Always On bubble is a source of irritation

First let me say “always on” has never been even a little accurate. I know it’s been called a rear view mirror due to how it is calculated. So mostly I ignore it.

Recently what has happened due to our cold snap (I’m sure) is it put about 80% of my space heater in “always on” and the other 20% in “other” At one time (a short time) that space heater was detected and had its own bubble, but that’s another story. This lead me to believe there was a problem with the space heater being the wattage was way off. The space heater was cycling on and off just as it should but the wattage was very low.

Then I noticed the “always on” had went way up. Looking further seems it “detected” a new estimated unknown of approximately the wattage missing from the space heater.

Problem solved!! I hope. Question is WHY did this happen. The space heater has a thermostat and either full on or off. It cycles quite often. How did Sense figure I’ll just put 80% of this device in always on now?

@ron111157 ,
Here’s something worth trying if you want to understand Always On.

  1. Fill the Power Meter with 2 days worth of usage - Always On looks back at the past 48 hours.

  1. Zoom the vertical axis larger so you can maximize resolution around the lowest points in your total usage. Use a horizontal line to identify the lowest point over the last 48 hours (green arrow)

  1. Move the waveforms and zoom in horizontally so you can measure the lowest point using the Power Meter measurement line. Based on that, my Always On should be around 489W.

  1. My Always On is actually less than that, 432W, but in the ballpark. My real Always On is less because Sense looks for the low point for each leg/phase separately. But that should give you a better intuitive feel for how Always On is calculated. Sense doesn’t decide to move values around. It just measures and looks at the near minimums for each leg, then adds them together.

Take a look at your Power Meter - that should mostly tell you why it happened.

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“Always On” has always been a hot topic.

“Always On” is supposed to be a 24-48hr average of your “vampire load” over 48hrs shorter if your monitor has been offline but the reality it is far from that.

“Always On devices” list your devices that are always on. “Estimated Unknown” is your total always on minus known always on.

“Always On” wattage is the minimum wattage of all your devices combined.
Leg1 minimum + Leg 2 minimum over 24-48hrs = Always on.

For some unknown reason (math is hard) Sense has not programed the AI to exclude devices it knows are not always on when calculating "Always On’ wattage.
ie, Minimum wattage (baseline) minus known devices that are not always on at the time.

I think “Other” is Total wattage - known devices - unknown Always On.
Because “Always On” is not an actual reflection of devices that are always on, “Other” can only be even remotely useful when your always on is low, your house is quiet and your turn on a larger device.
Most people ignore “Other” because of this. Many have also given up trying to lower their “Always on” because of this and have resorted to purchasing third party products such as Kasa plugs to determine the always on value of “Always On” devices at the device level. Which is the only true way to get an idea as to your ‘vampire loads’.

@kevin1 That is a good way to “see” how “always on” numbers are calculated but I already accept how those numbers came to be. My question why or how is it useful information? If it is going to pirate numbers for a couple day from an item that runs more than its normal (whatever normal is) that is not actually “always on”

I guess it pirated only 80% and not the full value due to its formula But the space heater is either all on or off. That is not helpful information.

Does it do that only to undetected devices (Other) or all items? I think it does. My Mini split which is on a dedicated circuit shows in “always on” and that amount varies day by day. I know it is not accurate because it drops to 0-15W for a few minutes every time for it goes into a defrost mode. That is pretty consistent every 45-50 minutes but Sense tells me it’s always on is anywhere from 100-200+ watts

@obscuredtrip So “always on” will occasionally pirate a item if its usage jumps way up.

A scenario.
A space heater runs almost constantly with short cycles for 48 hours. Way more time on than off. Then (as it does in Texas) it warms way up and it runs much less over 48 hours. Repeat (back to cold then warm again)
My “always on” numbers are going to jump up and down every couple of day. Correct?

That is exactly what I am seeing. Since my original post my “always on” numbers have been slowly dropping and a like number returning to “other” (my space heater)

@ron111157 , @obscuredtrip,

In my mind Always On is a useful number, but because it is only based on 2 house-level waveform power histories for L1 and L2, it’s always going to be an abstract estimate. To address your questions / comments.

