Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Forum about Smart meters for Energy, Gas and Water and all related

Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby MindBender » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:46 am

Hi Guys (long time no see)

I got smart meters installed last years and my service provider provide met with 'TES', The Energy Stick. TES didn't cost me anything, and let's keep it at 'what you pay is what you get'.

Now I'm looking for an alternative and Toon seems rather interesting. For those who remember; I do have a HomeSeer plugin for my Remeha OpenTherm gateway, but it frequently crashes my room thermostat, last time up to a point where I needed to replace it. So controlling my heating is definitely a plus.

Can you guys recommend me a system?

1. I've become allergic to product that require a 'service' from it's manufacturer, even if it's free, or hidden. I just don't want stuff I own to stop working if the manufacturer no longer supports it.
2. iOS connectivity is a must.
3. Support for solar panels is a plus, but not required, as some converters have their own data collection system.
4. Connectivity to HomeSeer is a plus, but just a small one, as I barely use HomeSeer.

Ideas and suggestions are most welcome!
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby j.hoekstra » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:14 pm

I only have experience with a few smartmetering options, namely youless, Toon and RFXCom.
Toon:
My parents have the Toon and I only experienced it from that perspective, the device itself is pretty nice to look at, relatively responsive(it's no tablet) and receives updates frequently. The only disadvantages are the subscription and the limited support desk(They don't understand the technology used and don't stray from a supportscript which unfortunately turns out to be limited to restart equipment and otherwise mechanic, they do have a second line which seems to be pretty knowledgeable but also limited in possibilities). The big plus it's an all in one solution which provides a customer with one supportdesk to talk to if need be, con is the subscription fee.
It's suitable for smartmeters as well as the older analog ones and ppicks up electricity and gas, it gives a customer a clear view on his/her usage and correspondig cost(the total amount is displayed per month). AFAICT it's also suitable for a solar installation depending on the smart meter you have.
Eneco provides an app for IOS as well as Android.

Youless:
This is something I use at home to use it in combination with a Vera and DomotiGa, it's suitable for one meter only, so either electricity or gas and suitable for all meters analog with a disc and digital with a pulsing LED. They provide a pretty well documented behaviour for integrating it with domotica-appliances which should make it easy to integrate. It's not an allinone solution by far, but the easiest way imho to add usage to your setup.
Con is the placement on the meter, which is sensitive to correct placement in combination with a discmeter.
It's able to suport solar as well via a separate group meter in combination with a second youless.

IOS connectiviy would be possible via an intermediate program or provider, by default Bidgely.com is supported which has an app for Android as wel as IOS

RFXCom:
This one uses clamps to measure and has been working very stable for years and is well integrated with a lot of domotica appliances as well, main disadvantage I see is price as compared to the other options. It does however work very reliably and hasn't presented me a problem sofar.
It doesn't have an app in itself, but that can be done via the domotica appliance.
Solar can be check using a second clamp for solar AFAICT.

All in all I'd recommend the Toon for an all in one solution for the less technically inclined. The others based on technical experience and connectivity to other appliances needed.
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby MindBender » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:18 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'll probably take your advice and go for Toon. Unfortunately, that means a lock-in with Eneco.
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby wwolkers » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:28 pm

Or keep an eye on Marktplaats for a Toon. Every now and then you'll fine one there.
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby j.hoekstra » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:33 pm

I couldn't really ascertain which parts where hosted as part of the subscription and which weren't.
If I were to guess realtime usage in Watts and M^3 and opentherm are local on the device as well as heating programs.
Graphs and representation in € are probably hosted.
Didn't find any conclusive side-by-side, but google suggests that it get's demoted to thermostat-only.
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby Digit » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:48 pm

I'd build it myself.
That way you can make sure all the must-haves are in and all the stuff that causes allergic reactions are left out.
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby j.hoekstra » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:26 pm

In addition to the earlier info, this site has a failry comprehensive overview of meterreaders:
http://members.ziggo.nl/olav.buunen/energie/
Also a project I like is the netduino P1 reader:
http://p1netduinoplus.codeplex.com/
Being developed by a Dutch guy and a lot of features get added and there's also a php-frontend available, with smartmeters a lot of options available, almost makes me want to shell out the 80 euros to have mine replaced.
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby MindBender » Mon May 06, 2013 8:47 am

Thanks; That looks like a comprehensive overview. I was about to order Toon, but then it turned out to be available to Eneco customers only, which sounds like an invented problem at least, but leaning towards illegal bundled sales.

Plugwise is a nice system, but their reputation on their customers privacy has been tarnished.
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby PietjeNL » Wed May 22, 2013 7:28 pm

MindBender wrote:Plugwise is a nice system, but their reputation on their customers privacy has been tarnished.


Lol i always laugh when i see these comments, especially when u want to order Toon.
Read before u sign up for something is all i can say.
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Re: Smart metering; QBox, Toon, or...?

Postby MindBender » Thu May 23, 2013 10:59 am

Yeah, it's the law of preservation of misery.
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