Tweet-a-Watt and Google PowerMeter… it’s your turn

Pt 1047-2


Ok this is for the power geek folks, a quick recap – back in May we showed you how to get the Tweet-a-Watt working with Google PowerMeter. It’s working but it’s not “official”.

All the code is up on github. Once you have the Tweet-a-Watt working with the python scripts we provide, you can add a cool extension and have beautiful graphs generated thanks to Google Powermeter. We thought we were done, but not quite.

Later that month we tried to get the Tweet-a-Watt “officially” added to the Google PowerMeter page here or here (we met the Rus Heywood from Google at Maker Faire, he directed us to Steve Hines and Rolf Schreiber).

It seems there is another hoop to jump through and at this point we’re going to suggest that the interested makers help out. Here’s the note from Steve Hines, a Developer Programs Engineer at Google, working with the PowerMeter team:

The enrollment process for Powermeter has a mechanism that allows the automation of this step of the process. It requires that the enrollment request come with a URL is called after enrollment. The handler at this URL can store the required token and path automatically.

One potential solution would be to have your python code extended to create a listener running on the user’s local machine at localhost would receive this request. The listener could then parse the request, taking out the token and path and storing them in environment variables. The python API scripts you ship would then use these environment variables rather require the user to edit the scripts and manually add them.

You can review the complete Tweet-a-Watt timeline here. If anyone wants to help with this last bit let us know.

At this point, and just our opinion, we’re not really sure PowerMeter is a serious effort at Google and if it will continue, the manager (Ed Lu) recently left, the forums are pretty low volume on the Google site and if you review the Tweet-a-Watt time line it’s not that encouraging for folks wanting to use Google PowerMeter. The folks from Google have posted here before and we’re hoping they re-consider how they’re deploying PowerMeters and what the goal of the project really is, previously Google’s Ed Lu said…

We are not trying to build a business model around it,” he said at VentureBeat’s GreenBeat conference last year. PowerMeter was part of, he noted, the company’s philanthropic arm.

We think ultimately Google will need to become a power company to meet it’s computational & storage demands, investing in a variety of power projects makes sense. The makers, tinkerers and students of today out there who use our power, solar and energy tracking kits are key to our future and Google’s future too. Google has the top minds in the world, we think the PowerMeter project should get a bit more love.

So with all this being said we’re hoping Google makes it a little easier for anyone to get any power meter to work with Google PowerMeter, specifically the hundreds (maybe thousands) of Tweet-a-Watt builders. The shifting priorities and management on Google PowerMeter likely makes it hard for the team doing to the work to get things done and the needs of the power metering makers are not likely a priority.

A lot of power start up buy our Tweet-a-watt to do prototyping and to later attract funding, our kit quickly allows them to do all the things they’d like to do later, then they can go to manufacturing, the last bit they ask about is the graphing and sometimes how it could work (easier) with Google PowerMeter.

From what we understand since Google is involved, even if it’s not in a major way in the “power industry” now, people in that space either worry about it, embrace it, want to work with them, compete or all of those. A lot of it is war-of-the-press-releases, but some of the concern may be valid – there’s also a lot of opportunity.


Regardless, if you want to start doing cool stuff with power metering and graphic, here’s what you can do immediately:

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.