  1. First off, Sense AI never “sees” the Always On of devices it detects because, Sense AI detection is mostly based on on and off edges. So in this smart plug measured view of my Upstairs Furnace (during the summer), the Sense AI detection only picks up on the edges (in yellow) and misses the 6W of Always On (green) that is used to run the controller and thermostat. Of course, the smart plug sees the Always On and calculates it correctly.

  1. Sense doesn’t “pirate” 80% of the heater. There’s probably some kind of device interaction on one of your house legs that numerically looks like the heater has been pirated. Suppose one leg of your house includes just the two devices below, D1 and D2, that turn on and off periodically, but are typically have one on when the other is off. The calculated Always On for the combined waveforms for that leg (in green), is going to look like one of the waveforms has been pirated. And of course you can have many more similar devices on that same leg, each contributing to “hide” the real Always On. So the interaction effect will cause Always On to be higher than the real Always On.

  1. Data dropouts can also affect Always On AFAIK, because they look like zero readings in the Always On calculation. I used to see a fair number of sporadic data dropouts in the main Power Meter of my Sense in the early days (5 years ago), but Sense has improved greatly with Power Meter data integrity, and now the only dropouts I see result from power or internet outages. Data dropouts are generally accompanied by wild swings in Always On, because the Always On calculation is very sensitive to a relatively small number of false 0 measurements - enough dropouts will pull the Always On incorrectly downward.

I still see some dropouts on my smart plugs and occasional dropouts on my DCM devices, though a few recent firmware releases seem to have greatly improved overall reliability. Dropouts from smart plugs can come from many sources, including network congestion - the TP-Link Kasa protocol causes spikes of activity and doesn’t include retries if there are network collisions from smart plugs all responding to the Sense monitor at the same time. Here’s a view that shows dropouts in action on the smart plug that measures my router’s power usage.

Those dropouts will affect the device level Always On downward if they are long enough. @ron111157 , I would look closely at the DCM Device Power Meter for your mini-split for 24 hours (not 48), using the same methodology I highlighted earlier, paying special attention to any dropouts. Post if you want. That will give clues to why your Always On varies so much.

  1. So going back to @obscuredtrip comment, the math to improve Always On is “hard” because of all three of the effects above.

I guess Sense could do a much more complicated analysis for each leg to look for interactions between all the detected and measured devices on that leg, then trim off from Always On. But that still might miss interactions with devices that haven’t been detected or only partially detected. The other complication is that the house-level Always On is recalculated every half second, likely in the monitor, so that severely limits how complicated the calculation can be.

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@kevin1 I do appreciate your explanations and info. They are good food for thought. I never put much stock in the “Always On” to begin with unless I see something change drastically. Like you said it is an abstract estimate. When it doubles or triples overnight it does tend to catch your attention.

I did notice the “other” bubble first because it is how I monitor the space heater. There are other undetected items but are normally off so a “other” bubble popping on and off means space heater. I do have an Eve smart plug on the heater so I know when it on its always about 950w, off 0W. The “other” bubble pretty much mimicked those readings. So why is “other” now showing on @247W and off 0W. That is not correct. That is why I say “always on” pirated about 80% of the space heaters load and was now in “always on”

As for dropouts you are talking about Data not voltage right? I only see one small dip in voltage in 24H on the smart plug that my router is on. Actually the smart plug is on the UPS that has the router and a few other network items. I will need to look further but my network has been pretty rock steady.

I was experiencing a ton of voltage dips (or dropouts) as seen in Labs for awhile but that issue mysteriously cleared itself on 9 Jan and has been good since. Unrelated problem I’d think.

Now I know what to look for when something odd happens. When you see an item that consistently pull 900+ watts and all the sudden drops into the 250 range it merits investigating.

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Thanks @ron111157 ,

Yup, I’m talking about data dropouts where Sense loses a chunk of data coming from the monitor. From what I know, Sense has a few tricks up its sleeve (hysteresis) to prevent dropouts when there are short chunks of lost data, but eventually the tricks have to be abandoned. My recent dropouts aren’t enough to affect the Always On calculation, because Sense doesn’t look at at the absolute minimum, but the “1% bin”, the number that is just bigger than 1% of all the smallest values.

