Getting started with monitoring

Hi everyone,
I’m very much a newbie here. I came across Carbon co-op in the last few weeks after considering underfloor heating for our home and figured it was worth also looking at insulation and retrofit at the same time.

I’m with Octopus energy on the Flexible tariff and have a gas combi (Vaillant ecoFIT pure 835) that was installed last year. Judging from the Impact Tracker survey our usage is shocking. We don’t have any PVs, Heat Pump or an EV.

Are there any posts about how to get started with monitoring the home from square one?
Is a Smart Meter an essential tool to get started?

Hey Chris,

Welcome to the world of retrofit!

If you’re doing some major works on your home I’d get in contact with the Carbon Coop retrofit team, there are SO many options out there, having a (non-sales-ie) helping hand to guide you through it is priceless, and can help you look at your budget and timeline, and then schedule what will have the most impact now and what to do in the future. If you’re looking at underfloor heating and you currently have floating timber floors, it’s definitely worth considering taking that out and putting a solid, highly insulated floor in its place.

A smart meter is a great first step, it’s free (from your electricity supplier), I’m a bit surprised you’ve not got one already if you’re on an Octopus Agile? You can then sync this up to Carbon Coop’s Impact Tracker and get more detail out of your current system than you get from just looking at the bills.

As with most things, monitoring is a bit of a rabbit hole and you can get more detail out of your home, it just depends how much time/money you want to spend to get there, and how techie you are. There are some devices you can clamp onto your main electricity feed and get a second-by-second trace of how much electricity you’re using. emonPi Energy Monitor - Shop | OpenEnergyMonitor is a good example and the Open Energy Monitor team work with Carbon Coop on certain projects.

Best of luck on your journey!

Thanks for your reply James!
I’m down south and thought Carbon Coop retrofit only covered Manchester. I’ve made some local retrofit enquiries. After mentioning insulation to our friendly neighbourhood builder he was all for adding insulation to the floor.

Applying for a smart meter will be my next job :slight_smile:


No worries, I’m honestly not sure but reach out to them and they can advise or they might know someone in the area who they can recommend. Our Services - Stage 2 — People Powered Retrofit

it’s worth having a think about how it’s done, there are things to consider - floor type, building type, current insulation, some combos can be bad (i.e. ending up with warm damp floor joists and no ventilation) so definitely worth getting some advice on it.

Yep Smart Meter is a great first step, I was with Octopus for a while and they took I think 4-6 weeks to get ours installed.


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