Can I control my thermostat based on the real-time electricity rate?

Hi,

I am new to home control and would appreciate any insight you could give me into setting up my proposed scheme.

I pay electricity based on real-time cost and my electric company publishes the current rate on a web site
(il.thewattspot.com/PriceBanner.jsp, unfortunately there is no other feed) every 5 minutes.

Although the rates are currently very flat, they fluctuate greatly during the summer months. My goal is to adjust the thermostat based on the current electricity rate.

For this I would need to be able to read the current price from this very unreadable website. Is this something that the Vera can do? I assume that this is the hard part, and that it should be straightforward to then adjust the thermostat and other energy hogs in the house based on that information.

Thanks,

Lukati

Hi Lukati,

It’s possible, yes. As a first Lua program, it’s ambitious. HTML scraping is notoriously messy and there is always the risk of them changing the format, requiring you to change the scraper.

Designed right, this could become a generic tool for people whose electricity prices change dynamically. Users would just slot their own implementation in. For where I live, it’s just a function of time, but where you live, you would use the aforementioned scraper.

How are you with learning new programming languages? Are you willing to commit several days to learning what you need?

Corresponding JSON, XML, CSV feeds are at [tt]https://pachube.com/feeds/26392[/tt]

[tt]https://:@api.pachube.com/v2/feeds/26392.xml[/tt]

How about a Pachube plugin for Vera? :slight_smile:

… another example for the need of dynamic json files for devices.

I’d be wiling to give it a good try. I recently programmed an Arduino for the first time and that seemed to work well. Thanks for the feed link. I don’t know how difficult this will be, but it would be preferable to be able to go directly to the company web site rather then having to rely on someone else’s equipment being on and working. Are there example codes of working HTML filters on the web that would give me a realistic sense about what is involved here?

Thanks

I wonder how feasible it would be to go to your electric company and have them post the rate in an easily scrapable format? RSS? I’m assuming they don’t change them by the minute, but every few hours or at worst hourly.

I’m no programmer, but it seems to me that if they are going to burden you with dynamically changing rates, the least they could do is make it as accessible as possible. What are older, less internet savvy users to do? Call the rate hotline? I’m getting sick of these increasingly onerous restrictions to what has become a necessity not a luxury like electricity! It’s not your fault that the factory down the road drives up the demand on the sysem. Rage against the machine! (soapbox relinquished) hehe

Thanks for the feed link. I don't know how difficult this will be, but it would be preferable to be able to go directly to the company web site rather then having to rely on someone else's equipment being on and working.

Agreed. Don’t use a proxy if you can get the information directly from the source.
But IMHO a generic pachube plugin that would provide generic Luup events would be a very useful tool.

Are there example codes of working HTML filters on the web that would give me a realistic sense about what is involved here?

Check the source code of the DAD plugin for some crude HTML filters. Basically, you’d have to use regular expressions to filter out the data you’re interested in.

[tt]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,9263.0.html[/tt] - use [tt]PachubeFeedID 26392[/tt] and [tt]PachubeDataID 0[/tt].