Monday, May 24, 2010

Google PowerMeter comes to Australia and New Zealand with the Current Cost ENVI

The Current Cost ENVI is now compatible with Google PowerMeter.

Here is the link to the Google Blog with the announcement!

This means that you can get Google PowerMeter one of two ways in Australia and New Zealand:

1) Purchase a Current Cost ENVI and USB cable from SmartNow. Plug the ENVI into your computer and upload the data to Google PowerMeter.

2) Purchase a Current Cost ENVI and a Bridge, available in August 2010 from SmartNow (Pre-order from 1 July 2010) and plug your ENVI into the Bridge into your Internet Router... this means that your power information is uploaded to Google PowerMeter without your PC being on!

For more information please see

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Smart Meters not so Smart

The Age this morning ran this article.

Whilst we at SmartNow are generally in favour of Smart Meters, we're in favour of it being done properly. At the moment, the allegation that the consumer is paying for the Smart Meter, but the power company gets all the benefit are completely true.

It is a real shame that they are not including real-time displays with the rollout, as this is effectively the only way that people can learn to reduce their power bills. Getting a power reading for the previous 24 hours just doesn't cut it.

Peer reviewed studies from around the world have repeatedly found that getting instantaneous information about consumption is the only way that people can learn how to reduce their energy use. You turn something on or off, and watch the power spike or fall.

Instead, with the feedback that customers are getting here, you turn a device on or off and have to wait 24 hours to see the effect.

So, whilst we're waiting for this system to be put right, get a Current Cost ENVI or TREC and slash your power bills.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sokitt's Energy Audit Blog - how to save cash...

Finn at Sokitt has pubished some interesting findings of his own home energy audit...

Here he explains about his findings with his own personal coffee machine, fridge, and kettle.

Well worth a read.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Monitor the Power from your Solar Panels!

We've just launched a great new package to enable solar panel and micro-generation monitoring using the Current Cost ENVI.

The package includes:
A Current Cost ENVI
A Current Cost TREC
A USB Cable.

The two transmitters are installed to monitor the power the house is using and the power the solar panels / wind turbine is generating respectively.

The ENVI receives data from both displays, and sits in the study / home office and downloads the data to your PC.

The TREC sits somewhere more accessible - maybe the kitchen workbench, or next to the TV - an also receives data from both transmitters, allowing the whole family to keep an eye on their power use.

And best of all... this package saves you $30 off the cost of the individual components!

Click here for more information!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

CurrentChart Software for the Current Cost ENVI

We've just installed Kerry Neighbour's CurrentChart Software.

This is a new piece of software that Kerry built for his own purpose and has very kindly made it available for free.

Frankly, it's sensational. It works instantly, it looks great and the charting is incredibly flexible.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tiny PC that draws only 10 Watts

We met Yawarra a few days ago at an exhibition. We were very impressed with their tiny PCs that draw miniscule amounts of power - 10-12 Watts when running and only 1.5 Watts in standby. I actually couldn't believe how small they were until I held on in my hand.

If we ever need a PC we'll be buying one of these in a heartbeat.... you could kit out an office with these and save a fortune in power bills.

Smart Grid time-of-use pricing put on hold

For a while we have been slightly concerned about the Victorian Smart Grid roll-out.

Basically, the customer pays for the Smart Meter, and gets none of the benefits.

This snuck under our radar six weeks ago - apparently they're continuing to deploy the Smart Meters but they're not going to be used for time-of-use pricing for the time being.

In the mean time, whilst they sort this out, you can get a Current Cost ENVI to give you the information that enables you to take control of your own energy use from us at SmartNow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Turn Off Your Coffee Machines...

A Current Cost ENVI was recently installed in the legendary Melbourne restaurant, The Graham (, a few days ago.

It was discovered that between midnight and nine AM, over 100kWh had been used.

A substantial proportion (approximately half) can be attributed to fridges, cold rooms, security systems and an oven that is left on overnight to slow roast various dishes.

However, the rest of it came from the coffee machine. Over the course of the night is used 60kWh just to keep the water hot. If turned off over night it only takes ten minutes to heat up again in the morning.

Total saving per year? Approximately $3500.

Total saving over the lifetime of the coffee machine (assuming 25 year life)?
$87000.... and that's assuming that electricity prices are going to stay the same!