UPDATE: Please read the server status post on the ESPproMon community site for latest developments with this project. You will need to read all the information on this page to be able to use the Google Nest and British Gas Hive alternative known as ESPproMon. Available for Android and iOS smartphones and with an entry price starting below £30. You will need to use a valid email address when accessing our cloud-based server and we recommend using a Gmail address for this and for accessing the ESPproMon Community site.
The ESPproMon Smartphone App will convert “off the shelf” Energy meters into state of the art iOT connected devices. With the addition of a low cost microprocessor, known as an ESP8266, you can monitor the cost of electricity being used at your property, wherever you are in the world. The app was designed to work with energy meters from several different manufacturers and after thorough testing we have our preferred suppliers. This means you are able to get up and running with the minimum amount of effort.
- Clear user interface with graphical display of electricity costs.
- Monitors cost since your last bill, previous day and running cost right now.
- Easy to modify cost bands and cost rates via the app or a web browser.
- Thoroughly tested with the PeaceFair PZEM-004T hardware.
- Works with the popular Open Energy Monitor hardware.
- Powered by Blynk the leading digital dashboard provider.
- Reactive gauges and user defined currencies.
- Seamless linking to web based API’s.
- Ground breaking Appp ™ (Appliance Profiling) technology.
- The ESP8266, manufactured by Espressif, is updated automatically via the internet as new features are added to the product.
- Automatic location based appliance control using Smartphone locator services such as GPS, radio tower and WiFi access points.
- Video streaming of your WAN cameras to provide surveillance of your home.
So what is an ESP8266 and why would you want one? As of November 2017 Espressif have sold 100 million ESP8266 chips and it’s highlighted on the board to the right. As a standalone chip they are not very useful to the general public but companies like WeMos, Sparkfun, Adafruit and many others incorporated the chips into small development boards. These development boards are now available for less than $3 and the cost of developing WiFi embedded iOT projects has fallen dramatically.
With an ESP8266 development board and the ESPproMon firmware you are well on your way to a truly Smart Meter. You don’t have to be a computer geek, and we’ll guide you all the way, so let’s get started.
Build or buy your own low cost Smart Energy Meter
Track your Energy usage in a different way!
We have all heard the horror stories of friends or family that have just received a huge electric bill right out of the blue. With an IOT connected Smart meter and our Smartphone app you will know from day to day how much you are spending on electricity. Not only will there be no more surprises but you should be able to reduce your electricity costs as you are able to monitor just how much each appliance costs to run.
Below is a very short video which demonstrates how the remote monitoring and control of your appliances works with the ESPproMon smartphone app, an ESP8266 and a PeaceFair Pzem-004T energy meter.
Configure the Smart Energy Meter and MCU for the PeaceFair App
If you have purchased the full hardware kit from us you can skip the Flashing Stage and jump directly to the Provisioning stage.
Set up your MCU (WeMos, NodeMCU, WioLink, Generic ESP8266) with the ESPproMon App Firmware Flashing Stage
To be able to flash the ESP8266 with the required bin file you will need a tool like esptool.py.
esptool.py runs via Python and can be installed on almost any machine. If you don’t already have Python just Google something like “install Python on Windows” or “install Python on Ubuntu” etc.
The GitHub for esptool.py is available for download here. Do be aware there are several versions of esptool and one is used by the Arduino IDE. As some of you will not want to install the full IDE we recommend the Python version.
esptool.py uses a command line interface (CLI) rather than a graphical user interface (GUI) and the command instructions can be quite long. You should be able to simply cut and paste them from this page.
Once you have downloaded esptool.py you need to download the bin file from here.
Move the bin file to the directory where your copy of esptool.py is located (so for example on Windows 8.1 it might be at C:\ESPTool4python\esptool-master). On most systems you will need Administrator / root access to be able to flash the bin file to your ESP. So with Windows 8.1 right click Command Prompt and click Run as Administrator. Then move to your esptool directory, for Windows it would be cd C:\ESPTool4python\esptool-master\
Make sure you don’t have the serial port open in any other applications like the Arduino IDE Serial Monitor, HyperTerminal, Termite or RealTerm etc. Then issue a command like the one below, changing COM4 to your specific Serial port.
WARNING: Ensure you set the correct parameters for your ESP as outlined here. Failure to do this correctly could destroy your ESP. The command below is for an ESP with 4MB of flash.
python esptool.py -p COM4 write_flash -fm dio -fs 32m 0x0000 ESPproMon-latest.bin
If all goes well you should see the blue onboard LED flash on the ESP as it uploads the new firmware. Something like this will appear in the Command Prompt window:
esptool.py v1.2-dev Connecting... Running Cesanta flasher stub... Flash params set to 0x0240 Writing 331776 @ 0x0... 331776 (100 %) Wrote 331776 bytes at 0x0 in 28.6 seconds (92.9 kbit/s)... Leaving...
Please note, after flashing the ESP8266 the onboard LED should be ON, if it is OFF then you have done something wrong and need to check the details and try again.
We recommend you watch the video in the next section before you attempt to provision your ESP8266 for use with the ESPproMon© app.
The bin file was compiled with serial output disabled so you will not see any prompts in Serial Monitor or your favourite Terminal application during the provisioning process. All the prompts you require will be shown on your smartphone.
Once you have entered your WiFi router access point credentials (SSID and password) it will show you other available Access Points within range of your Smartphone.
One of them should be called ESPproMon and this is the one you need to use as the second stage of provisioning.
Ensure your timezone and email address are added in the app when the provisioning has been completed.
Full documentation for all the features in the app are available at the ESPproMon Community site.
Provisioning your ESP8266 microprocessor to work with our Smartphone app and Smart Energy Meter is also covered in the short video below. Currently the ESP32 is not supported by the app but we are expecting it to be available in the near future. Details of required firmware files for the Open Energy Monitor hardware are available from our GitHub site.
ESP8266 Firmware Enquiry
The ESPproMon App is now available for Android and iOS Smartphones. Once you have loaded the FREE app on your phone please complete the form below and we will send you details of the firmware you require for your ESP8266. You will be redirected to the ESPproMon Community site after you have sent your message. If you already have the registered firmware on your ESP8266 or simply wish to support the project please visit our contributions page. Once you have loaded the app on to your smartphone you will need to scan the image shown below.
After installing the app on your phone please pop over to the ESPproMon community site for help and advice with all the features.
This is one of the most complex apps that you are ever likely to install on your smartphone and absolutely nobody will be able to guess the full installation process so registering on the Community site is imperative. You will need to work through the step by step guide on the site and do feel free to create a new topic if you have any questions or feedback regarding the app.