Originally designed to streamline electricity-billing for a housing cooperative, this projects' goal was to automate billing processes while encouraging the strategic use of the photovoltaic (PV) system at the same time. Following the plans for the EU Directive 2019/944, the general idea was to raise energy awareness and improve the use of renewable energy sources. We achieved this by providing appliance-level feedback on residents' individual energy usage through a user-friendly web interface.
Residents were able to have real-time insights into their current energy consumption and the PV system's output, enabling them to align energy-intensive activities with the PV system's availability. This type of direct feedback, visualizing the energy usage in nearly real-time (every 15 minutes), has proven effective in promoting more careful energy consumption, resulting in an estimated 12% reduction in electricity costs for the cooperatives' members.
Beyond automated billing, our solution extended to the support of electrical vehicle chargers. Residents could authenticate themselves with NFT cards, and the associated costs were automatically included in their final bills.
They have already had separate meters installed for each apartment, connected via a bus where they could talk to each other (or a server) using the MODBUS protocol.
Upon request of the client, the entire system was designed to be self-contained, accessible exclusively within its own network.
The backbone of this application is a dockerized Django project, that uses Celery as a task queue and Redis as a way of persisting the communication with the meters. They are queried in a 15-minute interval and usage values are written into a PostgreSQL database.