Where did your electricity come from?

Where did my electricity come from?It’s been a while since I posted about CurrentCost stuff, so time to share another little idea.

Last night I made a start on adding a new graph type to my CurrentCost application.

Instead of only displaying how much electricity you’ve used, the new graph displays the split of how that electricity was generated.

Realtime figures for the “energy mix” of ratios of different generation methods used in the UK National Grid are available in an XML feed that updates every five minutes.

Using this, I can calculate what proportion of each measurement collected from a CurrentCost meter comes from each energy source:

  • Closed cycle gas turbine
  • Open cycle gass turbine
  • Oil
  • Coal
  • Nuclear
  • Wind
  • Pump storage
  • Non-pump storage hydro
  • Other
  • International import: France
  • International import: Ireland

(list of energy sources taken from amee.com)

I’m drawing this as a stacked graph, with horizontal bands of colour showing how much of each source of energy you’ve used. I’ve put a screenshot of the current graph above – click on it for a larger image.

Live data from a CurrentCost meterIt’s still quite rough around the edges – this is what I produced after a first couple of hours playing with the idea.

But compare it with the line graph showing energy usage for the same time period, and I think it already gives a more interesting representation of the same live data.

As a way of raising awareness about where our energy comes from, it’s useful. For example, I didn’t realise how much of our energy comes from nuclear sources before I saw the thick blue band through my graph last night.

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3 Responses to “Where did your electricity come from?”

  1. David Morris says:

    Dale, that’s fascinating. I never realised that XML feed existed and I can see me wanting to try and plug it in to my CurrentCost hacking efforts now. I’ve got to do a little bit of work to get my daily cost graphs up and running. I’ve got my daily power usage profiles visible, but the PERL and PHP needs a bit of refinement!

  2. dale says:

    Thanks very much for the comment – I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

  3. Patrick Keogh says:

    Out here in Oz I have a plan to get our house to carbon neutral for electricity. Of course here we have the advantage that home photovoltaics are useful 🙂

    I want to integrate the reporting of our Watts Clever meter (measuring what comes in) together with the output of our Fronius inverter (what goes out).

    Don’t know whether anyone is playing with these using your code base.