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I’m pretty sure most every user would agree that Always on and Other can be helpful but way overcomplicated and confusing. So much talk about trying to reduce ‘always on’ aka ‘vampire loads’ but how it’s calculated and displayed makes it extremely difficult for the average user. I can’t imagine most Revelo users trying to make sense of it.

Personally I’d like to see Sense take a different approach.

Get rid of Always on and Other as we know it.

  • Add an ‘unknown devices’ bubble. Which would be total wattage minus all ON (including standby where bubbles don’t show) devices.

  • On now screen under the current wattage display ‘Always on’ (KNOWN always on).

Add feature’s to help keep customers overall wattage LOWER.

  • Display average wattage for a given time period. Compare displays it for the past 30 days, Detailed usage only displays total wattage for a given time period. Devices displays it only at the device level.

  • Sense should send out notifications when users use LESS electricity than their average. “You’ve used _% less electricity than yesterday (last weekend, last week, last month) keep up the great work. Here are some tips that may help.”. I’ve imagine daily, weekly monthly change notifications were intended to do something like this but I’ve never ever received one.

An “unknown” device would make things so much easier for the average person.

A real time bubble that is an estimate of total wattage subtracted from other devices, including another ‘device’ that itself is not real time but an estimate itself from a baseline of lowest usage over a 3 day period that doesn’t take into account dozens of other devices that directly effect this baseline may be a bit overly complicated for a person who may not be that technical or even computer literate to make sense of much less get them to reduce their energy consumption using “other” don’t you think?


I see it a bit differently. The meaning of house-level Always On and Device-level Always On are pretty clear. And the mixing of Always On and Other into the Now (bubble) screen give a pretty good intuitive view of what is happening in a home, IF the devices in the home are well-behaved (more on what that means later).

The main issue is that the mix of the views in the Sense UI obscure how to think about reducing power/energy usage in a home. My chip design background probably drives this, but there are really two separate “ledgers” of power that users need to reduce, Dynamic Power and Always On power. They are somewhat intertwined because many devices use both types to varying degrees, but each one needs to be managed separately. Sense AI looks for Dynamic Power used by devices while smart plugs or other measurements (DCM) are need to see Always On usage at a device level.

The Always On “Device” has a sub-list that does a good job as a place to itemize Always On usage in your home. It automatically calculates Always On for measured devices (smart plugs and DCM), but also allows for manual entry. Users can use a Roamer smart plug to pretty much measure the Always On for every plug-in device in their home.

Here’s the button to add your own measurements manually.

The accounting is more complex on the Dynamic Power side because energy usage is a function of power usage when on plus frequency, how frequently the device is on. That’s why the accounting for Always On Power can be done in Watts, while Dynamic Power has to be compared and accounted for in either Wh/kWh or by looking at Average W usage over some period of time, what we see in the sidebar of the Usage screen:

In my books it would be really helpful to make the Always On itemization and the sidebar above more prominent and central in the app when it comes to reducing usage.

There are cases like perhaps @ron111157 's where the “interaction effect” between two of more Dynamic Power devices create a higher than expected false Always On usage level, but I’m not sure that’s typical. I did see one user a while back, here in the community, that had a house filled with aquariums and aquarium heaters - all the heaters were on different cycles, but they all overlapped sufficiently that 80% of his house load was Always On. For all intents and purposes, his house was behaving like a single Always On heater.

So back to my main point - If one looks at Always On and Dynamic Power as two different sets of accounting where the goal is to reduce both, mostly separately from one another, then the Always On has a clear role.

ps: I do agree that alerts that praise people for reductions would be a nice option, rather than solely alerts when consumer are using too much.

@kevin1 Given Sense’s overall performance I’d give it good marks, however it does have shortcomings (more on that later) quirks and anomalies.

Maybe unintended but Sense has two markets.

