Mini Project: Sense Home Energy Monitor Install

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This week I impulse bought a Sense home energy monitor*. It takes the concept of a smart electric meter a step further. For the one-time purchase price (no subscription), it will monitor your home’s electrical use. The data is used to determine what you have running, how long it’s been on, how much energy it’s using and how much that’s costing you.

One of the things I’ve already noticed is I’m not as far along in my conversion to LED bulbs as I thought. Our local power company offers free home energy assessment. They actually swap out all your incandescents for LEDs at no charge. They’ll also suggest power-strips, appliance changes etc I believe. Scheduling this is going on my to-do list!

I’ve also found that our “always on” load is what I assume to be fairly high at 1kW. I think this has to be the various chargers, phones, laptops, drills etc. I’ve unplugged a few things without seeing much change in this load. I think I probably need to give the device more time to learn the house.

Once it has learned the house, it will allow me to set up smart notifications for things like:

  • The sump pump has been running too long
  • The curling iron is still on
  • Your smoking hot wife is causing the A/C to run non-stop

It’s only been installed for a couple days, I’m excited to play with it more once it’s through the learning phase.

10/11/19 Update: I’ve been playing with this since installed and have already taken several steps to reduce our electron consumption drastically.

  • Turned off the small suplimental dehumidifier in the basement – savings ~350 watts of nearly continuous consumption.
  • Adjusted the whole house dehumidifier to run less frequently after finding it was running more than 12 hours a day, ~450 watts of consumption
  • Called the local power company to schedule a home energy use evaluation. During this visit they will replace all incandescent bulbs with LEDs, provide LED night lights and make other recommendations FREE OF CHARGE!!!

Because of the first two the “always on” load dropped from nearly a kilowatt of continuous consumption to 116watts.

The app also uses the electrical rates (you have to enter it) to tell you how much each device is costing you on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. With the above reductions I’ll save around $2.20 per day. That’s over $800 a year!

*I am not recieving anything for mention, review or linking to this product.

10/20/19 Update: Now that we’ve had the Sense home energy monitor installed for a couple weeks, it’s identified several devices. The details it provides are really interesting, like our 1,800 watt microwave will cost us around $3 per year.

Our microwave use.

Being able to see what all the devices consume has allowed us to focus on the heavy use items. You can clearly see the impact of the changes we’ve made after that first week.

Significant savings since Sense.

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MyEndless

Husband, Dad, Engineer and Saw Dust Aficionado
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