[APP][Pro] Piggy Bank

Say I connect a heat pump, water boiler and a cooktop to this app. I guess I will have to use flow cards as I reckon no integrated support for this? Will the app in its current state be able to prioritize in what order to shut them off through flow cards?

I was thinking of setting up an advanced flow for the same purpose as you. But if your app can be the brain, that’s easier. Even saves me the cost of buying advanced flow :sweat_smile: My line of thought was to measure consumption from the cooktop, and if total exceeds 5kW start turning off stuff.

If it’s not supported right now, do you see a potential solution to this?

The app should support all devices with on/off capabilities unless the device uses a non-standard onoff capability. If you find that your devices are not supported then please let me know and I will add them.
A similar thing goes with thermostat devices, it should just magically work, if not let me know and I will fix it.

Devices can be individually prioritized in the mode setting and can have different priorities day and nighttime for example.

The only flow you truly need in this app is to send the current load from the energy meter in the house to the app. Prices are fetched from the “Strømregning” app, but if you don’t use it you can also use flows for that.

(also note that you may very well exceed 5kW parts of the hour as long as you stay below 5kWh for the full hour. The app will let you use 10kW for the last half an hour if you did not use anything earlier in the hour for example. Reserving power at the start of an hour will let you have more for cooking at the end of the hour for example. e.g. it’s better to cook between 15:30-16:30 than between 15:00-16:00 if you care about max load per hour)

Thanks for the long reply. I understand the concept of “10kW for 30min=OK if…” and love that you have implemented the logic to handle that. That’s one good reason to use your app instead of my advanced flow!

I couldn’t find my AC on the priority list when I wrote my first post, but now, after re-adding MELCloud to Homey they show up on the priority list. That’s good! :slight_smile: I can’t test my hot water tank or cooktop just yet, but will reply If they don’t show up when ready.

But say I would like to control temperatures and day/night-mode outside of your app. I just want to use on/off in the prioritized order inside your app. Am I wrong believing that won’t work in the current release?

If I’m not mistaken, I have to enter a target temperature for each “oven” in each mode.
I understand my wish is prone to conflict, but guess that your app can handle 2-3 signals a day from a standard day/night schedule, set up and changed elsewhere, several commands a day based on price/temp ie. Tibber would be worse?

Thinking out loud a checkbox for “just on/off” on each mode, or a “on/off” category next to “Egen” if that’s any better, or even just a “then-flowcard” that reads “turn off products in prioritized normal order until OK consumption”? You already have a flowcard that could work as the trigger. But hey, you seem to be good at this, I’m just asking if it already is, or if you could think of implementing it?

If you have a good reason to control it outside of the app due to current app limitations then please let me know and I’ll add a feature that gives you a good reason for doing it inside of the app instead :wink:

Yes, the current version allow you to use On/Off only, you don’t have to control the the temperature (although I have not tested it that way on a thermostat device, so if you find bugs I will have to fix them.)

I cannot comment on Tibber as I don’t use Tibber, but you can feed the app with custom price points for cheap-normal-high and insane prices if you do not want to use the built in system for determining prices. If so you can probably get this from Tibber itself. Then you have delta temperatures for each of the price points or forced on/off if you prefer. You can change between the schedules as many times as you like per day, this is all done with flows, no restrictions.

I believe what you’re looking for is under the sub-tabs of the price tab. You can set on/off for each price point.

Thermostat mode for AC is lacking. Auto, cool and heat are the ones I care about.
In the children’s bedroom “night” starts earlier than “night” in our bedroom, so individual settings for night/day…

I was hooked on the tagline of this app and its main goal: keep maximum power consumption below a given level decided by grid companies.
So it was a bit surprising when it also seeks to lower your electrical bill by fine tuning heating through price, mode, day or night.

I believe what you’re looking for is under the sub-tabs of the price tab. You can set on/off for each price point

Not sure I follow what you mean. First of all it doesn’t seem like the sub-tab of price follow the order of priority set in “normal” or any other mode. It will set all those parameters when the price changes? Secondly I have fixed price, so I will have to make flows to trigger the price mode to change from ie normal to cheap, in order for me to start turning off devices when my hourly total is set to exceed 5kW?

All i want to do is turn off my electric car charger, hot water tank, some ovens/AC, in that order, until I’m good. Then turn back on according to already pre-programmed schedules elsewhere. My line of thought might be too short, and you have built your app this way in order to deal with all shortcomings. But as of now, I don’t want to fine tune my temperatures, just save the extra cost to the power grid people.

If what I have in mind is still possible in this release, could you be so kind to elaborate a bit on how I achieve this?

Yeah, but I’m not sure adding this will make sense, will it? If you want it to switch between heating and cooling during the day isn’t it better to just set it to auto? If you want it to switch between heating in the winter and cooling in the summer then I need to add a summer/ winter time program as well, and since there is no way for the app to automatically detect when you want summer mode and winter mode I figured it was best to leave the auto/heating/cooling modes for the user instead and let the app control the temperature + OnOff states. So… do you really want the app to control this?

