First of all, I admit it: data is geeky. But it can also save you a lot of money and reduce your carbon footprint.
As part of my drive to improve the energy efficiency of my home I’ve started tracking my energy usage through the site iMeasure. It’s a very handy site and free to use, plug your power and gas meter readings into it every so often and it’ll generate a load of stats about your usage.
After only a few readings it will have enough data to forecast your usage for the year, but by far the most useful trick it pulls is correlating your usage against data from the closest weather station. The point of this is that the amount of energy you’re using for heating is only really relevant if it’s compared to how cold it is.
It’ll also tell you how much CO2 you’re emitting through your energy use, and what your costs are.
Where the site really shines is if you’re making changes to improve your efficiency. There are ways to predict the effect of most measures, but there’s nothing better than seeing the change reflected in your actual usage.