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Berlin distribution system operator Stromnetz Berlin GmbH has just released two new mobile apps which allow users to view their domestic electricity consumption and access live displays of electricity consumption in the whole of Berlin. "We are excited to see that more and more Berliners are taking an interest in electricity data. Our easy-to-use apps, StromTracker and StromTicker, are designed to encourage even more of the capital's residents to make a conscious effort to get to grips with their energy use," says Dr Helmar Rendez, Chair of the Management Board at Stromnetz Berlin GmbH.
The StromTracker app allows users to read the consumption display of their electricity meter, just like a barcode scanner. It recognises almost all well-known analogue and digital electricity meters for domestic customers. StromTracker uses the image data to create an easy-to-understand visualisation that illustrates the user's consumption over a specific period of time. To this end, a start value of the meter reading must first be inputted. The app can then perform the consumption calculation itself for any future readings. This is the simple solution created by the Berlin grid operator for users looking to monitor their energy usage. Furthermore, a traffic light display shows users whether they have consumed more or less electricity than a comparable household. The meter can be read at any point and as many times as the user wishes. Once a year, the app gives users the option to send the meter reading directly to Stromnetz Berlin GmbH, thereby simplifying the annual consumption settlement. At the moment, this app is only available to iPhone users. A version for Android-based smartphones is currently in development.
The second new app, StromTicker, reveals the amount of electricity that the city of Berlin is generating itself, importing and consuming. The data are updated every quarter of an hour, and the app contains archived data dating back to January 2012. The app also visualises data for specific Berlin districts, in addition to creating a visual display of the CO2 emissions equivalent to the consumption level. Moreover, the app can also display the current load of the Berlin distribution grid. And anyone looking for general information on the topic of energy efficiency has struck gold with StromTicker, which is available for iPhone and Android.
Stromnetz Berlin GmbH has developed these two apps with the intention of expediting its transparency activities. In the previous year, the grid operator became one of the first companies in Germany to make its grid data publicly accessible and available via the Open Data Portal www.netzdaten-berlin.de. Alongside the usual structural data such as circuit length or the number of withdrawal points, the portal also contains other facts, such as information on feeding renewable energies into the Berlin electricity distribution grid and grid usage fees.