Device detection has provided very little value


#1

After 4 months of using Sense I’m still at 71% “Unknown” and 10.5% “Always On”. The big items in the Unknown are - (1) an electric car, (2) a hot water heater, (3) oven, (4) clothes dryer, I have no idea what’s in the “always on”.

Sense is useful to give me a big picture view of energy usage and on many fronts is a very well designed product. The App is brilliant, and the hardware works as well as any IOT device I’ve used. But that isn’t what the company promises. The promise is to drill deeper into a home’s energy usage and that’s where the product fails. The tech behind device detection makes good press but it simply does not work (at least in my case).


#2

After one month of install, I agree with your observations. I am still waiting for it to detect my EV car(Tesla), oven, hot water heater, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher and ac units. So far the only value I’ve seen is total usage and that is still 6% off from my meter. We are early adopters and this platform will only better if more people are on it since it’s crowdsourced. It would be interesting to see all of their customers and the types of appliances they have. Perhaps we should start a Google spreadsheet?


#3

I have similar statistics - 73% Unknown and 16% Always On. But I have learned a lot from the Sense:

  • My Sense net usage (total usage-solar production) matches almost exactly with my metered usage (within 1% for the past two months that I have been watching)
  • Just by virtue of feedback, I have been able top shrink my “Always On” usage from around 650W to a baseline of 342W. Still investigating easy to go lower. Devices like the Elgato Eve are helpful in sorting out power usage of the “Always On” devices.
  • Even though Sense does not detect them or get the duration right, I can look at the history and see who my cars were charging or when the A/C was on, plus how much of a draw it was. Thanks to watching the bubbles, I’ve caught a few unexpected things
    • A/C going on when nobody was home.
    • Outdoor lights accidentally left turned on

Still, Sense detection is not quite as billed in their online ads, but I remain hopeful.


#4

Thanks for sharing your feedback everyone! Really glad to hear that you’re enjoying the app and the ability to get a big picture of energy usage!

With regards to device detection, the longer your Sense is installed, the more data it will have to detect individual devices and the better our detection algorithms will be. Sorry to hear that your electric vehicles haven’t been detected yet @matt & @marcbh . This is something our data science team has been rolling out recently and is actively working on.

@marcbh, have you reached out to support about the 6% discrepancy you’re seeing? Sense is typically accurate within 1-2%.


#5

Yes, ticket 30544.


#6

I recently had to reset my data after having my panel replaced and I’ve been very happy with the speed at which Sense has been discovering (accurately) devices. I have 19 devices now, some of which are redundant, like the three components to my dishwasher (pump, heating element, and I think solenoid). It’s found my dryer, fridge, deep freeze, stove, oven, baseboard heater, my 2 space heaters, a shop vacuum (which was the oddest of them all because it found it almost instantly), and my coffee pot. That’s in only 4 weeks of collecting data. Prior to the data reset it wasn’t nearly so good at finding devices.

My conclusion from all that is that even with the relatively small pool of us contributing to device naming and data collecting, the speed of device detection seems to be accelerating. The nature of predictive modeling is that the more data you have, the better your predictions will be. I’m hopeful that we’ll see a trend towards better and better device detection over the next year or two. One of us will have a water heater detected, then another, and the whole things will snowball. At least, that’s my guess.


#7

Thanks @marcbh. I’d send over a side by side reading to Rayshawn, the support team member who was working with you before, so he can take a closer look. He did say that things seem to being working properly, but your Sense shouldn’t be that far off your meter readings.


#8

I reported the same issue: Lot’s of data, but too many “devices” which I could not identify after months of trying all of the suggestions offered by the good folks at Sense. So, I restarted the whole system which purged all of my data. Now, I was advised not to do this, but guess what? I am starting to match found devices with real devices in my home. Something that proved futile before.

Today, Sense has reported 13-to-14 devices. I’ve been able to validate ten of them. This is a huge improvement over my initial experience.

But there are some anomalies. For example, Sense tells me it found a “Dryer.” Well, it’s not the dryer in my laundry center. Nor is it either of the two hair dryers in the house, and it’s certainly not the one toaster.

Sense also claims to have found two different heat sources, “Heat 1” and “Heat 3.” Heat 1 has been off for 22h 36m. So, it’s not my HVAC system. It’s not the hair dryers or the toaster. And, we don’t have any heat lamps, or other obvious heat sources in the home. Heat 3 has an average consumption of 0 watts, and hasn’t been on either of the two days in May.

But I do have faith…


#9

@hireeditdude,

I also reset my Sense after about 2 months, and also experienced quite better device detection the second time around.

I wanted to point out that I found some devices labeled Heat3 or similar were the burners on my Jenn-Air cooktop. The large burners and the small burners were identified separately. I assume because they draw different power.

This might help find your devices.


#10

@matt, @marcbh @kevin1 are learning that Sense needs longitudinal time in your own home to learn your usage, as well as a growing user community to improve the algorithms.

@Bsquare and @hireeditdude raise an interesting point that maybe @BenAtSense should address: wiping of data to improve detection. Maybe Sense can deploy an algorithm that gives less weight to data collected during its initial phases when the user base was smaller and there isn’t very much data from the individual home?

At about 60 days in, Sense detects two coffeemakers, the dryer drum motor, the dryer heating element, a sump pump, central vaccuum, garbage disposal, fridge, oven, and microwave. Unknown Heat elements sometimes are detected but then remain idle, with no usage, permanently. But sometimes these units demonstrate repeated activity, and this is how I identified the coffeemakers and the dryer.

I remain at 50-60% unknown and 25% always on. The always on is hard to identify. I suspect the unknown contains my HVAC, which is a two stage variable fan speed heat pump that will probably be tough to partition.


#11

@BenAtSense,
I second @cabaker request. Will wiping / reseting our Sense help improve detection on our end ? Are there any consequences beyond loss of historic data ?


#12

@cabaker and all, generally speaking resetting your monitor should not affect device detection. After a data reset, it is possible that different devices will be detected first, but there should not be a dramatically different experience overall.

That being said, if you did install your Sense in October or before, a data reset might have a positive impact on detection as there were some issues that we fixed around that time.

@kevin1, there is no consequence of a data reset besides loss of historic data.


#13

I have a gas stove. Nevertheless, I tried turning the burners on-off through several cycles. Nothing came through on Sense, as I expected.

Thanx.


#14

HVAC systems are an interesting challenge for the Sense owner. In my case, I have a high efficiency gas furnace and an AC.

In heating mode, there is the induction motor creating the draft for the burner. There’s fan with multiple speeds. There’s electronic ignition. Finally, there is the condensate pump. To make matters more interesting, I have a NEST thermostat which tries to outsmart the furnace electronics to produce better value.

In cooling mode, there’s the outdoor condenser which contains a variable speed fan, a compressor motor, and a heater. Here, the NEST thermostat has a mode where it shuts off the condenser and continues to run while the coil in the air handler remains cool. And, of course, there is the condensate pump.


#15

Four weeks of data collecting and pretty good rate of device detection so far:
Two fridges (and separate fridge light)
Dryer
Microwave
Oil burner (furnace)
Oven
Stove
Trash compactor
Water Heater
Toaster oven
Disposal
three unknown heat

Finding things that I have no idea what they are that seem to cycle on and off in the middle of the night…and I thought I knew everything I have in this house!

As others, I have a heat pump which does not show up as a detected device (understandably complex when watching the power as it powers up and cycles).
Also not yet detected major items:
Washing machine
A/V equipment (TV, etc.)
Toaster (use every day)
Touch Coffee maker (use every day)
Hot water heat circulator pumps
Garage door openers
lights (interesting that it only found “appliance light” in fridge)


#16

Mine learned only a couple things reliably in the first 2 months and nothing after that (now 4 months in). The things it learned are not useful, like frig light. I have an all LED home and two electric cars, it’s never detected any of that. It conflates all devices with electric heating elements – dishwasher, toaster, small electric oven. The app is nicely done. So it’s pretty, but completely useless.

Sense Support always says “it takes some time”, but what else are they going to say?


#17

It has been like this for me as well … not much activities recently for the last month or so … still not detecting my EV charging in the early AM hours or my server computer which I leave on 24x7 (but I guess not many people would have a server on 24x7 either lol). But it has not detected any TVs in my house and so far just the fridges/freezer, garage door, paper shredder, microwave, and oven for me.


#18

I totally agree except that I feel the hardware doesn’t even work that well. Every single time I open the app I am greeted with what you see in the picture I uploaded. On the off chance sense does show me my current usage, it stops after a brief view and goes back to trying to connect again. What a disappointing piece of technology.


#19

@dnh1263,
You almost certainly have either a hardware issue or a software problem with the phone you are using the app on. More worthwhile to contact Sense support rather than post.


#20

It’s your Wi-Fi, bruh.