This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

This post is part of an ongoing series on how to monitor my house with SCOM and build scenarios based on the data that comes into SCOM.

More info on the blog series here: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/monitor-your-home-with-scom/

After monitoring the temperature / humidity and heating in my house I now have turned my focus on the aspects that cost basically money. My electrical bill. To get this data in you need an energy meter. I actually have 2 at the moment so I can level them out to see which one is right… Boys and toys right.

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They are both of Belgian companies but can be used on any power grid. The above device is called the smappee.

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It’s a rather new device with a very spacy exterior and lighting. Indeed it’s connecting quite easy to your environment and it measures everything beautifully. The nice thing about this device is in fact it has a nice shiny app for iPhone and Android so you can get your data while on the road. The coolest thing is in fact that this device is capable of detecting certain patterns on your internal electrical grid to identify certain devices in your household so you can easily pinpoint what the big consumers of power are. This works quite well… The downside of this device however is that there’s up until now no way to get the data from the device towards your own device. This is not open source. Although there’s no additional fee for the website and the apps it’s kind of useless if you want to get the data out and play with it…

More info on the smappee can be found here: http://www.smappee.com/

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The device just below is completely different. Although it serves the same purpose: monitoring your power consumption. This device is just a small box which holds a custom made device which was built from the ground up with the open source community in mind. The software is running on a linux distro, dd-wrt for the routing and you have the possibility to access it via a terminal to gain root access and play with the device. The data gathered is logged to the flukso server and nicely graphed on a custom dashboard protected by your user name and password. You get a nice overview of your consumption even in real time. Besides the electrical consumption you can also check water and gas consumption so an all-round device for a little bit less than the Smappee. The cool thing in fact is that you can access the data locally by checking the box in the admin dashboard. This opens up the local API which can be addressed by a simple CURL call.

More info on the Flukso can be found here: https://www.flukso.net/about

Installation?

The installation for both devices was straight forward. As soon as the device came online you needed to connect it to an account on the website and that was it… Now only to get the data into the device.

To use this you need to have a little background of electrical work. Both website come with a huge disclaimer if you are not confident with installing the metering device ask a professional.

What you need to do is clamp a power metering device over the hot wire of your electrical installation behind the meter and before the first fuse in your fuse box:

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After connecting the clamp to the device you are good to go to get things monitored. Both devices use the same tech so if you have both just connect both of the clamps to the wire. No cutting is involved.

So this was a blog about System Center right?

True… But I’m also active in the flukso community and promised to give feedback to them as well how I cracked this box open to get all the data into a MySQL dbase. I’ve used a similar approach as the nest thermostat series which can be found here: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/nest-thermostat-monitoring-pack-part-i-how-did-i-get-data/

So how did I get data?

Still not much System center content but important for the people who are going to use this or try this at their home because face it… Monitoring is our profession and if we can save some money while we are at it… Check out the other parts to find out how I got data in.

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