Electricity usage monitored with award winning smartphone app
By Cameron Da Silva
Like so many other things, the way you manage your electricity can be monitored with a smartphone. Wattson, is a mobile app that tracks energy usage but doesn’t require you to buy and install any kind of hardware.
The app recently won gold and $20,000 in the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge, which were judged by energy and technology industry experts.
“Wattson is your personalized energy butler that helps you monitor and lower your electricity usage,” said Shaheer Aziz, energy and sustainability engineer for Wattson Application in an email response to Humber News.
The Ontario Ministry of Energy in partnership with MaRS Discovery District issued the Apps challenge, offering $50,000 to support the best new applications that use electricity data collected by smart meters. The winners were revealed on Feb. 27.
“This competition was meant to drive awareness, innovation, entrepreneurship and energy management,” said Joe Greenwood, program director at MaRS Discovery District. MaRS provides resources — people, programs, physical facilities, funding and networks — to ensure that critical innovation happens. Greenwood was pleased with the turnout, with 27 teams in total, but said MaRS wants to help the teams beyond the cash prizes.
“We are committed to getting these applications to market by helping these companies develop business models with our network of advisers.”
The app constantly records the energy use once you’ve synced your account with your electricity provider. With Smart Graph users can tap each point on the graph and tag their activities during a given hour.
Some high energy consuming activity such as laundry, cooking, and showering have already been provided as default tags and customized tags can also be entered.
The challenge is part of the Green Button Initiative, which allows customers to securely download their energy usage data.
“It’s a great example of people using their ingenuity and creativity to create new tools that can inform the public,” said Trevor Snyder, media and issues officer for the Ministry of Energy. Snyder says that apps can help Ontario households and businesses better understand and manage their electricity use, so they can make informed decisions and take action.
“The award-winning apps are highly innovative, enabling energy consumers to unlock the potential of Green Button electricity data and using that information to better understand their electricity use and manage their bills.”