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Help me understand my Usage patterns chart?

If you have a smart meter this a really neat tool that can help you understand your usage and become more energy efficient. At first it may look like you’ve dived headlong into a game of Space Invaders. But it doesn’t take long to get the hang of what you’re doing!

Dark low, bright high
Each coloured square on the heatmap chart is one half hour period of one day. The brighter the square is, the higher the usage half hour. The darker the square is, the lower the usage. (So black is the lowest, blue is low, purple is lowish, red is medium, orange is quite high and yellow is higher and white the highest).

Finding patterns
You can look at your usage patterns for the last 4 weeks, 12 weeks or year. Which is handy for seeing when you typically use the most power. The narrative above the chart will also help you to do this. For the selected time period, it tells you:

  • what time of day you consistently used the most power
  • the day you used the most power, and
  • the time and day you used the most power over the whole of that time period.

You can click on this narrative to highlight this time period on the heatmap.

Detective work to make changes
So if your chart is consistently yellow between 7 and 8am, you think about what you regularly do at this time and realise it’s often when the shower is getting heavy use. This suggests you may be using a lot of power to heat water for your shower. Therefore, making your shower or hot water cylinder more energy efficient may be one of the most effective ways to use less power in your home.

Visit the Energywise website to find out how to make your appliances more energy efficient.

Number crunching
If spreadsheets are your thing you can download data for every half hour period in .csv format (think Excel) which can be handy if you’d like to investigate something like the effect of using your heatpump at different temperature settings, or for different time periods e.g. “am I better off leaving my heat pump on at a lower temperature while I’m at work, or turning it off completely, then cranking it up when I get home?”.