Save Your Electricity Bill by 25% With This Little Gadget

Electricity is a hot topic in Pakistan and saving it, a necessity. We are constantly reminded of that through advertisements instructing us to run AC at higher temperatures (26 degrees) but is that enough? What about the standby power consumed by appliances and other wasted energy sources that we don’t focus on?

Fictive Lab— a Pakistani IoT startup and an alumni of both Plan9 and LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship— wants to change that. They have developed a smart energy device called Wattie that can connect to your Smartphone and provide you with loads of useful data about your electricity usage. Not only that, Wattie will also make suggestions to help you save up to 25% off your bill.

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What is Wattie?

Wattie is a smart device that delivers your home energy’s consumption analytics directly to your smartphone via an app. It sits in the electricity distribution box and is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi (a GSM version is coming soon).

It measures all the energy flowing through the network in real-time, receiving data every five seconds. In one month, the little device will record over half a million points and send them over the cloud to the startup. The data will then by analyzed through pattern recognition algorithms and converted into a meaningful form to provide helpful insights regarding electricity consumption.

Wattie (1)

Since the electricity usage is visible in real time, you can also roam around your home while turning on appliances to see their consumption. A considerable amount of energy is consumed by standby power of appliances too— around 10% of the total electricity bill, according to the international energy agency. Wattie can also measure energy consumption per device as well. They claim that ‘during beta testing, Wattie has witnessed a 28% reduction in energy usage.’

However, do keep in mind that these figures might be considerably less when it comes to practical usage.

Using Wattie on Your Smartphone

For smartphone interaction, Wattie comes with its own applications. An Android version is available right now but an iOS version is also in the works.

Wattie 2

I tried out the beta version of Wattie’s app and overall, was impressed. with its design. The app is well thought-out and is easy to use. The app was nearly perfect apart from a couple of very small bugs, which would probably be squashed out in the final version.

Real-time Electricity Usage

As soon as you log-in, it’ll display you a chart of real-time electricity usage. Swipe from the left to reveal a menu (or tap the three lines on the top-left) and from there, you can jump into other menus.

A Statistics tab keeps a track of your daily units consumption for up to the last 60 days! You can see the exact current distribution coming in from a 3-phase system (also in real time).

Wattie 2 (1)

Billing

The app also has a separate section for billing. Tap on the “Present Bill” button and it’ll show you all the units you have consumed, their charges and the final electricity charges complete with GST, E-Duty, NJ surcharge, PTV Fee and FC surcharge.

Another useful little feature is “Projected Bill”, which will measure your current usage and predict your bill for the whole month. You can set monthly budget and unit limits and if the projected bill exceeds that number, the app will automatically notify you.

Wattie 3

Cost and Installation

Wattie is now available on pre-order at a limited time price of 2,900 rupees. The people behind Wattie believe that a high-priced energy monitor would not be feasible for the Pakistani masses.

There is now a subscription fee of 300 rupees per month, payable on a quarterly basis. But if you pre-order the device now, they will waive off the monthly subscription fee for a period of two years. Delivery date for the first pre-orders is set towards the end of 2016.

All you need is one device to be placed on the main electricity distribution box. It comes with a life-time warranty and will work on both, single as well as 3-phase connections. Do note that the device cost does not include the installation charges.

The installation process is pretty simple and doesn’t require any other system for Wattie to work; it is a standalone, full-fledged energy management system. There is an instruction manual included in the box as well and, according to Fictive Labs, the whole process should take less than 10 minutes for setting up Wattie. They recommend hiring a professional or contacting them for the installation.

The startup behind Wattie, Fictive Lab, specializes in the Research and Development of both hardware and software. This is just their first foray in the smart energy ecosystem. The startup is also working on an enterprise version of this device to cater to specific needs of industry and businesses. Alongside that, they also have plans for making several other devices and services complementing Wattie.


  • Wattie ko dekh kar agr meter reader shor daal day k aap log bijli chori kar rahe ho to ? us ko kese samjhaya jaye k bhai ye bijli chori system nahi unit reading system he :-)

  • Good idea of monitoring but how you will save 25%?
    Moreover, mostly we pay bill as LESCO needs coz we rare see that meter reading matches with actual consumption. I have newer digital meter but reader still can make it read exactly 500 units for December when my usual bill is around 200units or so.

    • You save by monitoring your usage and figuring out what is taking up so much load (even when turned off). Also their cloud system can probably tell you something abour your usage patterns

    • Tufail, it lets you set your billing target so that you don’t have to spend a rupee more than your budget for electricity bill. Moreover, deep learning algorithms let you know which appliances are consuming most electricity and how much do they contribute in your final electricity bill. Another aspect is that it alerts you when heavy loads are used in peak hours. You can use heavy loads in off peak hours to pay less for the same amount of electricity used. Lastly it makes you cautious about how much energy you use and you tend to be more careful about wastage. All these factors contribute to saving of electricity and reduction of wastage ultimately dropping your bill by more than 25%. We have witnessed reduction in bill of more than 28% in our beta testing. Hope it answers your question. For more information, please visit our website wattie.io or reply here. Thanks.

