Sunday 14 October 2012

alertme2plotwatt - Using PlotWatt to disaggregate AlertMe data

Today I want to opensource a project I've been working called alertme2plotwatt, a python library for uploading AlertMe data to PlotWatt. I use an AlertMe system to collect second-by-second electricity data and upload it to the cloud. However, as yet AlertMe doesn't offer any disaggregation capability. Conversely, PlotWatt offers a hardware-agnostic cloud-based data analysis toolkit to disaggregate your energy data. Unfortunately, PlotWatt doesn't yet support AlertMe data out-of-the-box. Luckily, both AlertMe and PlotWatt offer their own APIs to provide data access. This has allowed me to write a script to download second-by-second household aggregate data collected by my AlertMe system and upload it to PlotWatt to be disaggregated into individual appliances.

To use this, you will need:

  1. An AlertMe account (and subscription)
  2. An AlertMe MeterReader attached to your household electricity input
  3. A PlotWatt account (free)
Full details for using the library can be found on the github project page

So far, I've used the library to copy about a year of second-by-second data from my AlertMe account to my PlotWatt account. However, the project is far from perfect, so please feel free to contribute code to increase the reliability, flexibility or clarity of documentation.


  1. Hi Oli,

    I'm interested in this. Is it possible to obtain a UK-based house_id?


    1. Hi Aideen,

      I think you're referring to creating a PlotWatt account. They're free to sign up for, and although you'll need to make up a US zip code, this will only affect the comparisons to other households. Once you've made the account, you can grab the house_id from the URL after logging in.

      Hope this helps,

    2. Thanks Oli. Yes, it was the zipcode I was tripping up on - I'll make one up. I have currentcost data rather than alertme.

    3. No problem. PlotWatt natively supports Current Cost meters so uploading your data should be easy. Enjoy!

  2. This is very cool. I will almost certainly follow your lead and send data from my own home to PlottWatt too. (I currently have a Current Cost collecting aggregate data but I'm currently pestering my electricity utility company to install a "proper" smart meter in my house too).


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