How long before you lost interest and moved on?

Let’s face it. For many of us, this is just another hobby. In the sense (not Sense) that we learn few things, improve our power consumption, make new friends, spend some $$, stare more at the screen, discover/explore new technology … etc.

And, like other hobbies, I’m sure the interest with decrease after sometime. Based on other hobbies I’ve had before (reef aquariums, astro-photography, home repair/upgrade, and few others), the ‘new/waow’ factor will last about 2-3 years or until something new comes along.

So, my simple question is: How long have you been at this, and what’s your interest level?

  1. Still new and very excited about all I’m learning
  2. Using Sense to tweak/monitor my consumption and developing good habits with energy
  3. Fully functional energy monitoring system with usage alerts etc
  4. Technolgy can offer only little, slowly moving on/away.

Your answers can be a simple number or as elaborate as you’d like.

I am still at #1, hopefully moving to #2 soon.

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I’m just over 1 year in and still having lots of fun watching the meter and playing with this thing.

I was able to quickly figure out how to reduce my consumption and also to stop worrying about some things that didn’t actually cost me that much.

Right now, I have about 20 native detections and 20 smart plugs although it seems like some people have had a harder time getting native detections in their house.

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I’m a #2. I definitely still have a lot of power reductions to do, and got super excited when sense found my vacuum this week! Just bought two new smart plugs and removed a couple dead devices from my library. I’m hoping a couple that had been found, return.

Started at #1, now at #2, moving toward #3 … with some caveats:

My #2 has been valuable in being able to identify appliances which are nearing failure – and being able to “schedule” (look for sales and ‘just the right one’) a replacement. As opposed to “Oh, heck, the fridge died! We’ve got to get a replacement ASAP”.

The role Sense plays in #3 is somewhat limited by a few factors:
– there isn’t really a “local API” for linking it to a home-driven (vs. Internet-driven) automation.
– the current hardware has some constraints on the number of “ground-truth” (e.g. smart plug) devices it can reliably keep track of.

There are also some issues of integration with other home automation ‘suppliers’, particularly if one doesn’t want to do their own software integration & support (even though I can, I don’t want it all to “fall apart” if I’m not around). That situation (limits & incompatibility) will undoubtedly improve over time, but it’s happening slower than one might hope. :disappointed:

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I’m looking for #3 but I’m ready to accept #4 although I’ve been on the platform only about 7 weeks so I’m still giving them time.

Sense is not my first power monitoring device. I used a “One Meter” from Brand Electronics 20 years ago. I have had a Powerhouse Dynamics SiteSage (nee eMonitor) for 10 years. I decided to not pay for a subscription so all I have now from it is the local (rather poor) website/API. I figured for one years worth of subscription payments I could try out something like Sense and so here I am.

I’m probably less patient and excited about Sense than someone who has never seen their power usage before. The bubble presentation is cool. I like the relatively high sample rate visible in the apps. However most of the current utility I’m getting comes from the fact that I added smart Kasa power strips and plugs. I just opened my “Now” view and every single device identified is either on Kasa or a Philips Hue. Without the integration only one device would be displayed because it was also eventually discovered by Sense. A dedicated CT system would have been able to report on it because it is on a dedicated circuit. To be fair it has discovered a small number of other devices not on dedicated circuits but that is sadly a very short list. It has not found my pool pump (variable speed drive), heat pump (inverter based variable speed drive), Furnace fan (ECM motor), Samsung Fridge (Inverter), 2nd Microwave (Panasonic Inverter), most of my LED lighting (on Z-wave dimmers).

I was looking into integrating data from the eMonitor via HomeAssistant using emulated Kasa but then I discovered the 20 smart plug limit. I have 32 dedicated CTs already so that was not going to work. That’s before 14 existing smart plugs already.

After reading more of the documentation and postings I’ve come to the conclusion that the system will never work completely without integrating with smart devices and adding more dedicated circuit monitoring. The Emporia product looks interesting from a hardware perspective (multiple CTs and smart device integration) at a decent price point. I just have no idea how to good or bad their software is.

