Overview

Energy Management Solutions Provider contacted Six Feet Up to help develop a free web application.  The purpose of the application was to allow consumers to automatically and continuosly measure their energy usage.  As a result, the application would show consumers how to evaluate their energy spending, save energy dollars by reducing usage and encourage helping the environment.

Client

Energy Management Solutions Provider was founded in 2009.  The company's application development is one of their energy management solutions.  Their tools aim to help consumers think about the environment and do so in a fun manner that does not disrupt everyday living.

Business Requirements

Energy Management Solutions Provider has been developing a system that captures and tracks energy data for the purpose of estimating energy consumption, facilitating its reduction, and offsetting its associated emissions in an automated and recurring fashion.  Six Feet Up partnered with Energy Management to provide an online interface that consumers could use on a frequent basis to help them analyze their energy consumption.  The interface aimed to allow users to register outside resources that contained energy usage data including electricity and jet fuel to determine their emissions footprint.

Deliverables

The first step toward developing the online interface required the use of BFG development platform.  BFG allows the application to start quickly, not get loaded down with its own resource utilization (small memory footprint), does not require specific code structure, and allows for development of an app incrementally.  The complexity of an application can be built using packages, declarative configuration, code scanning, and other features as necessary.

The main view for the application is the dashboard.  It is designed to display multiple data points for each user: percentage of electricity used, whether usage has increased over time, the energy spending over a certain time period as well as the number of redwoods required to balance a user's emissions.

In order to display the necessary information, each user must register an outside resource that provides the system energy measurements.  For home electricity usage, a user can currently register their I'm In Control account via the setup tab.  Once their account is registered, the system automatically pulls in the data [kWh] and passes it to AMEE, which then provides corresponding emissions data [lbs of CO2].

The setup tab also provides a section to register a resource for jet fuel measurements.  Currently users can register their account with TripIt.  Departure and destination airports, travel dates and times, as well as flight distances are pulled into the application and then passed onto AMEE.  The data is stored on AMEE's servers and then is returned with corresponding passenger-level emissions data [lbs of CO2] for the given flight itineraries.

Energy Management used formulas published by the Energy Information Administration (Department of Energy) to calculate fuel volume.  Fuel volume is then used to calculate the estimated jet fuel cost [USD], based on the average jet fuel price on the US Gulf Coast Market.

All of the data is passed between each resource (Energy Management application, I'm In Control, TripIt, AMEE) using OAuth authentication through API.

Once all of the data has been calculated, the dashboard aggregates air travel and home electricity data in energy [kWh], cost [USD] and environmental [lbs of CO2] units and displays a consolidated summary over different time periods on a single page.  The dashboard acts as a "big picture at a glance" tool to allow the user to dig deeper if desired.

In addition, the events tab lists the data, such as a given flight or electricity consumption on a given day, sorted by date with a brief description, as well as corresponding energy, cost and emissions information. The event log shows the user the data being captured and what is used to build the dashboard view.

In the future, more development will be done to allow the environmental data to be passed to a third-party carbon reduction vendor, called carbonfund.org, in order to facilitate offset purchase processes for users.

Result/Takeaway

Energy Management created a tool for consumers to use that allows them to measure their energy usage at home and on the road with ease.  The energy measurements are consolidated and recalculated all within the structure of the application.  Data does not need to be entered by hand for each user since the application pulls it in through outside resources.  Energy spending is displayed on a single page for a quick overview.  The application performs regular updates to keep data current and the user can select date ranges to dig deeper into their spending costs.  Energy Management's application helps consumers assess their energy footprint.

 

Areas of Expertise

Industries

  • Consulting
  • Technology

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