      • @faizan_ijaz:disqus Hypothetically your views are fine but simple question ” are you going to switch off all appliances once the budget over?”

        In the beta test, it was intended control to save energy so they cannot be a bench mark. actual result will be once fair number of users will use and share feedback.

        Yes you will may save some energy by switching off standby devices. that should already be our regular way of usage.
        I don’t say it is a bad thing. but stating that 25% saving is a huge statement. surely you may go within single digit saving.
        shifting heavy load to off-peak hours also exaggerated statement as on-peak itself means there is need NOW not after few hours.
        anyhow, device itself good to get a more accurate info about usage and help reduce if possible. moreover, you will know how much choona WAPDA is applying..hahaha

        • I disagree. How do i know per device consumption? How will I know line losses in internal wiring? This device needs a companion device on all electricity sockets to perform what it intends to. How else is any fine tuning possible?
          Electricity costs are already very high. People who arent filthy rich, are already rationing electricity usage all the time.
          I hope our entrepreneurs shall start thinking with mindset of people not living inside DHAs. Nest suffered the same problem. They made fancy gadgets for fancy homes and reduced themselves to a few millions ignoring rest of the trillions.
          I hope the startup shall continue to innovate and improve rapidly. btw, I have a question + suggestion. We waste litres of water every day especially when our home water tanks overflow. Any solution? It IS a problem of every single household of the country. Such a huge market to explore.

          • Every device has a unique signature. I am attaching a picture for your reference. That’s how we are calculating how much different appliances are consuming. Moreover, we definitely would be introducing more devices for controlling as well.
            Thanks for your suggestion about water consumption. We are a startup and can work on a limited number of things at a time. Solution regarding reduction of water wastage is surely one we are thinking about. It is a need of our country. We would IA introduce a smart device regarding it in future.

            • good idea but similar power rating devices will be mixed. if two totally different devices have same current/power ratings then how do you separate them with different appliances. there is not code communication between appliances and Wattie. Wattie just assumes from the change in current consumption.

              • There are three kinds of loads: resistive, inductive and capacitive. Every load has a very unique signature. We can precisely identify loads based on their signatures.

            • Hi, Can you plz share your contact number on private FB shahzad ul haq Goney, i need some clarity on this.

          • simple install water tank auto switch, i have already installed. and you tank will never overflow. just need to set it up. it will cost you around 4 to 6000 including everything.

          • if you have least bit of info about electrical stuff, you will see ratings on appliances. if you do not know even then when this devices tells you are going higher, how you will manage your load consumption. so this device does needs some knowledge to save energy.
            this device itself is wonderful as I my home runs on solar completely and have seen costly monitoring devices while this one is fairly cheaper.

          • There is already a solution for water tank automatic control available and I am using it since 9 years now. In Karachi. It controls both of my tank overflow and low levels and turn on motor automatically based on the water level.

          • just a simple over flow system is being used in every flush tank in every washroom, same ball system can be placed in water tanks and it will stop the filling once tank reaches full… simple old system…

        • No, Wattie would be able to predict your month’s bill by the 3rd day of the month basing it’s calculations on your present energy usage. You would not switch of all appliances once the budget is over. You will be notified well before hand that you need to reduce your energy consumption and by how much if you want to stay within your budget.
          Moreover, many people don’t know how much money can they save if they resist using heavy loads during peak hours. One major aspect of this device is to visualize the savings one can get just by changing his behaviors a little.

  • they can sell this data to real estate buyers. you can learn which areas have high levels of loadshedding and/or voltage fluctuation and which areas don’t. property values will be affected by this too.

    if anything they should be paying users to install this device in their home. but i guess it’s clever of them to make it a useful device for the home owners too.

    • You raise an excellent point.

      WE DO NOT KNOW WHO THEY WILL SELL THE DATA TO.
      NO PRIVACY POLICY ON THEIR WEBSITE
      NO PRIVACY DETAILS ANYWHERE

      Who has access to our electricity informations? Who will they share the data with?
      How can I (if I am a user of their service) extract all the data they have collected about my usage? I don’t want to decompile their apk to figure out how to get 60 days (LOL only??? For real comparisons I need at least 13 months) of data

      I am perfectly okay with the company going to LESCO and saying, in Johar Town block so-and-so we have X users and they are using Y units at Z times of the day so we can help you do proactive load monitoring etc etc. No problem with my usage being given away anonymised and being used to improve the local grid at all. But key here is ANONYMISED. In fact, it is even better this way because the current level of smart meters being installed by LESCO are by no means known to be safe and we simply have no idea who or howeasily LESCO can be hacked. I think very easily, so maybe these LUMS startup people have better security?

