This ePaper Chart Lets You Keep an Eye on Energy Spot-Pricing to Drive Down Your Bills

Using the API provided by energy exchange Nord Pool, this smart device lets you know what your consumption might cost.

Pseudonymous Finnish maker "fjorst" has put together an always-on tracker designed to graph spot prices for energy, offering a visual means to tell when it's best to run expensive equipment like a washing machine or an oven.

"[I] made a quick electricity spot-price application to keep track on electricity prices during the day," Fjorst explains. "This price does not include my provider margin — it's the price from [the] Nord Pool API [Application Programming Interface.]"

The heart of the build is a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B single-board computer, running Raspberry Pi OS. On top of this runs a Python program that queries the API of Nord Pool, a pan-European power exchange based on Oslo and which offers a means for energy providers in various countries to trade excess generation at wholesale pricing.

The Python program pulls down the current pricing and graphs it on a Pimoroni Inky WHAT ePaper display, which requires power only when the graph is being updated. "I chose E Ink to minimize power consumption," Fjorst explains.

"[If] your electricity provider has an API for it," Fjorst adds, "then it would possible to track past consumption or aggregate hourly averages per day. Currently there's no such behavior implemented in this codebase. If you can get the consumption values by some way then […] it would be easy to plot them using the same methods that were used in this."

More information on the project is available in Fjorst's Reddit post, while the source code has been published to GitHub under an unspecified open-source license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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