Good point. What if I add a zone-parameter to the change mode option and then you can change the mode at different times in different zones?

Yeah, I have these Floor heaters from Heatit and their app has a bug that prevent the heaters from setting the temperature when they are turned off, so I figured the best way to make sure the temperature was set correctly was to move it from flows into this app and the app grew from there. (besides, it’s nice to see in the app how much money you save by moving energy. You can see this by enabling the experimental features)

Right, but the priority is only on which devices to turn off last/first when maintaining the power limit. What is in the price-sub tabs are global settings for that price mode while the priority will be dependent on the operating mode, not the price mode. Thus if I sort it according to one operating mode then it will be wrong according to another. Not sure what will be the most user-friendly view. Any suggestions?

No, the trigger that checks if you are above/below the power tariff is the flow you create to connect the current power output of your meter reader to the input of this app. It will trigger several times every minute.

If you have a fixed price then you can safely ignore the price-modes. Allthough… Even when you have fixed prices on the energy itself, the new energy-part of the grid cost in Norway varies between day and nighttime, so you will still get a price difference between day and night as part of the grid cost. So I suppose you can make use of this too if you want to.

There is a big howto section in the “global” settings page on how to handle electric car chargers, I suggest you click on the question-mark icon next to it to expand the description. Although, I do not have an electric car charger myself so I would be happy to get feedback on the guide for car chargers from a real car charger owner.

I believe I still have to expand the zone-control for different modes in different zones before the app will fit all your needs. For the time being, you can keep it in normal mode all the time. All you have to do is to input the power from the house energy meter into the app. Then set all relevant devices to “Controllable” (do not use always on or always off). Then to avoid the app from changing temperatures you need to go to the price-mode tab for normal prices and change the operation on your thermostat devices to on and off instead of change temp. Then make sure the price-mode is set to normal and keep it there. (although, there might be a bug that might set the temperature anyway in some cases; If so I will fix it)

Yeah, but I’m not sure adding this will make sense, will it?

Auto is the most expensive, so trying to keep that to a minimum. I have 2 ACs, one on each floor. During daytime I don’t want auto on second floor as it is more expensive and we’re less there. This time of year it’s very hot outside before midnight, need cooling, but then temp drops massively. So I’ve set it to auto for the night.
Besides I imagine if wanting to use the away mode, auto is the most stupid setting. Unlike a normal oven, the AC will start cooling to reach the away temperature, which is a waste. So if I’m on auto, I would have to use another app to change the setting. And away mode could be auto triggered or manually set.

Zone parameter

Probably a good idea. I hope you mean zones created in the Homey app, and not new zones in your app?


TRM3? I plan to install 3 of these. Thanks for the heads up.

Price tab

I guess what’s confusing is having to go to the price tab to handle on/off, when price is not a concern for me at this point. But I think I grasp how it works now. Maybe some text inside the “information buttons” would suffice.

You are also implying I have to stop using my existing schedules and use your schedule app for day/night in order for “on/off only” to work in this version. “Vacation mode” is also missing btw. I reckon “away” is meant for when at work. “Egen” can be used…But then you lose that extra mode which could be nice to have in spare.

My suggestion is to add a whole new mode of operation above all you have right now. “Power on/off mode” let the user control on/off and not mess with temperatures, day/night etc… “Power, price and heating mode” for the one you already have? :sweat_smile: Then we can have it both ways?

My stomach tells me I will eventually switch to the fully controlled mode you “preach” and laid ground for later…But for starters I’d really like for your app to just cut power, let me see that it works, then decide later on if I want to switch to the “Tibber competitor and then some”.

If HeatIt is the only reason why this expanded so much to begin with. Could we reach out to HeatIt for a firmware upgrade or the likes? Hack it and fix it that way?

Car charger

Yeah I could help out testing. But as you might have figured, I’d try out option 2, on/off.
Can’t find my Easee charger inside your app though. For this I use flow cards?
Could adding support for Easee and Zaptec, the most used smart car chargers, to show up inside the app be a future update?

It may be that the best setting for your ACs is to set it to “always off” (this is a little bit misleading as the action to turn it off is only sent when changing operating mode, so if you don’t change it you can turn it on by other flows), and then in the price tab you just set it to emergency off. This will only turn off the AC if you’re out of power and ignore anything else on the AC. However, this means that you will have to manually turn it on again when power is available again… which can be solved with a flow since the app outputs how much power is available for external devices at any time. I will probably improve the AC controls in a later version.

My goal is to make this as easy that you will prefer to stop using your existing schedules in the end, so lets hope I get you there :wink: For the time being, I hope you can use your existing schedules for temperature control and let this app handle the On/Off. And possibly zone-control to allow different zones to switch between on and off at different times than the operating modes allow.

I did, but didn’t get a reply. It’s not a big deal though since you can set the temperature while they are on, but it is quite annoying since it prevents you from having totally separate flows for controlling the OnOff capability and the temperature capability.