      Think about it, what if hackers got access to their database and can figure out when people are frequently home & when they are away? That is also a pattern that can be discovered from this data! And what if the details are shared with police?

    • You have raised a genuine question. However, we are building business around providing value to our customer and not around providing our customers’ data to third parties.

      • Still, privacy policy is needed. Right? Sir privacy and trust are two major issues of our people. Please address them. btw, everyone sells data eventually, no matter what the initial claims. When theres demand, there has to be supply. And then, there are concerns related to user data compromise / leaks.

        • Yes. Before installing devices we would share a written privacy policy with our customers and would only install if they agree to it.

      • Why don’t you sell the data? It’s a useful thing to have for any potential home buyer. You can anonymize the data before selling it on.

  • In which cities are they currently operating? Can I preorder this device for my home in Karachi? Thanks.

    • They haven’t given a list of cities but you can definitely pre-order the device in Karachi! You’ll get the device by the end of this year when they are ready to launch it.

    • We would be shipping this device to all the areas in Pakistan. Yes, you can pre-order from Karachi. In fact, a huge number of pre-orders are from Karachi at this moment.

      • There was no need to respond. He is a troll and does not even have water let alone electricity in his far flung desert habitat. Low life scum like him steal electricity because they have no electricity meter to use your device with.
        If 10 out of 100 people praise/consider your product, you should feel lucky. Same goes for any startup. Even if you chose to respond, this should have been it, “I am glad you like the idea and decided to explore it further. While you are doing your due deliberation, please give us a call and we shall happily demonstrate our product for you. We are sure you shall appreciate the ease of use, uniqueness, cost effectiveness and quality of our product.”

        Dear startups in PK, please be professional. The real job is to get customers who initially hated or laughed at you.

  • A very fine step towards real time monitoring, however wattie is just a monitoring system and with the severity of bills we get on our hands.. we need a control system. And off-course if it would be a control system the price would be out of the reach of many of us and its not solely your job to do so. In fact, what you have done with such a small price tag is far more than appreciable and we can have eagle eyes on our energy consumption throughout the month. Hats off guyz.. Please keep up the good work..! Dont stop, keep upgrading Wattie, make it more smarter and user friendly.. Em going to pre-order from Karachi..

    • Thanks for your kind words. It really has been a challenge to come up with this and then successfully execute it considering the economic condition and affordability in Pakistan. This is a novel concept and there are handful of competitors based in Canadian and American markets. Price tag of their devices start from $240 and goes up to $400. However, we know that masses in Pakistan would not find such price tags feasible. Hence, we decided to shift the business model to subscription only to make it affordable for our people. We make no money on device sales and have a small margin on subscription charges. Idea behind this model is that the users should only pay from within what they save on electricity bills through Wattie.
      As for your thought about controlling, we certainly have plans to introduce gadgets to control electricity which would be integrated with Wattie. It is our first device to tackle energy issue. Other gadgets would follow complementing Wattie’s services and concept. This would eventually lead to a modular and economical smart home system. I assure you that we would keep the quality highest while keeping the price tags economical even for our controlling devices.

  • Always like technology that provides insights of what’s going on. Looks like a job well done. Would wait for reviews. Definitely interested

    • Thank you. You would definitely find the reviews very satisfying. We have been working in IoT domain for the last 3 years and now have experience to develop products which can disrupt markets. Wish us luck.

  • Save money by using their device and give them this saved money as monthly charges. wow strange..

  • Hi, How to confirm that the device which is put in the distribution will have the accuracy of calculating the energy flow as of External Meter .

    • We have done beta testing of more than four months and have compared our reading with the meters available in market. Our results are more than 96% accurate.

  • Just preodered one for my home. I would rather pay a higher inital price and keep my data within my home that share it. I think that sharing should be optional.

    Is it possible to connect the device to an RJ45, rather than wifi? Since I live in an appt and the meter is down stairs.

    I would anxioulsy wait for its deployment.

    • Waqas, unfortunately there is no RJ45 or any similar interface available t extract data locally from the device. It needs to be connected to Internet through WiFi so that it can send data to our cloud where we can make sense of that data and present actionable insights to you so that they can be translated into tangible benefits.

    • why you are assuming to keep the device with meter?
      Keep the device inside your home where main switch for whole home is located…

  • So its a reader and will inform me which appliances to turn on and off manually, or will it do automatically, kindly clarify.

    How this device can reduce the bill as per this device claim, when i ll be manually shutting down appliances, in other words this device is just informing me to shutdown what and not, saving electricity is in my hands weather i want to shut it or not, kindly clarify this please.

