Multi-dwelling use case

Hello there

I am helping set up a community solar PV/battery system for my 42-unit apartment block and have been trying to find a cost-effective solution to fair usage.

Each unit is on its own DB. I need a system that can note when we switch to battery power, start tracking each DB's consumption, send a notification to the unit owner's phone at defined milestones measures in kWh, and then cut them off when they've hit a certain quota of kWh.

We're quite cost-constrained so I have been looking at open source solutions, and Hubitat seems like it might be able to do the trick. However the hardware side seems harder—we would have the necessary wiring done by an electrician but beyond that I need something that ideally can be deployed by someone who doesn't code—or that I can spec easily for a local coder unfamiliar with the system. We are also constrained by hardware availability here in South Africa.

I have been looking at switching smart meters such as the Honeywell/Elster HS100, or something like the Shelly EM paired with a contactor for each unit. I see there are Shelly bindings but how user-friendly is the system for a non-techie? And could Hubitat run a system like this?


I have no idea, but the sophistication of energy management seems beyond the scope of a home automation controller.

I’ll tag @bravenel, who is in the best position to assess if this is a good use case for Hubitat.


Have you asked your solar installer if splitting the output of the entire array in this manner is even technically feasible without allocating specific cells (and inverters) to each unit?

I thought that community solar projects always (?) sold their output to the grid and each co-owner got a share of the credits or income.

Sorry if I wasn't clear—we're rationing the battery, not PV power. The PV will always be split among the units and battery automatically by the inverter, managed by the supplier.

This is an energy security project, so both PV and battery are primarily to keep our lights on. Excess PV output will be sold to the grid, but the price we get is very low so we've sized it for our own use.

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