Princeton student to analyze energy data

Exciting! A current student a Princeton is going to analyze anonymized energy data from Wattvision to determine if our users could save money with different rate structures.

"I hope to compare anonymized electrical usage data with historical prices to see how residential electricity bills would change if utilities used different pricing structures. The goal is to see which pricing structures provide the most benefit to users by improving the efficiency of the current rate design and offering incentives for conservation. Also, if possible, I would like to try and study how these changes impact different demographics."

In more simple terms: I want to see how people's electricity bills would change if they didn't pay just a flat rate for electricity. Specifically, which pricing methods allow people with good conservation habits to save the most money, and how they would impact different demographics. 
- Sharon Gao '15

Contact us at with questions!

WV Team

2015 Super Bowl Power Analysis by Ted Borer

Guest poster Ted Borer, long-time Wattvision fan and supporter, wrote up the following detailed writeup on the Princeton U Campus energy use, his home's energy use, and the regional electrical grid's usage, during Superbowl XLIX.  It's super interesting, check it out!

The 2015 Super Bowl Power Analysis – Now with a value-added look at residential electricity use!!

Previous general comments can be found in the SPEE academic paper.

What can we learn from last-night’s game in particular?

1.       DO hire Matt Flynn if you need to catch an oblong flying object, in any position, ever. DON’T call a passing play with half a minute on the clock, trailing by a couple points, and only a few yards to go. Okay we got that out of our system.

2.       This game is important to a lot of people. For about five hours the Pennsylvania-Jersey-Maryland interconnection needs to supply about a hundred million watts more power than on a different but comparable Sunday evening. That’s a LOT of energy.

3.       People use a lot of energy very briefly about ten minutes before the game. You can picture millions of microwaves, and refrigerators, and sinks being used as people prepare food and drinks.

4.       Almost everyone leaves the TV on for the whole game. So power spikes indicate boredom or hunger when people leave the TV room and operate some additional appliances.

5.       Although people enjoy the advertisements, more people leave the room during advertisements than during the game.

6.       College students care a little more about the half-time show than the PJM interconnection does as a whole. In PJM a higher % do other activities during half-time.

7.       When Seattle got a field goal followed by an interception and a touchdown shortly after half time, a lot of people on campus stopped other activities and focused on the game. These major events caught their interest.

8.       From 9:02 to 9:20 there were a LOT of advertisements. Students focused on these and used less power. In the PJM area, people walked out and did something else.

9.       When the Patriots got their third touchdown, people thought the game got more interesting and went to get more food or clean up during the ads, but didn’t turn off the TV.  When the Patriots got their fourth, everyone sat still to see how the game would end. Very little other activity happened until the game ended.

10.   As soon as the game was over, people went out to clean up the kitchen, run the dishwasher, and get ready for bed. There was a similar power spike as soon as the post-game award stuff began.

11.   Most people shut off the TV before 11:00.

12.   Ditching Roman numerals for Super Bowl “L” is a good idea.

13.   NOTE: To make the PJM graph easier to graph and more obvious, I subtracted the overall trend of declining power use through the evening. What is shown on the graph is the incremental additional energy use above the overall trend.


What can be learned from a super-granular look at our single-family home?

1.       Electric heating elements turn on and off. They do not modulate. They run steadily at full power until their temperature set-point is met, then they cycle on/off to maintain that set point. You can observe this with the coffee maker, stove, oven, and poultry water heater. You can see that the oven ran at full power as it was warmed-up from 6:45 – 6:58, then began to cycle to maintain temperature. The oven heating elements are probably about 2300 Watts. The coffee maker is about 2000 watts. The poultry water heater is probably about 1500 Watts. About 7:40 the oven was opened several times to remove food. It operated about 15 minutes at full power before reaching and maintaining set-point. We turned it off at 8:18.

2.       We do take advantage of advertisements to use the bathroom and get more food.

3.       There were about 250 Watts worth of stuff that we could have turned off several hours before we did (computer equipment and many lights around the house are not offering benefit while we’re watching TV).

