Feature Requests

This page is a collection of the currently known feature requests. If the feature you are looking for is not yet listed here, please add a comment and it will be integrated into the list. You may also add a “me too” comment to vote for a certain feature to be implemented.

Show absolute values for comparison to last year in table view

  • State: Planned for next release
  • Effort: Low
  • Priority: High
  • Votes: 1

The table showing a monthly comparison to last years data could display consumption deltas as absolute values instead of relative ones.

Add support for time as the meter value

  • State: Planned for next release
  • Effort: Medium
  • Priority: High
  • Votes: 1

Some meters display time, for example run hours of pumps or solar panel operation. With only one decimal value to enter, the user would need to convert an hour:minute reading into a decimal hour reading (for example, 42h15m would be 42.25h). This is complicated for anything other than 0, 15, 30 and 45 minutes and ist not practical. The user would want to enter hours and minutes separately and have ECAS do the calculation internally.

Allow cost changes without affecting display of previous records

  • State: Planned for a future release
  • Effort: High
  • Priority: High
  • Votes: 5

There are many users requesting that the cost factors are stored with each entry such that old readings are always calculated with their respective cost factor while new readings may be associated with different costs.

In order to implement this the right way, a new table would be needed to store and manage changes of cost per meter. Changes in cost take place at specific dates dictated by the utility company and are completely unrelated to available readings of the meter. Thus, the cost factor will change half way between two readings, which makes interpolation and a lot of other places of the app much more complicated.

A cheap implementation would just store costs with each reading and calculate costs between readings A and B using the cost factors stored with reading A. This is only correct as long as the user takes a reading whenever costs change. Also, there will be many special cases to handle, when existing records are edited such that their new reading date falls into a period where costs are different.

Allow some sort of zoom for the value axis

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: Medium
  • Priority: Medium
  • Votes: 1

When a meter shows a wide range of consumption values, from almost zero during summer to high values during winter, the value axis is currently calculated such that all values will fit on the screen. This may cause a loss of resolution and so some users would like to be able to zoom in and narrow the value range on the value axis to see more details.

Add more color tags

  • State: Planned for next release
  • Effort: Low
  • Priority: Medium
  • Votes: 1

For people using the color tags very actively, it would be desireable to have more colors. Maybe a second row of color buttons would be a good idea.

Show multiple meter/sensor data on one screen

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: High
  • Priority: Medium
  • Votes: 2

This is a request to show the data of multiple meters and/or sensors together on one page. This will be complicated since the selected meters may have different units or value ranges, in which case multiple Y-axis support will be required.

Enter readings for multiple meters on one page

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: Medium
  • Priority: Low
  • Votes: 1

This is a request for a new meter reading input page, which would list all meters and allow the user to set new reading values for all meters on one page.

Add more meta information to meter definitions

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: Low
  • Priority: Low
  • Votes: 1

It would be desireable to store more meta information with a meter than currently possible. Things to add to a meter defintion would be:

  • Meter serial number
  • Picture of the meter, possibly with every reading (size?)
  • Utility company owning the meter
  • Name of the tariff at which the meter is currently billed
  • Detailed location info, to build groups of meters by location

Allow meter groups, possibly dynamic

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: High
  • Priority: Low
  • Votes: 1

The meter list may become cluttered when a lot of meters are defined. It would be desireable to group them and hide individual groups.

Show the average daily consumption in the table view

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: Low
  • Priority: Low
  • Votes: 1

This is easy to calculate, but it may be a problem to find a good place to put the information without loosing readablilty and maintaining compatibility to low resolution screens.

On the reading list page, show a cost summary in addition to the usage summary

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: Low
  • Priority: Low
  • Votes: 1

Show the expected total usage for future time periods

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: High
  • Priority: Medium
  • Votes: 2

Based on the available consumption data of this year and last year, it would be possible to estimate total consumption for future time periods. In the bar graph, the “current” bar could show the expeced total usage with a different color on top of the currently measured value. The table view could also fill future months with estimated data using a different color. For the trend graph, a similar function could be possible.

Show a pop-up with the exact reading when touching a measurement point in the trend graph

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: High
  • Priority: Low
  • Votes: 1

This may turn out to be complicated, but it could be a nice feature.

Add a reminder service

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: High
  • Priority: Low
  • Votes: 1

This is somewhat redundant, since the normal calendar of the device should be used to remind the user of various events. A recurring event to take meter readings would normally be done this way. However, some people would like ECAS to duplicate the functionality of the calendar app.

Add direct support for drop-box

  • State: Unplanned
  • Effort: High
  • Priority: Low
  • Votes: 1

This would require ECAS to demand network access permission, which is not desireable for some users. Since Drop-Box already has the ability to keep a certain folder on the device in sync, the only thing a user currently needs to do is to have Drop-Box sync the ECAS database backup folder. Some users are already doing this.

16 Responses to Feature Requests

  1. rikkitikki says:

    Hi,

    This is a great app and thanks for going to the trouble of putting it together. As a fellow coder I know it can be daunting to return to tweak a project that is working well.

    There is a lot of talk about how climate affects home energy consumption.

    Would it be possible for the app to log an average daily temperature reading based on map location + weather database ?

    It would look neat superimposed on the energy consumption charts, making users aware of just how much cold weather is affecting their fuel budget.

