DCMs and Smart Plugs - What's your Configuration?

To ease Sense’s job in identifying various devices, I also installed 2× CTs (DCM) and 7× KP115 from TP-Link. I’m curious as to how members of the community have set up their dedicated circuit/device monitoring. Here’s mine:

  1. CT1 - Furnace (Motor Blower)
  2. CT2 - Dishwasher + Garbage Disposal (will move to AC in the summer)
  3. KP115 - Computers and other devices in the office
  4. KP115 - Printer/TV and other devices in the office
  5. KP115 - Aquarium Heater
  6. KP115 - Family Room TV + various devices (router / PS4 / cable-modem / …)
  7. KP115 - Kitchen Fridge
  8. KP115 - Freezer (in Garage) + various small devices (power tools chargers, etc)
  9. KP115 - Grow Lights - I bring some plants indoors in the winter, and they need light to survive until the next spring.

I’m debating whether I should put the washer and (gas) dryer on smart plugs as well, to help track laundry expenses.

So, what’s your configuration, and how many DCMs (CTs + Smart Plugs) are you using?


Wow, you’ve invested a lot in smart plugs… Not sure I want to increase my overall cost/investment in my energy monitoring solution… And I have kind of accepted the fact that Sense detection is slow and I need to be patient…

With the speed that Sense detects devices, I find the device energy monitoring to be an ancillary/secondary function… In other words, it has become a “nice-to-have” feature for me… I don’t count on it…and I have not made my decision to purchase Sense based on this feature…

To me, the “killer app” with Sense is the real-time metering functionality…

Yes, I’d love to have device level visibility…but I am unwilling to pay hundreds of extra dollars for accessory smart plugs to enable that capability…

I am still in my return window…and if device level monitoring was a primary motivation for me, I would have already returned it… Just being completely honest and transparent here… The real-time metering has to be the primary reason for me to justify keeping Sense in my household…

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I agree, it might seem like an overkill for now. The long term goal though is to identify those devices that consume the most, and ‘convince’ the kids to be responsible with energy/water usage. For example, don’t go play in the basement then leave all the lights on … or, don’t run the fan in your room and keep the window wide open. Hopefully the data will help me drive the points across. We’ll see.

I look at it this way: Yes 7× smart plugs is $150, which is about my monthly electricity bill. If I can somehow bring my bill down by 10% (through smart monitoring/usage) , then the investment is cost neutral. It’s all about the math, at least initially … until the next fancy gizmo.

Ultimately, I’d like to integrate Sense and other ‘gizmos’ into a central system such as the one from Openhab … but that’s far into the future as that requires time and dedication (and knowledge) I do not have for now. Would be nice if a capable soul (community member) can write the necessary files one needs to interface Sense to OpenHab.

PS. The lights in the basement is just an example. What I ended up doing was to put smart bulbs (Wyze), and use a motion sensor to turn them on/off. If there is motion, the lights are turned on, if there has been no motion for few seconds, turn them off. Very ‘simple’ approach, no need to monitor such usage, just make sure they’re turned off when no one is there. The lights were fairly ‘affordable’, a pack of 4 for less than $10.

Here’s my experiment in instrumenting a house.

  1. CT1 - Tesla Model 3 HPWC
  2. CT2 - Floor heater subpanel - 5 in-floor heating loops
  3. Family Room HS300 - w AppleTV Family Room, Family Room Switch, Hue Down, Sonos Dining, Sonos Kitchen, Tivo Mini
  4. HS110 - Ford Energi Charger
  5. HS110 - Furnace Down
  6. HS110 - Furnace Up
  7. HS110 - Gaming PC
  8. HS110 - HP LaserJet
  9. KP115 Roamer - on subwoofer right now
  10. Master HS300 w AppleTV Master, Keene Vent Bridge, Sony TV, Time Capsule, TiVo, Video Server
  11. HS110 - Office Always On with laptop, monitor hard drives
  12. HS110 - Playroom Cluster with laptop, monitor, printer
  13. HS110 - Recirculation Pump
  14. Service Closet HS300 with Cable Amps, Modem, Rainforest Eagle Bridge, Router, SolarCity Bridge, Main Switch
  15. Traveling HS110 - currently on garage door opener
  16. HS110 -Washing Machine
  17. HS110 - Yamaha AV Receiver
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This is all I have.

HS300 - TV, cable box, modem, wifi router and Blu-ray player.
KP115 - space heater.

After 9 months, I am still waiting for the washer machine, range hood and rice cooker to be detected.

What is surprising is how little power the cable box uses, 16W. Not much per month but adds up to $24 a year.

Thank you for sharing. Precisely for the cable box. I had the bad habit of leaving my work computer ON over night, and now I do not. Granted, it is not a lot of $$, but for I sure can find use for $100-300 at the end of the year. All of this, assuming one can develop some good/responsible “habits”.

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