  1. The curious and tech geeks like it because it has plenty of “data” they can explore, question and dive into. They always want even more data so it most likely falls short in that respect.

  2. The average home owner. They really don’t care much about the “data” . Formulas, calculations, etc was not their goal. All they want is does it do what it says it does and how accurately. Case in point “Always On”. Always means “at all times” or “forever”. If that number changes quite often and nothing was added or removed then it is not Always. It’s a bad name. Granted better than “always on over the last 24-48 hours”

    Now onto Sensing. It is poor to average. I have about 40 items. If I remove all the ones “found” by a smart plug, bulb or the DCM. I have only 5 items sensed by Sense in over a year.

  3. Microwave----pretty rock steady since it was found. side note: microwave died last week!!

  4. Old fridge (game room). —not bad but has “dropped it” and rediscover it several times

  5. Window AC unit. —Great on compressor cycle, never sees fan, etc

  6. Dryer---- sees some, all or none of it. Very intermittent

  7. New fridge---- found ice maker, dispenser and nothing else. Put it on a smart plug.

There have been a few others like the space heater, coffee pot and ?? but were “found” and then dropped not long after.

Given all that I am still happy with Sense. Probably because I fall somewhere between a average home owner and techno geek.

Last on a “interaction effect” @kevin1 This has become typical. in the last 10 days or so my “always on” has been all over the place. Anywhere from 300 to 1397W. Yesterday it dropped back from over 900s to 301W and the today it is 1397W. Suspect that is due to the Mini-split operation (on a DCM) and again the space heater.
My “other” bubble is in the 250-300W range and that is plain and simply a ERROR. I have it on an Eve smart plug and the wattage is 935W. It’s always either Zero or 900ish.

I not saying it is a problem but given your explanations and “always on” math it seems it is more typical than you may think.
As for the “other” bubble that is a problem. It is a ERROR to say something is at 250-300W when it is actually pulling 900+ watts.

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I beg to differ, there are literally hundreds of threads with people confused and questioning the Always On bubble.
How many times have you yourself attempted to explain ‘Always On’ to other users?

You are extremely knowledgeable about Sense, data sets, AI, ML, and the technical aspects of everything and it really shows. You do a great job attempting to explain things (as with everything), in extreme detail, including graphs, images, etc…

The question is WHY? If is so ‘clear’ why do you have to go to such great lengths and in such detail to explain it?
If so many #1 users have such a hard time with it, imagine the confusion #2 users will have.

@ron111157 's #1
Most of us here are pretty inquisitive, knowledgeable and technical. We have invested a ton of time into Sense, learning how it works, digging for answers and asking questions.

@ron111157 's #2
The ‘average homeowner’, aka millions of new Sense users over the next few years, have a hard enough time trying to decipher their utility bills.

That is why I suggest a bubble for 'Unknown", everything that doesn’t already have it’s own bubble. This would display a REAL TIME FACTUAL NUMBER of all usage that has NOT been detected (native or integrated) NOW on the NOW screen.
By also displaying KNOWN always on under the current wattage (top right) devices that do not have their own bubble would still be accounted for.

The ‘average homeowner’ will not be going out and buying 3rd party devices or using ‘roamer plugs’. The ‘average homeowner’ doesn’t care.

Users that fall into #1 @kevin1 & many of us would have a very good idea of what is going on in our house even without Sense, but we use Sense as a tool to further our knowledge. Most of us have already reduced our usage as much as reasonably possible. We use Sense to keep tabs on what’s going on. I’m sure some of you have gotten in fights with family members for leaving things on.

The ‘average homeowner’ has no idea what is going on in their house, many have no idea about insulation, windows, HVAC systems, etc… Most know more insulation is better, most know to keep the windows closed during winter but that’s about the extent of it. They are not building or electrical engineers, they are not data scientists, analysts or mathematicians. Most are uninterested in a free home energy audit and would be overwhelmed with the results. Most cannot afford to pay for upgrades.
Most have a hard time understanding their electrical bills, they only know if their bills are normal by asking their family, friends, neighbors what they pay a month. That’s the extent of the average homeowner’s knowledge.