I will send you a personal message how to activate the debug mode so you can obtain the necessary information for me to fix this once it’s ready.

Note: You can find my todo list here if you want to add things or want me to prioritize specific items: no.sparegris/README.md at main · frodeheg/no.sparegris · GitHub

Thanks for being accommodating.
I’m ready for debugging the car charger whenever you are.

I’ll stop hammering on about this after I get this off my chest one last time. Maybe you need to reconsider your tagline: “Spar penger ved å flytte strømforbruket innenfor ønsket effekttariff” until you make it easier/intuitive to just control loads with out also having to think of day/night, home/away, price, temps, frost and zones to make it work?

You didn’t comment on my suggestion with 2 main operations, power only and the one you have laid out right now. A switch under the general tab?

I can understand if you want to make your grand plan work first though…But that’s not why I got curious of your app.

With that being said I’m still curious. Even for your future simplifying of schedules. As of now it’s too much “interpretation and understanding of the inner workings” needed for me to get started with what’s step 1 for me: On/off, save 125kr a month on power load tariff alone.

I’ve been waiting since June for my OSO Charge R to arrive and control my hot water tank. I reckon once I get that + my HeatIts I’m more eager to hassle with the work arounds you’re describing to get going.

reconsider your tagline

Making it easier is the top priority and will come in the next version. I have just been swamped with other work lately so it’s taken a bit more time than expected. I suppose this has been finalized over the weekend.

2 main operations

Expected delivery over the weekend (actually the onoff option was the only option in the initial version, but I see that the added complexity after that can be too much for those that don’t need it so I’ll make it initially hidden.)

Hope the question hasn’t been asked allready, but I can’t seem to get the app to set temperatures with a decimal? If I set 22,5 it is just set to 22. This goes for all my thermostats.

I’ll fix this in next version. How much granularity do you want, is 0.5 good enough?

Thank you. Yes, it’s enough for me at least.

A new test version has been released with some major cleanups in the interface and preparations for features to come.
Although, some of the requested features are not yet present. Just pushing it for testing as there are two breaking changes there that could cause some problems if I did not foresee all possible issues that could arise with these changes.
The rest of the requested features will be available within the next day or two.

Having a little trouble with the new test app. Nice interface btw.

My setting is at 5000wh. It seems to be calculating wrong. With this estimated usage I should have way more effect available?
Also, it keeps turning of my number one priority device.

Edit: You know what. Might have been my bad. Forgot to update the main fuse setting, so probably why it calculated wrong.

Edit (again): Still does not function as expected. Estimated hourly usage is 1900wh, available effect is 0w. Everything (all heating devices) turned off, and gives warning that manual shutdown is needed. I’m not even close to my max setting of 5000wh. And btw, reserved effect is only set to 100w, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

I am not sure when you took this screenshot, but there is a built in failsafe in the program to reserve a whole lot of power in case there was a reboot or restart of the program. Since the program does not know then how much power was used earlier in the hour it would be very likely that you would exceed the max energy usage if I did not add this prevention. Thus within the first hour after a restart there will be less power available than normally.

Now, if this is the case for you then it’s probably ok (and it also explains why your number one priority device is being turned off). I have thoughts of some different measures to account for this and have plans to mitigate it so you get more power to play with within the first hour of the app restart but for now, this is a limitation for your own safety.

Ok, so I guess I’ll wait for a new hour and see what happens then.

15 minutes into a new hour with the app activated.
My lowest priority device has turned back on, my second and third is still kept off.
Estimated use is 824wh
Available effect is 1435wh

Should be way within the limit of 5000wh, so why isn’t everything turning back on? I see there is a time limit to avoid rapid power switching, but it’s been almost 20 minutes. And why does it turn on the lowest priority device before my second and third?

At the time of this screenshot more then 20 minutes of the hour has passed. I should be able to use more than 4000w continuously for the rest of the hour without reaching the limit.
There has to be something wrong with the calculation. It’s like the app believes my limit is lower.

I’ll take a look, maybe I broke something in the new version.

This should be possible in some cases:

  • If there was a bad signal. The app monitor which devices do not respond to signals and will de-prioritize these devices compared to other devices. Once the devices respond properly again the previous prioritization is restored.
  • If a device is set to emergency off only then it will automatically get highest priority. I know this is a bit confusing so I wonder about solving this in some other way. The main difference between “controllable” and “emergency off” is that “Controllable” strives to keep the devices on while emergency off will not ever try to turn on a device again, so it should be possible to maintain the original priorities. What do you think? My original thought was that this was for non-essential lights and since the devices are not being turned on again we should not try to turn them off before it’s absolutely essential. Allthough this could be controlled by the priority list anyway.

Agreed, I will look into it.

Thanks for the report.

I had a couple of devices set to emergency off, so I guess that could have caused the faulty priority. Although there was definitely no emergency.
Turned it off for now.
Thanks for looking into it :slightly_smiling_face: