Open Energy Dashboard

The Open Energy Dashboard (OED) is a free, open source project that provides a web-based application to display energy information in a web browser. It was designed from the ground up to be portable so that is can be used at many organizations. The links at the top of this page will take you to other pages that describe specific aspects of this project including its features.


OED was founded under the belief that sharing and working together will advance our common goals. Instead of producing another energy dashboard targeting a single organization, we decided to make a dashboard that would be usable and valuable to a wide range of organizations. We pursued this path because the existing dashboards we found were not portable, had limited functionality or were not free. OED is driven by the needs of its end users where our goal is to take care of the underlying technologies so you can more easily do your important work. OED is an open project that accepts ideas and contributions from everyone. We are pleased to partner with others to achieve a result that benefit both you and others.

OED principles

By taking to a range of potential users and thinking about a shared dashboard, OED developed important principles that guide our work. These are:

As you might expect, it is harder to develop a dashboard around these principles. We don't quickly whip off features but develop new features within this framework. Over and over again we have found that input from many people has allowed us to develop features that are more general and support a wide range of needs even though the initial ideas seems more limited. We believe the long-term benefit of a high-quality product that is a result of collaboration more than pays back for these efforts.

How is OED developed if it is free?

OED depends on the freely given contributions from several groups. The primary one is those that develop the code base. These have mostly been students who do it because they believe in our humanitarian efforts for sustainability and also to get a valuable experience by working with a real project. The other large group is all actual or potential users of the dashboard. These include sustainability people, users of the dashboard, energy managers, etc. They provide direction for the features OED provides and feedback on both early version of features as well as on the production version of OED. The OED project has found that our mission and principles resonate with all these people and they are willing to generously give their time for the common good. While each person might have a certain area or interest in the dashboard, they collectively move the project forward as a whole. The end result is a high-quality, free energy dashboard that informs people about usage while also freeing up time and money to support other initiates in sustainability. The OED project has found this model to be viable and strongly believes it will continue into the future, esp. as more people use OED.

Our Mission

The OED project has two primary missions:

  1. The first is what most people think of as the mission of OED: To produce a high-quality, free dashboard in support of sustainability and to address climate change. This is what is discussed above.
  2. The second is to be what a group working in this area (including the OED project maintainer) has coined as Education-Oriented HFOSS (Humanitarian and Free Open Source Software) projects. This means that working with students to give them a high-quality, mentored experience is central to OED. This allows students to gain real-world experiences, enhance their education and prepare for a career after graduation while making a concrete difference in the world via their contributions to OED. OED strives to work with all interested students to give as many as possible this rich experience. We understand that our focus requires project resources, but know it is a valuable investment. Furthermore, the OED maintainer is committed to working with students who are AHN (African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic/Latino(a), and Native Americans/Alaskan Natives) (see for terminology) and first-generation in computer science education. To meet this objective, we work with colleges, universities and organizations that serve these populations (sometimes known as MSI or Minority Serving Institutions). In fact, from Spring 2022 through Summer 2023 (latest data when this was last updated), 68% of the 60 students who worked on OED came from MSIs. OED does not ask demographic information of our student developers, so we cannot state the actual percent of students of different backgrounds. However, the pool clearly indicates a strong presence of AHN and first-generation students while still accepting interested students from other types of institutions.

More information

This website has a lot of additional information about OED. You are also welcome to reach out to the project to discuss idea, needs, use OED, contribute, etc. Here is an overview of this site:

Our logo and name

The logo was designed by an early student code developer who was also studying art. Its design was the result of discussions among the early student developers. The lightbulb represents energy usage as well as light in the sense of hope. The somewhat circular shell of the lightbulb represents the "O" in OED. The "ED" in the center of the lightbulb is the rest of our project initials. Early developers referred to the project as "Eddy" due to the "ED" in the logo.

The project debated early on whether to have "Energy" in the name. We always planned that the dashboard could collect and display any resource (water, recycling, etc.). However, we chose to use Open Energy Dashboard since the term energy was so commonly used in this area and our initial versions of the dashboard would focus on electricity (as a demonstration).

A little history

OED began in the fall of 2016 and was based at Beloit College. Its first public release was in March of 2017. OED became a fully independent project around 2018.