Thursday, April 24, 2008

Champagne on a weekday?

currentcost meter in action, originally uploaded by epredator.

I recently twittered that we had cracked open a bottle of champagne here at the chez epred. Now there was a legitimate reason, but not one that is mine explain, but it was worth celebrating a little.
However another reason was the installation that day of my CurrentCost meter.
This handy device is sweeping through the people at Hursley. Its a very simply principle. It tells you how much electricity you use and how much it costs, but in a way that makes tech geeks happy.
The device has a transmitting element with an inductance loop around (but not cutting) the main line into the house. It then uses RF to communicate to a base station as in the picture.
That station tracks and displays the usage. As you turn stuff on the meter shows the house wattage usage and relates that to a cost.
Hey what about the champagne? I hear you type in comments.
Well.... I noticed a little spike in the energy now, yet nothing where I was was kicking in, out fridge, boiler etc were silent at the time. Then I remembered our christmas spare fridge/freezer in the garage. We tend yo need this for overflow at holiday times, for beer and icecream and the odd turkey. That fridge was still on and had decided to kick in and make itself known.
There were a few things in the fridge, most notably a bottle of Lanson champers. So, to reduce the cost, save the planet and so as not to waste all the cooling that had occured I decided to crack the bottle open.
Whilst the device uses power, and we are also all hooking it up to a nano broker to send the information on a pub sub system to help Andy SC and co test things, it does actually make you pay more attention. Hence reducing the electricity usage, or atleast becoming aware of what does what.
Its a pity there was only 1 bottle in the fridge :-)