By building “Sense into every new Revelo smart meter and millions of homes in the next five years.” Sense will be providing the ‘average homeowner’ a great tool to further Sense’s mission “to reduce global carbon emissions by making homes smart and efficient.”.
As I said #1 users have likely already reduced their usage as much as possible, many have solar to further help.
#2 users the ‘average homeowner’ have the the most room for improvement therefor the greatest potential to further Sense in achieving their mission. The only way to get #2 the ‘average homeowner’ on board is to help them reduce their energy BILLS because more money in their pocket is all they really care about.
Thinking that #2 will spend hr.'s switching between screens, analyzing, comparing data, looking at historical, trying to understand confusing and complex definitions, not to mention big words. Then asking them to spend money buying smart plugs, using roamers, visiting this forum, use the help section, etc… is a completely unreasonable expectation, it wont happen.


I have 6 aquarium heaters of various size that use different wattage, they are all on smart plugs. I have no idea if count towards my always on. My home has a lot of devices in general, resulting a high baseline therefor a high always on.
Users should not EXPECT ‘Always On’ or ‘Other’ to be blatantly false.
In order to get a sense of what is actually going on in my house I had to purchase over 40 smart plugs. They do an amazing job at helping figuring out what is what.
The problem is I don’t have the slightest clue what else is going on in my home at any given time.
Expecting me to total all my smart plugs and native devices then subtract them from the total wattage at any given moment is completely unreasonable.

The now screen shows what is ON and how much KNOWN devices are consuming in real time. It also shows real time total wattage. Not knowing how much NON-Detected wattage my home is using in real time is a major problem.
An “Unknown” bubble would be the most logical and simple solution.

Throwing in 2 bubbles to the REAL TIME now screen, one being an estimate of a long term base line the other being based off of that estimate doesn’t help with anything whatsoever and only causes confusion. An “Unknown” bubble would completely solve that. Additionally displaying “Known always on” which would be real time and consist of everything not displayed as a bubble (standby, known always on) Standby would not be included in known always on if that device is currently on to prevent duplication. This would allow for the math to add up, resulting in a single screen that ACCURATLY and FACTUALLY displayed a users REAL TIME energy usage leaving ZERO room for confusion. Unless there is device convolution with the bubbles.

For users with no integrations and few detections “unknown” would be a huge help as well, much more so than ‘always on’ and ‘other’.

‘Unknown’ - a combination of all devices in your home that have not yet been detected. ‘Unknown’ will shrink as Sense continues to detect the individual devices in your home.

‘Always On’ - “Represents your home’s vampire load. It is estimated based on the past 48 hours.”.
aka: an estimate based on the minimum wattage seen on leg 1 plus the minimum wattage see on leg 2 over a 48 period time frame but could be a shorter time frame totaled. The ‘Always on’ device does not accurately reflect devices that are ‘Always On’ and should not be interpreted as such. However Sense is able to accurately determine the ‘Always On’ wattage of individual devices and this is included in your ‘Always On’ device bubble. An individual devices ‘Always On’ wattage is duplicated on the now screen in the individual devices bubble when that specific device is currently on and it’s bubble appears. You can view the ‘Always On’ value for a specific device by tapping on the Always On device bubble and looking under 'Always on Devices". Note the website does not allow for scrolling so you must use the app to view the complete list of Always On devices. You can also view an individual device’s always on wattage by taping on that device, then the cog and looking under “Standby”.
To determine the total wattage of all unknown devices your home is using at any given time you must take a screen capture of the now screen add up all devices that are on at that time, not including ‘other’ and ‘always on’. Add the ‘Always On’ total excluding ‘estimated unknown’. Then subtract the total of both from the total wattage your home was consuming at the time your took the screen capture.

Which description do you think is easier to understand for the #2 type user?
Which would be easier for @kevin1 to explain to type #2 or any user?

