Sense Home Energy Monitor: Device Tracks Your Home’s Power Usage
What if you could monitor everything that is consuming power in your home right from the source? Meet the Sense Home Energy Monitor! This little orange box tracks your home’s power usage right from a smartphone or tablet with the help of your electrical panel.
How Does Sense Work?
First, the little device is installed in your electrical panel. According to Sense’s website, “Sense should only be installed by a licensed electrician. Installation itself is quick and easy, but it requires opening up your electrical panel and connecting current sensors to the service mains. These wires are live, even with your main breaker switched off, and are thus very dangerous. Only a licensed electrician is qualified to work in these conditions.”
With that said, if you think this is the right device for you to monitor your home’s energy for efficient energy management, hire a licensed and insured electrician for installation.
After installation, Sense takes a little while to “listen” to everything that is consuming power from your electrical panel. The device does this by monitoring the flow of power on the two hot wires that go from your electric meter to the breakers in your panel box. Sense can read the current and voltage measurements more than 1 million times each second. According to Sense’s website, “From this incredibly high-resolution data, it derives the electrical signatures of individual devices. In comparison, most “high resolution” smart meters only take measurements every couple of seconds…hardly real time!”
Like mentioned, it does take some time for the device to learn the habits of your home’s electric. Within the first week, Sense should know how much energy usage is coming from your major appliances that cycle on and off at a frequent rate, like your refrigerator and microwave. Other things will take longer, since Sense needs to pick up on individual patterns like when flicking one light switch on and off. In time, Sense will be able to pick up on a lot of things, but only the major appliances in the very beginning like your AC unit, heater, etc. Sense’s technology and data are constantly being improved. Sense will learn more data for a better accuracy of device/appliance detection once more people buy and use this device in their homes.
More About Sense
Sense comes in two different devices: one for your “regular” home, and one for a home with solar power. The standard device comes at a cost of $299.00, while the solar version debuts at $349.00. But this is the only cost you will need to endure for the usage of the device (no monthly fees, etc.).
The real point of Sense is to manage your energy better so you can ultimately save on your electric bill. It will help you as a homeowner identify where you are wasting energy from things like “phantom loads” (things that stay plugged in like your TV, alarm clock, or your phone charger etc.) to “outdated” appliances and lighting sources (incandescent light bulbs, etc.)
Take a look at this video from Sense to see it in action!