TIP: Set a Goal Visually of KW to Beat for each Month

Discussion of supported Energy Management Drivers and Hardware (TED 1001/1002)
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TIP: Set a Goal Visually of KW to Beat for each Month

Postby mcascio » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:47 pm

While the Energy Plugin is great because it shows you the projected usage, users may want to know what they did in usage for the year prior. Somewhat of a goal to beat. This will provide greater motivation for the family.

So what I did was lookup my energy bill online (or review past statements) and create variables for each month dating back a year.

The variables looked like:
mlenergymanagement_001_kwlastyear_January
mlenergymanagement_001_kwlastyear_February
mlenergymanagement_001_kwlastyear_March
etc.


Then from within MainLobby, I created a textfield using Text.Sizable with the following label:
{{mlenergymanagement_001_kwlastyear_{{currentmonthstr}}}} kWH~180~20

As each month passes, the variable will update onscreen for the next year before I need to re-enter in this data.

While the TED hardware does store this information, for newbie users, it will a year before the data is collected and available visually.

If I compare Last years usage with my Projected Usage for the month, I'm on pace for a 15.5% less usage than last year at this time. Not bad.


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Postby mcascio » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:57 am

Taking this one step further, you can create yet another variable that calculates automatically the difference in percentage you are on pace for by setting up an Automation Rule in MLServer that looks like this:

Whenever mlenergymanagement_001_kwproj changes value
Then
Macro|MLMath|Subtract~mlenergymanagement_001_percentsavings~{{mlenergymanagement_001_kwlastyear_{{currentmonthstr}}}}~{{mlenergymanagement_001_kwproj}}!MLMath|Divide~mlenergymanagement_001_percentsavings~{{mlenergymanagement_001_percentsavings}}~{{mlenergymanagement_001_kwlastyear_{{currentmonthstr}}}}!MLMath|Multiply~mlenergymanagement_001_percentsavings~{{mlenergymanagement_001_percentsavings}}~100

This will create a variable called: mlenergymanagement_001_percentsavings

Then create another Text.Sizable object in MainLobby with the following label:
{{mlenergymanagement_001_percentsavings}}~40~20

Now you can see exactly what % improvements you are headed towards.

Extremely cool!
Mario Cascio

Cinemar, Inc.

http://www.cinemaronline.com

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Postby richardfj » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:39 am

I really like this ... it got me experimenting with some different automation rules and commands that I otherwise wouldn't have tried.

Since my electric bill closes on the 9th of every month, it essentially gave me the wrong comparison from the 1st through the 9th (since it was picking up last year's usage from eg. October, while it was actually still September according to the billing history data that I had).

Since my usage is so heavily driven by A/C (i'm in TX) ... my electric bill varies significantly with outside temperature and therefore from month to month.

I created a variable called 'mlenergymanagement_001_currentbillingmonth' and simply set it to the current billing month (10). I then created a automation rule: whenever 'currentdayofmonth' equals 9, then add 1 to 'mlenergymanagement_001_currentbillingmonth'. I followed that by a rule that: whenever 'mlenergymanagement_001_currentbillingmonth' equals 13, then setvariable 'mlenergymanagement_001_currentbillingmonth' to 1. I now have a variable that always gives me the current billing period.

I then substituted the string reference in the above references, and instead made the variables storing last year's usage 'mlenergymanagement_001_1' or 'mlenergymanagement_001_2' or 'mlenergymanagement_001_3' etc

Anyway ... figured I'd share

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Postby mcascio » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:40 am

Hi richardfj,

You can set the closing date to the 9th on your Ted unit. Their manual walks you through this which should resolve the offset issue you are having without doing anything fancy.
Mario Cascio

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Postby richardfj » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:30 pm

Hmm ... so I had already set the TED to the correct billing close date. That gives me the correct 'mlenergymanagement_001_kwproj', but it doesn't fix the comparison.

The equation you use above, is comparing the billing cycle (closing on the 9th of each month) to last years bill. The rule, pulls mlenergymanagement_001_kwlastyear_[month],
simply inserting the string for the existing month on any given day. As a result, on September 25th, it will compare against September of last year. Let's assume that I have entered my electricity
usage (from my bills) so that 'mlenergymangement_001_kwlastyear_september' is the correct comparison.
However, on October 1, MLServer will now use 'mlenergymanagement_001_kwlastyear_october' for the comparions, yet I am still on the same billing cycle
I was on September 30th.

Does that make sense? Unless I'm missing something, you do have to set up a separate billing cycle variable to calculate the proper comparison.

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Postby mcascio » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:34 pm

Ah richardfj,

Yes - you are correct. My apologies, I see now what you are doing.
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Postby richardfj » Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:02 pm

At least I'm not completely crazy ... good to get that confirmation once in a while

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Postby richardfj » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:45 pm

This was actually my first experience using custom variables and I seem to be having some issues.

If I restart my MLServer PC, I loose the variables I entered for last year's kW usage. It's getting a little old re-entering the variables. First, I thought I was just not hitting the save button, but that isn't the issue.

Excuse my ignorance ... what am I doing wrong?

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Postby ricks » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:52 pm

In MLS/Options, do you have "Save variables on exit" checked?

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Postby richardfj » Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:55 pm

don't I feel like the complete novice ... I had it selected, but I think we unchecked it when Dave was helping fix my weatherlobby

Seems like it's storing the variables now ...

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Postby ricks » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:19 am

Just glad to hear you don't have to re-enter those old values anymore. Takes away from the "creative time". :D


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