Dynamic electricity pricing in Québec : OpenHab FTW!

Hi everyone,

I’ve been using OpenHab for a few years, but this winter Hydro-Québec started offering dynamic electricity pricing (btw I am in Québec and house heating is with electricy). I installed 8 zwave thermostats and got started coding on OpenHab. The end result was impressive… I got a credit of $617, while the average return was $35. The thing is… there is very complex equation used to compute the credits, and OpenHab handled it very very well, updating thermostats (and water heater, and electric car charging) up to 20 times a day by “moving” the electricity consumption out of negative credits to positive credits hours…

This is, in my opinion, a great example of how smart homes can really save a lot of money.

A startup named Hilo has started selling a closed solution to save on Hydro’s winter credits. As you can expect, they abuse vendor lock-in and display an amazing lack of transparency and expertise. A good return for those customers was $200, but this is based on a few facebook discussions.

So I want to thank all the developers of OpenHab for making such a great system. I especially love how reliable this thing is. It never crashes :slight_smile: Clearly, very solid programming, which I truly appreciate.

I wish more people in Québec could benefit from the Hydro electricity credits next winter. Does anyone in the OpenHab community have experience with providing the general public a pre-configured OpenHab solution (say, openhabian) with integrated services for a specific task?
Any OpenHab enthousiast in Québec want to discuss such a project?
BTW coding and Linux is not a problem, its everything else :slight_smile:

Anyway, thanks again OpenHab, Happy 10th anniversary,



You might contact the folks over at HestiaPi. They have a thermostat that runs on openHAB.

Thanks for the post! It looks like you have made openHAB really pay for itself.

1 Like

Hi Sébastien,
Is your code available for other openhab users?
Thanks for any additional info.

Yes, absolutely.

I am in the process of making this an addon, to simplify configuration. I also plan to build a better habpanel widget.
The most important part is to be able to configure it (thermostats, water heater, car charger, any thing consuming a lot of electricity that can be controlled, “status” light, …)

Interested in testing it or contribute to it? Contact me directly.


Thanks Sébastien,

I am very interested in your project.

On my side I am also working on something that include climat control for home automation.

You can reach me at: boisvgg@yahoo.ca


Hi @blobule !

Did you end up making this an add-on? I would assume you are interacting with an API provided by the Hydro-Québec so I’d be very interested to see how you’re making those API calls, how you’re parsing the results, are you saving the to a database and how you’re controlling your things.

I’m about to build something conceptually very similar. One of the simplest use cases is something as follows:

  1. Read the hourly spot prices for electricity from Ensto-E Transparency Platform

  2. Find the cheapest 4 hours of the day from the results

  3. Allow the water heater to be powered on during these 4 cheapest hours. I’m going to do this with a relay and a contactor so that Rasperry GPIO can toggle the relay on and off and this will control the contactor that allows / denies the power to the water heater.


Hello Sébastien, I was wondering if you could share how you connected the programming for HQ. I just subscribed to HQ Flex Rate D for next winter and I’m planning on making an automation for my water heater and other stuff. It seems you manage to have something of a schedule or API where you get all “event” and that would be great.


@blobule, you might be interested in this: Control a water heater and ground source heat pump based on cheap hours of spot priced electricity

I myself stumbled on this project. It’s for HA but since it’S using MQTT, easy to adapt to openhab and nodered.