    And what about the installation charges.

    • It is not a control system. Modular control system will be introduced in the coming year which would ask your permission and take on/off decision automatically.
      Saving electricity is always in your hands. For now people are using electricity blindly. They have no information. Can you tell me how much running a 1 ton AC 10 hours a day for an entire month would cost you? This device can.

  • e.g my bill is 1000 Rs with 25% I saved 250 Rs and I paid 300 as monthly subscription fee, so by put on this device I paid 50 Rs extra( 1000-250=750+300=1050) and some installation charges as well. Mmmm interesting invention….

  • Well its pretty much good idea, i am also working on similar project by using resberrypi board, and it will deliver almost same features but cost is one time only, no monthly charges, data will store inside the box on memory card, gsm and 3g will include as well and it dont required any app on cell phone, tiny box will act as web server abd everything is accessible by webui, any devicd with browser should be able to view statistics.
    Furthermore box will generate weekly n monthly reports and send over email with all graphs, facts and figures.

  • Wattie is looking cool app infect it is quite difficult to control the usage of electricity, when it is needed but you can still check the electricity usage timing through this app. I believe this kind of work will help and motivate to other engineers to develop more app. LESCO is also trying to update their existing system and keeping the old system. For example their meter reader took the picture of your current reading, you can check on your bill but the message that has sent by lesco of meter reading date that is incorrect. They took the meter reading 21 Aug and they mentioned on bill and as well on sms 11. Lesco need to use modern 4G/3G modem which having the capability to capture the meter reading and sent it to direct LESCO without send a man took manually.

  • Do you provide an API for the device. It can be a nice addition to existing home automation systems.

    • Yes, it would be. We have developed the entire platform from scratch. We can expose API for other automation system. But the question is what other automation systems do we have in Pakistan? And how much people have such systems installed?

  • It’s a useless Product. I think lums should invest their research budget into products that can bring revenues based on patents rather than investing into high school science projects. Anyone with an Arduino and some programming knowledge can build an energy monitor which is basically another energy consuming device.

    • At this moment. we are only supporting subscription model. However, if you preorder now, first 2 years subscription charges would be waived off.

  • Device lagwanay ka faida Nahin Hai qki wapda/kelectric nan payments ka benchmark poora kerrnay k liay ap ko extra billing kerni hai. Chahay woh Kisi bhi bahanay say hi. Extra units lagwa k ya fuel surcharge lagaa k ya line looses k bahanay say ya phir fast meter lagaa k. Aur woh bill 90℅ chance hota hai k Sahi Nahin Hoga. You all know about this. To the device mujhe lagta hai k pese ka waste hi Hoga.

    • That is 1000% right and I mentioned in my reply before.
      Device is good itself but LESCO is wonderful in itself…hahaha so good will be overcome by excellent.
      moreover, there are few things over rated about device.
      why I need cloud for data when a simple home pc can be used to collect it. we get fanless PC’s these days so power consumption by that pc is very very low. moreover, I can use that particular pc for any other purpose. until they don’t open for improvement, idea is no going to succeed.
      take example of Raspberry Pi they have sold millions of devices in last few years because they made a device and opened for developers.

      • so most of low power devices whether chargers, energy savers, fans and most of normal house not covered. only fewer appliances will be identified and these appliances don’t run frequently. AC only run in summer so what about other time of year.

  • Why you people not try alternate sources of electricity? Like solar power, wind power, gas generator etc.

    • woh to hai lakin electricity to apni marzi ki use karengay na. means kelectric ki electricity kam use ker k bhi ziada bill jab k apni generated electricity man apni marzi ka use. jitna marzi use karo koi rok tok nahi. mere ghar 3 kva ka solar system laga hua hai. din k 13 hours solar electrical power available hai. us k baad kelectric. agar raat man electricity chali bhi jaey to yahi system 5 hours ka backup bhi deta hai. Daily 13 hours load jo man chalata hoon un man 18 cubic feet fridge, water dispensor, 40″ LED, 2 wifi router, 4 cieling fan, 5 40 w tube lights continuous chalata hoon. is k ilawa pani ki motor or istry or washing mashine bhi chalata hoon. aur is load k ilawa batteries bhi full charge kerta hai system.

    • aur day man apni generation ki wajah se kelectric/wapda ki load shedding ka effect ap p nahi aayega. aur pure sine power honay ki wajah say ap ko bilkul bhi pataa nahi chalega k konsi power chal rahi hai. apni generation honay ki wajah se ap light or fan delibrately on kar dain gay k apni to hai on hai to kia hua free ki hai khula hi chorh do.

  • can you sms me the web side where i can buy this??? my month bill is arround 80 thousand in summers


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