    If you made this a pro version I for one would make a contribution.

  2. Fluffy says:

    Hi,

    First of all a big thanks for giving us this great app. It is great help in analyzing my energy consumption.

    Maybe I am missing something, but I think that combining two meters with negative values into a
    virtual meter isn’t working.
    I have a bi-directional meter A with values {0,-100,-50,0,50} and a bi-directional meter B with
    values {0,-75,-25,0,25}. When I create a virtual meter C that combines 1xA and 1xB, then I get the
    results {0,0,100,175,250} while I am expecting {0,-175,-75,0,75}

    Thanks in advance

    • Christoph Zens says:

      Hi Fluffy,

      Please check out the new version 2.3.11, it should fix this problem.
      Don’t forget to have the virtual meter recalculated to fix the virtual readings generated by the old version (see my post about version 2.3.11).

  3. Werner says:

    First of all many thanks for this great tool and the work you invested, really great!

    Feature Request:
    Export all data as .csv or XML file. Alternatively the database might be readable on PC and used by the DB’s own exporter ?

    I also want to vote for the feature of storing actual meter price setting with each reading.

    kind regards
    Werner

  4. viersich says:

    Hi.

    Great programm!

    Feature request: OCR of the meter’s value using the phone’s camera.

    Bis denn

    Marc

  5. alestrix says:

    Hi great program – but there’s always room for improvement, right?
    I have two feature requests but will post the second one in a separate comment.

    ENABLE FLASHLIGHT DURING DATA ENTRY
    Not much to explain about this one. Often the rooms with the meters are scarcely lit, so using the phone’s built in flashlight could help in reading the meters’ values.

  6. alestrix says:

    As promised/threatened 😉 here’s the second feature request:

    SCHEDULED/AUTOMATIC EXPORT
    The data collected by ECAS is very valuable, so a regular export would help me sleep better :).
    I personally would combine this with the tool DropSync (but there are many more like it) to have the export automatically upload to the cloud. This would also cover the other “DropBox-Feature Request” while at the same time NOT requiring internet access for ECAS.
    Some ideas for the time of export:
    1) when app is closed in case of changed data (my preferred one)
    2) same as 1) but not more often than every x days
    3) scheduled at a certain time on a selected day of week
    4) on every value entry (could cause too many uploads)

    So far my ideas. Thanks again for the great tool. And thanks for the fish… (c;

    Alex

    • Christoph Zens says:

      Hi,

      Automatic backup of the database is done in the folder ECAS on “external storage” (whatever this is on a particular device). The name of the backup is “auto-backup.db”, and it is updated every time the app is launched and the existing backup is found to be at least one week old (or doesn’t exist at all). Therefore, using a cloud service to back up the ECAS folder will protect against data loss in case the device is stolen or lost.

  7. schinnjo says:

    First I want to congratulate for this perfect tool. I am missing one item:virtual counters should have the possibilty to divide and multiply values. I am using a heat pump, and to calculate the efficiency I would have to divide the energy output by the energy consumption. Thanks in advance!

  8. dennisvanrussel says:

    Thanks for this great App.
    One of my meters graph has stopt graphing.
    The input data for the meter is being registered as I can see the grey dots on the graph display.
    The stats for the meter are okay.
    The calculated values for the meter are okay.
    Please advice to solve this problem, because I want to keep using this App as I am very happy with its working.

  9. Ben says:

    Like all the others I’d like to thank you for this program.
    I like the way the data is handled, internally and from the input perspective, and the interface looks nice.

    As a feature request I would ask for an additional view in Statistics:
    I find the table very useful, where you can see consumption varying over months and see changes over years.
    In my opinion, this information would be made even more clear with a line diagram, with months from 1 to 12 as x-axis, plotting the years in different colors all in the same x-range.

    As an example I think of this one here: http://www.tecson.de/pheizoel.html

    The ultimate flexibility would be then, if in that kind of diagram one still could scroll in left-right direction to determine at what month the one-year-period of interest should start, like it’s possible in the table view… 🙂

    With kind regards,
    Ben

  10. koosk says:

    May I thank-you first of all for all your work on this app.
    I take meter readings on a weekly basis so this is ideal,however,and please forgive me if I’m being really stupid and missing something,but I am not sure how I would edit each meter (Gas/Electric) to take the standing daily charge into account. I have keyed the cost per unit as required. Is there a way to register a standing daily charge?

  11. Roland says:

    Hi Christoph,
    many many thanks for this fantastic app …
    I use it now for 2 years … managing all my counters with it.
    And now with the comparison of the last year data and the automaticly created deviation report I really can use it to detect abnormal behaviour.
    I have some virtuell counters (running hours of my heating * performance level) to get some ratio … and this works great for “multiplication” formula.
    What I now ask for:
    Is there a chance to use fomulas within the virtual counters definition … to get a ratio analysis?

    Ex.: CounterA * 100 / CounterB

  12. dirk.ewen says:

    New feature request
    NFC tag detection of different counters so a quick entering of new data will be safe in many different counters.

    Great App and thank you for that good job !!

  13. gui-rj says:

    Great app.
    Could you add custom period on report?
    I would like to be able to see in stats data for day 5 until 23 for example

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