Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Present made from Broken Glass

Norah turned 1 the other day and as a belated response to a suggestion from her Mum, I made her a present out of broken glass. A bottle, with a hole drilled very carefully into it, an LED shoved inside, filled with broken glass, then capped. Voila! Night-light for Norah and Mabel!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tracking Utilities

Although I'd love to spend hours on end setting up Arduinos to monitor everything at home, lately I've felt that my time has been better spent re-watching The West Wing. But I do check the meters every so often, and I thought I may as well publish the results so the whole world can watch the impact 46 Ross St is having.

These graphs are coming from the Google Docs that I use to track these things...

Water Use
First of all, data from our bills. You can clearly see when we bought the house - October 2009. Before that there were 8 students living here. Since then there have been generally 6 or 7 people (admittedly two of those people are very little) but still, a pretty amazing reduction in water use. We put a tank in October last year - just for watering the garden at the moment. It may have had some impact but it's hard to tell.

The following is water use as logged monthly by reading the meter - I will keep this updated.
Gas Use
Now to natural gas - which runs our hot water (storage type system) and one cooktop. You can see that the bill readings went whacko for a couple of billing cycles - I think they misread the meter as the mistake seemed to correct itself.

Now onto my favourite... however it's just got complicated with the addition of our solar panels. We haven't received a bill yet, but it's looking like we're going to generate about as much electricity as we've consumed, which means our next bill should include a cheque!

Here are the bills so far...

And this one shows readings from the new import/export meter. Will be interesting to see whether import or export wins in the long term. (Import is the electricity we use from the grid when there is no sunshine. Export is the excess electricity we export to the grid during the day when we are generating more than we use).