I now have one of these, a Current Cost thingy that measures how much electricity I’m wasting every time I forget to turn the lights off in the kitchen. It was sent to me as part of my impending positioning as some kind of ambassador for the government’s Act on CO2 campaign (that’ll teach me to respond so quickly to internal council circulars last thing on a Friday). More on that after the campaign goes live on Thursday but in the meantime I’m enjoying watching how the Current Cost device freaks out as I switch on the kettle, the tumble dryer and the dishwasher at the same time – those kilowatts go wild!
The device has a serial port on the bottom and I would love to share my usage stats with the world. However this involves some technical geekery which may well be beyond my knowledge. Just extracting the data from the machine looks complex. It’s either a DIY job or I think I just buy a specialist cable.
Once I have the data I’d like to translate it into some simple charts that could sit on the sidebar of this blog. Some have used the Google Charts API. If I can work out what I’m doing, I’ll do the same.
There seems to be a fair few people at IBM’s Hursley offices who are into fiddling with Current Cost so there’s plenty of guidance on the web about this – they even won a prize for hacking the machine and sharing the data. There’s also a wiki.