total cost for their electricity usage. Energy Insights uses electricity rate information from the energy provider to calculate total costs. This gives the user a complete and accurate statement of their electricity consumption and costs.
The visual design of the web pages follows a contemporary minimalist style where extraneous and distracting graphics effects are avoided and meaningful information is presently clearly and simply.
Energy Insights analyzes one year of energy consumption. It uses hourly data from the electricity smart meter to show energy and cost information. The application shows how electricity is consumed and gives insights into energy usage and costs. Energy Insights recommends several ways to reduce energy consumption and save money.
• The Home page shows a summary of the utility charges and load type for one year.
• The Energy pages show energy consumption by month, by week, or by day.
• The Costs pages show energy costs by month, by week, or by day.
• There are several Insights pages. The Time of Use page shows a summary of electricity grouped by Time of Use. The Insights pages show how much money would be saved by reducing or shifting some of the energy usage.
• The Daily Energy page shows the TOU consumption for each day. Clicking on a day shows the hourly consumption for that day.
• The Load Type page shows the year of energy grouped by Base Load, Normal Load and Peak Load. It shows how much would be saved by reducing your base load.
• The energy usage can be grouped by the day of week and shown by hour to compare days.
• The energy of weekdays or weekends can be grouped and shown by hour to compare days.
• The Rate Trend page shows the trend in the consumption rates from your energy provider during the past five years. It estimates how much rates will likely change in the future.
• The settings page enables the user to set the source of the Green Button data. Three methods of data access can be used. For the app contest, only the method for a sample data set is enabled.
• The Help section describes the application and gives an overview of energy management to help the user better understand how to reduce energy consumption and save money.