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Daox 11-08-10 10:13 AM

Energy tracker development - we need your input
Ben is working on the energy tracker! So, we need to give him input so we can account for all the different setups we all have out there. Basically, we need to account for all the different forms of energy usage so you can plug it all in. Here are the input fields I have thought of so far:

heating degree days
cooling degree days
number of days since last bill / fill up
natural gas - therms, CCF, cubic meter
LPG - measured in gallons?
electricity - kWh, needs fields for usage and generation
wood - measured in cords? Is there a better way to measure this?
wood pellets - lbs
oil - gallons
all above measurements with a cost per gallon/therm/etc.

Anyway, any input at all would be helpful here. We want to make it as useful as possible.



Update/To Do List:

[X] Integrate users/homes
[X] Add all suggested inputs
[ ] Unit conversion
[X] Image upload
[ ] Graphing
[X] Main page display
[X] Move to non-test page
[X] Allow user editing
[X] Individual home page viewing
[X] Hide "nones" on individual pages
[ ] Hide stuff with 0 values
[X] Allow entry editing
[X] Show heating/cooling degree days and notes from entries on the house page
[ ] Add user's house link under user name/avatar on the forum
[ ] Make signature image to summarize energy usage
[ ] Remove "user" from energy log entries
[ ] Delete entry option

SVOboy 11-08-10 10:54 AM

Thanks for posting this, Tim.

Hopefully I can get all the suggestions etc in the code by tomorrow.

benpope 11-08-10 11:06 AM

Do you have a feature to note when you make a renovation? That would make it easier to see the effect of any given project.

Daox 11-08-10 11:22 AM

You could probably put stuff like that in a notes field.

strider3700 11-08-10 12:21 PM

I track the following for electric usage

billing date, days on bill, kwh used, usage cost, taxes, fees, total cost(calculated), kwh/h(calc), kwh/day(calc), usage percentage( usage cost/total cost), co2 produced (calc), HDD, CDD, KWH/HDD(calc), KWH/CDD(calc), Notes

for the C02 production it would be best if we could enter and store the co2/kwh. My electric is 22 grams c02/kwh but everwhere is going to be different of course.

we're now in a tiered system but I haven't implemented that into my spread sheet yet. Ours works that you pay rate X for the first tiers worth of kwh and then rate Y. I believe they do it by averaging your usage/day and basing it off of that. at the moment I just enter =tier1+tier2 but proper handling would be great. That would mean I need to store two costs as well.

Other note, I get billed bi-monthly and it's split across years, so the next bill will be december 2010/ january 2011 and it never lines up with the start of the month.

Different worksheet I track water usage
Date, number of days on bill, current meter reading, previous meter reading, consumption in cubic meters, consumption in gallons (calc), gallons/day(calc), cost of water, cost/gallon(calc), gallons/day(calc)

NeilBlanchard 11-08-10 09:04 PM

Wood pellets are measured in tons/pounds. Several people I know heat primarily with them.

Piwoslaw 11-09-10 12:50 AM


Originally Posted by Daox (Post 9202)
number of days since last bill / fill up

How about a date/meter reading option?

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 9202)
natural gas - therms

Could there be an option for natural gas in cubic meters (or at least some old-fashioned, backwards, imperial unit of volume)?

Daox 11-09-10 05:47 AM

Wood pellets, I didn't think of that. Thanks Neil.

I'm sure we can incorporate those suggestions Piwoslaw.

RobertSmalls 11-09-10 06:31 AM

It would be nice if you could input your data in your native units, and then have the system convert everyone's input to a single standard unit. I buy my natural gas by the CCF, which I believe is "100 cubic feet" or about 1.03 therms.

Piwoslaw 11-09-10 07:22 AM

Even though I'd like to enter my gas in volume units, I can see a potential problem: natural gas has a different amount of methane depending on where it comes from, and this effects the amount of kWh per unit. Ideally we could enter local parameters, like kWh per unit of volume, and save them, then just update how much has been used. This adds complication, so it's not something for the first version.

BTW: Do we need therms? Kilowatt-hours are much better units since they can easily be compared with electricity usage.

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