Spent a weekend writing a short script to pull data from SP Ausnet’s MyHomeEnergy website.

I’ve been looking at those “in-home displays” to view live electricity usage and solar export data from my meter. Unfortunately SP Ausnet appears to be the only electricity supplier in Victoria who doesn’t yet allow in-home displays (IHD) to be linked up to their smart meters (apparently they are due out “sometime in late 2014”).

However, they do provide data via their myhomeenergy website, which you can sign up to once you have a smart meter. You can see meter data for your electricity import, as well as solar export, and you can even enter your tariff info into the myhomeenergy website settings, which will then calculate the cost of your electricity based on time of use. (Note: the website data is not instant like an IHD would be – it is delayed by 6 hours, but hopefully in the future this data will be more up to date.)

Cue weekend coding mashup, with Firefox, Wireshark & PHP 🙂
And the result – a script that pulls down the current day’s, and the previous day’s data (kWh and dollar cost) and displays it on a web page (for quick checks on your mobile).
You could extend this by permanently displaying it on a small tablet or RaspberryPi/Arduino setup, to create your own in-home display!

I’ve also included a script to upload your previous day’s import and export data to PVOutput! Set it up as a cron job – remember that the myhomeenergy data is delayed, so I’ve set mine up to run at midday.
(Unfortunately meters don’t measure Consumption so you’ll have to get that figure directly from your inverter. If you’re already exporting Consumption to PVOutput, delete the line starting with ‘g’ => … so that your consumption value isn’t overwritten.)

Update 2017: Still works, they’re called AusNet Services now, but the website hasn’t changed.
Download the scripts from my GitHub repo: MyHomeEnergy.

Update 2018: Unfortunately AusNet Services have upgraded their website and this script no longer works. Feel free to fork from my GitHub repo and write an updated version!

Skype’s latest update broke the Skype Status Flick gadget today, so I’ve released an update which fixes the problem, as well as a few bugs that cropped up since the initial SkypeStatusFlick release.

If you don’t know what Skype Status Flick is, here’s a quick overview: if you use Skype behind a firewall/router, your status often ‘times out’, making you appear offline to all your contacts, when in fact you are still logged in to Skype. SkypeStatusFlick addresses this problem by sending an update to the Skype servers every 5 minutes, reminding them that you are still online.

You can read more, add a comment or download the latest SkypeStatusFlick from the original article.

For those of you who have been using the Skype Web Status button to display your online/offline status on your webpage, you may have noticed that it can’t be used on SSL secure pages. An internet search reveals many people looking for this same thing from Skype – an ability to use the Skype web status button on a secure page, such as a shopping cart payment page.

Including the default non-secure version on an “https:” SSL secured page will cause your client’s browsers to display ‘insecure’ messages, or fail to display the lock icon and certificate information associated with a secure page. This can reduce consumer confidence in your service, as well as look unprofessional.

We’ve developed a fix for it – with just a small upload and a change in the default Skype web status code, you can now include your web status on ANY page, secure or not.

Secure Skype Web Status code Download the Secure Skype Web Status code for your website.

We welcome your comments and any questions regarding the installation and use of this code.

If you missed our original Skype web status article, check it out here on how to keep your Skype web status online behind a firewall.

Update May 2011:

As requested, here is a cURL PHP version for if you cannot use allow_url_fopen on your webserver:

Secure Skype Web Status code (cURL version) Download the Secure Skype Web Status code (cURL version) for your website.

Skype is a great communication tool for online chat, voice and video. One of the features I like most about Skype is the simple Skype Web status button that you can put on your webpage or Facebook page, and let everyone know whether you’re available for chat. Look in the footer of this page for an example.

However, lately I’ve noticed that my Skype connection appears to drop “offline” after a while. The Skype program on my desktop was happily set to ‘Online’, yet the Skype button on my website would change to ‘Offline’ after a while, and my contacts would tell me I was not online on their screens. Changing my status to ‘Away’, then back to ‘Online’ again fixes the problem for a while, until it disconnects / times out again.

I’m asuming this problem has something to do with firewalls, or my router, closing old connections that haven’t been updated in a while. So to combat this, I wrote the SkypeStatusFlick program, which uses the Skype API to update your status every 5 mins, and keep you online.

  • If you’re on ‘Away’, every 5 minutes it will switch you to ‘Do Not Disturb’, then back to ‘Away’ instantly.
  • If you’re on ‘Appear Offline / Invisible / Logged Out’, the program will not change your status at all.
  • Otherwise, every 5 minutes you’ll get switched to ‘Away’, then instantly back to whatever your status is on.

Installation

Download SkypeStatusFlick

You’ll need the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 installed to run SkypeStatusFlick.

Extract the ZIP file, then double click on register_skype4com.bat to make sure the Skype API is installed (you should receive a DLL Register successful message).

When you run the program for the first time by double clicking on SkypeStatusFlick.exe, you’ll need to set Skype to allow access to SkypeStatusFlick.exe. Run SkypeStatusFlick, then open up your Skype window, and you should see a yellow box popup at the top right requesting access. Click Accept to allow SkypeStatusFlick to run. You should only need to do this once, unless you reinstall or move SkypeStatusFlick.exe.
If you don’t allow access, SkypeStatusFlick will popup to tell you that it cannot access Skype, and you need to follow the directions above.

Now you’re ready to go! Create a shortcut to SkypeStatusFlick and put it in your StartUp folder to have it running in the background just like Skype. It doesn’t matter if Skype’s not running – the program will just wait until it is to start working.

Changelog

v1.2

  • Added a second function to switch to ‘Offline’ and back every hour (in addition to the 5 minute ‘Away’ checks)
  • Added a secondary check for those who are using ‘Allow my status to be shown on the web’. SkypeStatusFlick will check your Web status, and if it says Offline, you’ll be notified via a message box popup. To enable this check, right-click on the SkypeStatusFlick icon next to your clock, and click ‘Check Web Status’ to enable it.
    * If you turn off ‘Allow my status to be shown on the web’ in Skype, then this check will always think you are offline. Disable the check via the SkypeStatusFlick icon’s menu to stop the popup.
  • Built with Skype API v1.0.38

v1.1

  • Included latest Skype API DLL and a register DLL shortcut, as Skype removed the Skype4COM.dll from the 5.3.0.120 update
  • Fixed: ‘Unhandled Error: Not Attached’ on startup, when Skype was still loading
  • Fixed: ‘Please accept request…’ message coming up again every 5 mins when it was already on the screen
  • Changed build target to x86
  • Built with Skype API v1.0.36

v1.0

  • Initial release
  • Built with Skype API v1.0.31