Ecohome lab – launch workshop, build day & first meet up

by Blog

Carbon Co-op have been working with OpenEnergyMonitors to develop tools to help our members take greater control of their homes.

We've now set up Ecohome Labs, a project to further develop, test and experiment with these and similar technologies. If you're interested in getting involved in the project, you may want to attend one of the upcoming events:

all at MadLab, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN
– come and get your geek on

Ecohome Lab is a monthly hangout for people taking control of their home energy use and generation. We use open-source hardware and software to enable a better understanding our homes and how they work. Making best use of the energy we generate whilst reducing waste.

Register for the group here:

Each session will consist of an open drop-in to troubleshoot and develop, combined with a more structured element for presentations and learning opportunities. Need a monitor? Click here.


6-9pm Friday 19th April 2013

Heard about ArduinoRasperyy Pi or OpenEnergyMonitors and want to know more? We've scheduled an event which is part workshop, part introduction to the field and part social.

If you're just curious about the potential of this technology come along at 8pm. If you want to get hands-on come along at 6pm for the practical elements. If you're new to this area and want to participate in other elements of the project attendance from 6pm is pretty much essential!

Followed by a social in Common Bar…

Click here to view the agenda and attend:

10am-6pm, Saturday 20th April

To get involved in Ecohome Labs meet ups it is highly recommended you have an OpenEnergyMonitor. These monitors need to be built and programmed and for those who need one we'll be running a special, supervised build session. NB based on previous experience space will be limited and demand high so book early!

No experience of soldering is required but the day will be focused and intensive and people new to this are advised to attend the launch event the night before.

There are three options to get hold of the kit:

1. Build one to keep. Carbon Co-op can supply OpenEnergyMonitor at a discounted price of £100 for members. Not a member? Why not join Carbon Co-op?

2. Buy one direct from OpenEnergyMonitor, approx price £200, all the kit you need is listed here:

3. Carbon Co-op will supply you with the kit but once assembled it will be used by other Carbon Co-op members as part of other ongoing projects.

To book click here:
…indicating which option you wish to pursue to obtain the kit.

If there is sufficient demand we'll consider running more build days in future.

6pm, Thursday 25th April

We are focusing on home energy and environment monitoring using Arduino hardware from the brilliant OpenEnergyMonitor project. Our first monthly session will be a skill share for troubleshooting issues, creating a better dashboard for your home and adding more sensors to monitor more stuff.

Register for the event here:

Each month we'll expand on our understanding and starting to integrate the monitors in to different areas of Carbon Co-op's development.

Topics will include:

  • Yaye, more sensors! – air quality, ventilation flows, dew point
  • User interfaces – your smart home on your smart phone
  • Gas meter bounties – monitoring the un-monitorable
  • Integrating Open Data sources
  • Taking the power back! – Making better use of the surplus power we generate.
  • Zoning and home automation: "Monitors have only interpreted the home in various ways, the point is to change it."


  • Anyone using OpenEnergyMonitor kit: come and get help making it work better for you or share your knowledge and shiny dashboard goodness.
  • Anyone with skills in physical electronics, web development, interface design or programming who wants to use that knowledge to avert this whole climate apocalypse thing.
  • Anyone! There will be open space for small groups to focus on adding new sensors or hacking the user interface, there will always be a 'newbies' group for people interested in finding out more.

Come join the energy geek revolution. We have biscuits…



Sign up here:

Tweet us here: @ecohome_lab

A project of Carbon Co-op

Supported by Catalyst, a research project based at Lancaster University and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.