I’m not suggesting ‘Always On’ be removed altogether, as it has it’s place. Essentially ‘Unknown’ would become a real time device of it’s own replacing ‘Always On’ and ‘Other’. ‘Always on’ would no longer be a device and more of a historical stat. This would also allow the Sense back end to keep the two models (real time/offline) models more separate and if my thinking is right might actually help with some the other issues on the backend we have seen from time to time. And if 'Always On" really is re-calculated every 1/2 second on the front end it could be moved to the backend and slowed down allowing the ‘unknown’ math to happen without any real effect on the frontend.


Total: 1224w
Total of bubbles: 970w

Known always on: 430w
Bubble always on: 416w
430-416=14w standby

254-14=240w Unknown

Instantly I know 240w needs to be tracked down.
14w standby lets me know there may be some devices I could unplug.
710w ‘Always On’ remains useless.
Useful information all on one screen enabling a user to INSTANTLY in REAL TIME track down devices.
Much much easier for type #2 and all users to understand.
More advanced users can still use the meter to watch for signatures. But as we all know it can be really annoying switching between screens when your home as ‘active’ with known devices turning on and off.


@obscuredtrip, thanks for all the feedback. I’ll try to answer your questions / comments as best I can, but a little out of order.

  • I spend a lot of time trying to explain what’s going on with Sense, because the Sense folks have taken a REALLY HARD thing to understand, AC power usage and production in a home, and tried to greatly simplify it, mostly successfully. But the simplicity hides a ton of complexity of underlying AC - 60Hz waveforms and changing phase relationships between voltage and current, and mostly hides the two separate power legs in the home. To put a point on it, I’m an electrical engineer and my AC power labs in college (there were about 4 weeks worth) were some of the hardest labs I ever had to understand. The Now bubble chart is highly intuitive, but it does about 3 levels of abstraction above what is actually happening, so it can give very misleading messages if any of the fundamentals are off. A lot of my encouragement is to use data beyond the bubbles to figure out what is going on in one’s home, so that they can have a clearer picture.

  • The goal of my writing is to help the people who bought the standalone Sense monitor to understand their usage and want to make it work for the, not the inadvertent users who received Sense capabilities via their solar install, Revelo meter or Square D / Wiser smart panel. I’m hoping that there are a fair number of #1’s amongst the orange monitor buyers, and they do want to get some extra education about what is happening in their home and in their Sense data. So I’m going to keep on trying to explain and give guidance for those who can benefit, partially because I can’t see ways to intelligently reduce Always On energy usage without understanding house-level Always On, and device-level Always On.

  • I’m actually going to avoid detailed discussions on the Now bubble view and numbers because it has the potential to be the most confusing and deceptive for 2 reasons - because it’s realtime (and Always On isn’t) and it relies on lots of assumptions. Instead, I believe interested users really need to look at the underlying data in the Power Meter (the only realtime that really matters), Device views (especially the Device Power Meter) and the Device sidebar in the Usage view.

  • The six aquarium heaters are extremely likely to create an artificial Always On. None of them individually is Always On, but all will have on/off duty cycles. Overlay all 6, and there is a pretty good chance that at least one of them on every second of the day. It would be interesting to see all 6 waveforms via a smart plug in Device Power Meter side-by-side. That would help understand whether they affect your Always On.

  • Not sure where you think I’m recommending the process below. I am recommending that you look at the Always On list that is already populated with some devices, and manually add any others that you have measured via a Roamer smart plug. And that you look at the Dynamic power used in a day, week, or month in the Devices sidebar of the Usage view.

On the flip side, you highlight some real issues that I’m hoping Sense is tackling.

  • Consistent detection that works, but also has greater permanence.

  • Doing that would probably require greater instrumentation and analysis of the user side experience. In my mind, it’s really important that Sense know quantitatively how the user experience changes with new firmware, and over time. That would mean looking at user data like:

    • Main Power Meter and Device Power Meter dropouts
    • Data that is always supposed to be positive going negative - very common. You would think that this would be an important detector for malfunctions.
    • Some kind of quantification of house-level “noise” that affects Sense AI “seeing” and “learning”
    • Stats on problematic detections - ons without offs, offs without ons, drop-off in detections for each device in a home.

