Dirty Watts

Project Info

Team Name

Questionable Research Labs

Team Members

Taine , Jacob Read , Ara , Jasper M-W , Connor Hare and 2 other members with unpublished profiles.

Project Description

Problem Statement

We have all heard about NZ power being not entirely clean and green - at peak power times Coal and Oil is used. The problem for the community is that we don’t have easy ways of being aware of when this dirty generation is being used. That means it is hard to engage people with modifying their power use behaviour.
From talking to people (families and friends) it is very clear they would definitely restrain their power use at those times if they knew the power they were using came from coal and oil.


By tapping into available data sources, pulling it together into a web dashboard https://dirtywatts.nz and providing a public API, we can provide a way people can use generic smart lights and devices to make it obvious when polluting power is being used.
Secondly we can create a set of tutorials for individuals, schools and students, to engage with the data and build their own DirtyWatts indicator.
This project has the dual purpose of increasing our awareness of the issues while also giving us the agency to collectively help with reducing peak loads and its polluting impact. Secondly, it provides a pathway to learn about using digital technology in a pro-social practical manner for collective benefit.

See the website for details including the public API to tap into the new resource.

#environment youth energy power iot nz education coal oil electricity

Data Story

The Dashboard pulls together data from 3 sources, the Electricity Authority , Transpower NZ, Wikipedia who had a listing of power stations in NZ and the locations. We look at this data through the exposed API every 15 min, and store this in a SQL database. This is then exposed as public API’s from our database for real time consumption by the frontend website and a Node App’s running on raspberry pi's using zigbee protocols to control lamps and sockets.

Evidence of Work



Team DataSets

Geospatial Network supply points (NSP) table

Description of Use Used to geolocated and label the network supply points described in the EMI real time dispatch API

Data Set

Real-time dispatch

Description of Use Used to record the amount of energy going in/out of the electrical grid NSP’s

Data Set

Transpower Current Generation

Description of Use This data is split apart the power usage into its generation class components. It is used to work out the percentage of renewable energy being used.

Data Set

Challenge Entries

Technology Literacy in a Digital First World

Connected digital technologies are rapidly changing the way we live, learn, and work. But digital literacy is an important challenge facing New Zealand leading to digital exclusion. How can we build a system which helps advance “Technology Literacy” in New Zealand to help advance our community equitably?

Go to Challenge | 2 teams have entered this challenge.

Best Creative Use of Data in Response to ESG (NZ)

How can you showcase data in a creative manner to respond to ESG challenges? How can we present and visualise data to stimulate conversation and promote change?

Go to Challenge | 4 teams have entered this challenge.