If living in the twenty-first century has taught us anything, it's that even the smallest actions can make the largest difference. Call it a ripple effect, but something as small as wearing a mask or turning off a light can lead to a brighter future.
From global climate change to storm-induced power outages in Texas, we have found a common thread where we can make an immediate impact. We have found within our own lives that the power we consume can be more costly than revealed on our monthly electric bills. Eighteen percent of total emissions comes from operating our homes, and this number grows about three percent each year, within a pre-pandemic society. We have no idea how COVID-19 has truly impacted this number, but we speculate it has greatly increased. How can we make a difference? Enter our solution, Energy Monitor.
What it does
Energy Monitor is a home tracking system, meant to explore the energy being consumed in our daily lives. We seek to bring an energy awareness to the everyday-work-from-homer. With the analytics our application can provide, you can see where you are using the most energy and can work to scale this consumption back. Something as small as the self-regulating energy usage, with a little help from Energy Monitor, is something your future self (and the environment!) will thank you for!
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
A lot of the challenges we faced surrounded getting functionality with our database to connect to our web side of our application. None of us ever worked with Firebase, or with NoSQL databases, so there was a steep learning curve to getting it set up and running. Building user sign up and log in took more time than we were hoping, but it did help us establish a knowledge base around how the platform worked, speeding up the rest of the development.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are extremely proud of the work we put together and the functionality we achieved. Doing this type of work virtually is not easy, but we truly believe our idea shines through all our hard work.
What we learned
Our team learned a lot about working with firebase! We also learned a thing or two about our own energy awareness along the way!
What's next for Energy Monitor
Our original idea may not have been fully realized this WiCHacks, but one major area we would want to improve is by making this web application a mobile application. This change would open the door (and shed a light!) to future improvements. We would want to also add features to help users select a generator that would fit their needs based on their typical daily power consumption. This would take a lot of the confusion out of buying a product that can be essential in a crisis situation. Ideally, Energy Monitor would work in conjunction with a piece of hardware set up in the home that can limit or enable power to certain outlets given a push from our system.