Friday, March 13, 2009

Smart Metering / DB2 Performance Expert

Since last Fall I am trying to become one of the beta testers for the Smart Metering offering of our local utility company. I was too late for the first batch of customers admitted to the program, then in January I learned that I am using the "wrong" Internet provider and to call back in March. Today I retried, but no luck and another month of waiting as they are still working on a solution.

Why do I want to have smart metering? There are two aspects of it. First of all, I am lazy and the idea of not having to run into the basement to read the meter is nice. Right now I am reading our two meters (one for our heat pump, solar pump, and related consumers, the other for the rest of our house including the computers) once a week to get an idea of how much energy we use. The second reason for getting a so-called e-meter is to have ongoing reporting, to get more data points. With a smart meter, the data about the current consumption is transferred to the reporting server every couple minutes. I would be able to see in graphs and tables how much energy is used and when it is used throughout the days and weeks. Moreover, comparative data is provided to see how we are faring compared to similar energy customers. The overall idea is to get insight into usage, then being able to detect unusual situations and to remove or reduce hidden consumers in our household, or to shift some consumption (washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc.) to the (possibly) cheaper evening hours.

So much for the theory, I have to wait another month to get an update on when I can start with Smart Metering.

BTW: Products like DB2 Performance Expert give you insight into your database server, your operating system and much more. They give you the frequent data points and historic and comparative data, so you can detect unusual situations before they are real problems. It's similar to smart meters: Less running, more insight, smoother system.

Have a nice weekend.