Heat Oracle addresses an all too common challenge: managing heating fuel while saving time, saving money, and keeping your home safe.
About this project
We started Heat Oracle a little less than a year ago to address a common challenge: managing heating fuel. Our vision is to help you transform the way you manage and purchase your heating fuels while:
Saving hours of time each year checking your tank and ordering fuel
Saving $200+ each year on fuel cost for the average consumer
Avoiding an empty tank and frozen home (saving $10k’s in repairs)
Particle & The Community
Since Heat Oracle’s inception our hardware solution has exclusively used the Particle platform. We couldn’t have made it this far without this forum continually improving the capabilities of the Photons & Electrons. As we started integrating the very first unit we came to appreciate the Dashboard and all the features under our Organizations control. Now, we are bringing an integrated solution using the full infrastructure Particle provides from the very first measurement to the report to our database. Thank you to the community and please help us continue to grow the Internet of Things universe using the Particle devices & platform.
Is Heat Oracle for You?
Are you one of the over 12 million North American homes and businesses that rely on heating oil each year? If so, you are all too familiar with the yearly heating dilemma. You are faced with trying to optimize across three dimensions: Cost, Management Time, and Safety. Safety is of course not something that anyone purposefully sacrifices. Management time can be reduced with automatic delivery while sacrificing cost. Cost optimization remains elusive for most. In addition, focusing on lowest cost creates room for human error resulting in an all too common empty tank and frozen home.
Changing Heating Oil Management
Every year, you probably see Heating Oil trucks driving around and around trying to deliver fuel. Have you ever wondered who pays for all of that driving? You do! In an ideal world, the heating oil truck just fills up every house in the block to minimize the the overhead cost for each delivery. But why don’t they? It all comes down to an outdated model of one house - one delivery company. This is where Heat Oracle comes in. Our vision is to build efficient routes and select a deliverer that can provide quality fuel at the lowest price in the route - with a potential savings of 25% over the standard rates.
We have something even simpler start and it is ready today. Do you know how much fuel is in your tank right now? Do you know when you will run out next? Do you know the optimal time and quantity to order next? With Heat Oracle, you will.
We created an easy-to-install sensor that remotely measures the fuel level in your tank. We developed an online processing system to combine sensor and other data sources to learn usage patterns and predict future heating fuel usage. We calculate the optimal time for you to refill your tank and send you text messages and e-mail alerts when you start to run low. All of this is available now and can be viewed at www.heatoracle.com. We will continue to extend this with a delivery service and maintenance service to connect you to certified providers.
Heat Oracle is on a path to transforming the heating fuel market. By leveraging technology to connect fuel deliverers and consumers intelligently, we will make competition stronger, optimize service offerings, and create consumer savings while simultaneously benefiting the heating fuel deliverers that fuel our lives.
A Kickstarter Launch
With a small inventory of units on hand already, we plan on using the proceeds from the kickstarter to build additional units and get them installed on your tanks. Our monitoring website is online already at www.heatoracle.com and is ready for you to monitor your tank today. A portion of the proceeds will be used to expand your ability to order fuel at the lowest cost from a network of deliverers in your area.
Selecting and Installing Your Reward
The first step is determining which sensor type is right for you. If you have home WiFi and can access it near your tank, you should choose a WiFi sensor. If do not have WiFi available at your tank, you should choose a cellular model. You will also need to determine the diameter of an unused plug on the top of the tank. You can measure it with a standard ruler. If you are unsure what size you need, feel free to e-mail us a picture of your tank and we will help you select the right size. And if you choose incorrectly, we will swap out the unit for you.
See how easy sensor installation is by watching the short video below. And if this still appears too challenging, don’t worry, please contact us for help with the installation. And feel free to reach out if you have any questions about which sensor is right for you.
Risks and challenges
Heating sensors are operational today and viewable from www.heatoracle.com. At a minimum you will be able to view your tank level and receive alerts during the 12 or 24 months after installation. A small monitoring fee ($3-$7/mo) will continue this service for you each year regardless of our other success or failures.
Low-risk extensions that we are adding include the addition of iOS and Android applications for more convenient access registration, tank information, and alerts. These are straightforward extensions from what we already have developed and tested for our products and services.
Finally, the largest risk we see right now in our vision is bringing fuel delivers into the network. They like the system where they lock in clients and set their own prices now. Our connected economy model will change their relationship with you, similar to what Uber did for Taxi cabs. There’s no guarantee we will be successful here, but as the number of monitoring service users grows, we will have the purchasing power through the network to bring about this revolution and save our users on average $200/year.