BTW - I would have no problem is Sense decided to create a single Unknown out of Always On and Other, but I would still want an Always On calculation somewhere, hopefully still in the sidebar of the Usage view.

I wasn’t implying that you shouldn’t take the time to explain things to those who want to know. It’s great that you do.

That’s the problem, it’s confusing and deceptive.
‘Always On’ requires an in-depth technical explanation that many users will never understand. And not really an explanation at all, more of a really detailed excuse as to why Always On isn’t an accurate summation of a users devices that are truly always on.

Sense should use that statement in it’s marketing.

They do cycle on and off. They range from 50w to 500w. A lot of the time they are all off, sometimes for days in summer months.
While it may be interesting to see how they effect my always on is it really worth all that work just to get a partial idea as to why my always on is wrong in that 1/2 second moment in time? It’s wrong, it always has been wrong and it’s always going to be wrong. It will NEVER be a true and accurate reflection of devices that are always on. Because of that Always On is useless to me and extremely misleading to everyone else. It’s a baseline and should be called as such.

Not saying you were recommending what I said. But how else does Sense expect me (or a million plus other users) to know how much unknown wattage my home is using at any given moment in time? I need to know this number to know where to start looking for devices that may be on that I’m not aware of.

For example if I notice my home is currently using 500w that is not accounted for, I can immediately investigate.

Your recommended method requires way too many extra steps, math, third party devices, and is based on historical data not real time. By that time the unknown device(s) has likely turned off. It may be a rarely used device, a device someone forgot to turn off or for all I know a device that is actively failing and could burn the house down.

:slight_smile: .
Unknown would be completely new and not connected to Always on or Other in any way with the only exception being manually Always On devices subtracted from Unknown.
My previous explanation was a bit off as for some reason I thought there was a way to prevent a detected or integrated always on bubble from appearing on the now screen.
Standby wattage would not be counted towards Unknown. If a standby device is on it would not count towards the Standby depicted in the top right of my image.

With an Unknown there would be no need for Other. Always on would be moved to another section. I’m thinking on the ‘Dashboard’, where it could fit in well with compare and goals. ex: A goal to reduce your baseline. Taping on it would open up more stats.

Always on and Standby wattage would also be shown on the ‘devices’ page for the individual device.
Oddly Always On does show on the web if you click the cog and look under ‘Standby’, but not on the mobile version.
I would not be against known always on somewhere on the general ‘Devices’ page either.


I appreciate the vigorous debate. @obscuredtrip has some good points for introducing Baseline and Unknown instead of, or perhaps in addition to, Always On and Other. Yet regarding Always On, I would take a step back and point out that Sense does not operate in a vacuum. I have seen mention of Always On at other locations in the electric industry, so Sense may be following tradition with the concept. Their definition (using a 48-hour window and a 1% bin-limit on each of 2 legs updated at 1/2-second intervals) was certainly conceived to work with their technology, but the name and the concept may not be theirs.


Agreed. All interesting reads but it is getting above my level to contribute anything of value. Thanks to all!!

I don’t know the origins of Always On for home measurement, but I do know that the chip design business has been optimizing cellphone chips for low power leveraging Always On since the late 1990s. When you are trying to build a low-power chip, system architects try to break up functions into the parts that have to be absolutely Always On all the time, parts that can be put to sleep and others that can be run at variable speed and voltage to lower power usage depending on loading. When optimizing a chip for power some of the goals are:

  • Reduce the amount of the chip that is Always On to as little as possible
  • Put functions that are little used to sleep as much as possible
  • For functions that are used frequently, but have varying loads, turn down the clock rate (speed) and voltage when max speed isn’t required.

Here’s a current view of Always On in that context.

I imagine whoever incorporated this feature into Sense had that type of background.
Computers can do trillions of complex calculations a second, when the 4-8 sections of my brain required to do basic math come out of sleep mode it can preform about 1 basic calculation per second.
The real time numbers can change ever 1/2 second. My little brain lacks the processing power required to compute the the ‘unknown’ wattage in real time that is needed so other parts of my brain can begin to figure out how to put the unknown in my home to sleep.