4.       NOTE: To make the household trend easier to graph and more obvious, I subtracted the heat pump and fan energy use. What is shown on the graph is the non-HVAC energy. Assuming that heating the house is not optional, this is more representative of the optional energy use.



1.       Pay attention to your energy use. It is interesting. It is important from the standpoint of both financial and environmental stewardship.

2.       Study energy use in super-granular detail and superimpose what you know about the system.

3.       Learn what uses a lot of energy and what does not use much.

4.       Learn the patterns of energy use.

5.       To save money and environmental impact, reduce or eliminate low-value activities.




Ted Borer, PE, CEM, LEED AP

Princeton University

Energy Plant Manager

MacMillan Building, Elm Drive

Princeton, NJ 08543-2158

Ph:(609) 258-3966

Fx:(609) 258-1508

Cell: (609) 731-2327

Home: (609) 466-3322

Wattvision Wins at Cory Booker's Startup Pitch Off in Princeton

Last Wednesday Senator Cory Booker launched the SOAR act  at a startup pitch competition in Tigerlabs. The competition, co-hosted by TechLaunch and NJ Tech Meetup, featured several pitches from area companies, with Wattvision earning the audience choice award. 

Graham Turk pitches Wattvision to Cory Booker: 

Wattvision makes it easy for people and businesses to save money on energy.  Used by individual consumers and large corporate entities like Princeton's Sustainability Office, Wattvision's versatile hardware and software helps users understand their energy consumption, helping them save up to 20% off their energy bills.

Reduce Your Energy Usage and Win a $20 Gift Card from Wattvision

Wattvision is rewarding users who consistently reduce their energy usage! Every week, Wattvision chooses a winner from a pool of users who have lowered their usage for three consecutive days. And increasing your chances of winning is easy! There's no limit to the number of entries you can accumulate in the pool--simply reach another three-day streak before we reset the pool every four weeks. 

This week's prize is a $20 gift card to, so start lowering your usage today! To view details, visit the rewards page

Forecast Your Energy Costs Using Earlier Data

Closely predict your energy costs by comparing your daily energy usage to your energy usage last month and even this time one or two years ago! Wattvision's date-picker bar at the top of your "Daily History" page now makes it incredibly easy. Just choose the date you want to examine and the date you want to compare it to, then submit!

Use the checkboxes to show or hide one day's data if desired. Plus click "<<" or ">>" to go backwards or forwards one day. 

In case you haven't, don't forget to check out the other tabs in the left-hand menu. View your energy usage by month, get your raw data, opt to receive alerts for energy spikes, or subscribe to weekly updates on your energy costs.

(Subscribe to a weekly summary of your energy usage by going to "Account Settings" using the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner after you sign in.)

Receive Weekly Numbers on Your Energy Usage

Every Friday, review your energy usage on your email by subscribing to the Wattvision weekly summary. All the information pertains to your house, energy usage, and potential savings. See the example below.

To subscribe, simply sign in on, hover over the drop down in the upper right hand corner, and click on "Account Settings." Under "Email Notifications," you can see whether or not you are currently subscribed. 

Your Thoughts on the New Design?

Comment on this post to give us any feedback on our recent changes to the mobile and web sites. Has the user experience improved? Are there any features you think should be added? Have you encountered any problems?

If you have not seen the changes, visit on your phone or computer! We redesigned the dashboard and overview pages on the website in addition to updating the live and history data pages on the mobile site (photo below). Don't forget to check out the Shared Energy Data page that allows you to compare your energy usage to others. 

As always, submit feedback or any questions here!

New Feature on History Page

Wattvision now allows you to compare data from today and yesterday on the same graph! Toggle between plots using the checkboxes, select a time range to zoom in on, or choose to view the graphs with data points taken either every 60 or 7.5 seconds (slightly longer loading time). 

Also check out the new date-picker option that allows you to conveniently view data from any day or month on the daily and monthly history pages. Enjoy!

(Get to this page by going to your Dashboard and clicking on the History tab. Then, choose to view your data usage either Daily or Monthly.)