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New App Monitors Energy Use

Four software developers from Toronto create a smart-phone app called Wattson, but don't look for it in the App Store quite yet

Posted on Feb 12 2014 by Scott Gibson

An app called Wattson could prove to be a nifty tool for monitoring home energy use, assuming it makes it as far as the App Store.

Its developers, a team of three engineers and a designer from Toronto, call Wattson a "personal energy butler." The application lets homeowners plug into their local utility wirelessly and monitor how much electricity they're using.

Among the features are a graph tool that shows power consumption throughout the day, plus a tag function that lets users associate various activities with the power they draw.

"This information allows you to challenge yourself to lower your usage and gauge where you are," the Wattson web page explains. "Wattson can even calculate how many solar modules you would require to offset your usage on a daily basis and can share your statistics on Facebook and Twitter."

Don't bother going to the App Store for a download, at least not yet. For the time being, Wattson isn't available. But it is in the running for something called the Ontario Challenge, a $50,000 competition for software developers.

Asked via Twitter when Wattson might be made available, one of the developers, Atindra Ganeshen (@tinbar) said, "as soon as the challenge period is over, which shouldn't be too long."

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Wed, 02/12/2014 - 13:49

Many have tried ...
by Eric Sandeen

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Hopefully this will succeed where others (Wattzon, PlotWatt, Bidgely, Google PowerMeter, MS Hohm, MyEnerSave, Eragy, MyEnergy, the list goes on...) have failed to either survive, or to capture much interest.

It's not clear where it gets its data - maybe BC Hydro has a data API? It's supremely frustrating that even w/ the "smart" meter rollouts, the fine-grained data they can collect is not usually available to the customer. Green Button has had limited success. And there's no market penetration if you require a relatively expensive device like the Brultech or eMonitor whole-house monitor to be installed by an electrician.

If we could just get utilities to standardize on Green Button & make fine-grained usage data available efficiently, there would be a great competitive field for apps like this.

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