I do really like the hardware build quality of the Sense. I love the fact they have a Webapp so I’m not limited to phones and tablets (I’m looking at your Tesla).

I have my fingers crossed that Sense will figure out how/where they can add value. If they’re going to come out with another product they need a box that can support a bunch of CTs. They need more integration with smart plugs and devices The features in their “lab” are interesting (e.g. spikes/drops, motor stalls and floating neutrals). My insurance company just gave me a “Tingfire” (tingfire.com) which looks like it uses power analysis to look for arc faults. I suspect that’s something Sense could potentially do as well.

So in many ways I’m lousy Sense customer. I was already quite aware of my energy consumption. I have many devices that are relatively efficient which ironically seem to make it difficult for Sense to detect them.

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I’m #1 in a sense (pun intended) but as a former user of another vendor’s product, I am interested in this longer term. Eventually, it will become part of my home maintenance routine - not something I do all the time but from time to time (maybe like once or twice a year I’d capture and evaluate my energy use for potential changes/reduction opportunities).

That will ultimately depend on the detection experience. I’m only two weeks in so I’m being patient but I am concerned that many of my devices will not be uniquely captured. If the majority of my devices remain unidentified, then there is little value to me. I already had a system that gave me top-level numbers and course details; now I’m looking for more refinement.

For example, Sense has detected a “Fridge” - but I have two refrigerator/freezers and a third dedicated freezer. No way to tell them apart readily (I plan on getting the new Kasa devices but that doesn’t really help for built-in appliances).
I am sincerely hoping that there can be some improvement in detection.

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The closes for me is #1. Identification of all the high energy usage is a bonus for me. I wanted to monitor the solar production and real time energy usage. The app from my solaredge inverter has been unreliable. Also, the power utility does a horrible job showing total usage and solar production every month. Now that I have solved this, identification is next.

I was a 1.5 but now back to 1… I do get the ahad enthusiasm initially and then… Oh look, a puppy!

I had been frustrated that while a small signature for my new energy efficient mini split heat pump had been detected, Sense seemed to disregard the accompanying 1000w plus that was also associated with my heating / cooling use. I just installed the dedicated circuit probes and am now seeing what the HVAC needs of my home are.
This has renewed my interest, well, today at least.
I am also monitoring my water heater.

You’re using the HVAC this time of year? Must have nice weather. Mine I disconnected few weeks back.

I’d consider myself a #3 here. I don’t see myself moving into the #4 category with Sense. Although I think I’ve learned most of what I’m going to learn about my house’s normal energy consumption, Sense will continue being valuable pointing out the unusual scenarios that I wouldn’t be able to detect without its data. Things like failing appliances, accidental wrong settings or devices left on, power quality issues, monitoring what’s going on when I’m out of town, etc.

I’m #2 since September. I guess that I will keep strong interest at least until all 4 seasons pass by because each season uses electricity differently.

I’m #4 already. Dimmers, variable speed fans, different power levels of the microwave, different burner loads and combinations and different oven temps, an inverter heat pump. All common loads. All loads the algorithms cannot reliably identify end up ‘Always On’ (which of course they aren’t) or misidentified in ways I cannot figure out.

No the coffee pot didn’t turn on. The heat pump is on and maybe the aux heat, but sense shows now activity for ‘coffee pot’, even though you say it turned on moments ago. It hasn’t identified one television. The device is in general, a gimmick. I get the same basic data from my electric company. It seems as accurate and it’s free.

All this device seems to me is a way for Sense, Inc. to get users to specifically share what models of appliances (advertising they’re buying power) and other data about how we live to be sold to others or used for purposes that may not be good for the users.

I’m not sure where the idea of Sense selling users’ home data to third parties is coming from, but their privacy policy is pretty clear:

https://sense.com/privacy/#:~:text=Sense%20was%20built%20from%20the,and%20that%20it%20is%20confidential.

It sounds like you might be best suited to make use of the generous 60-day return policy for your Sense monitor.

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Hi @john10 - I’m sorry to hear that you’re moving away from Sense already.

These are all things we’re quite open about being “tricky” to detect with real-time detection, for various reasons that are discussed at length in the subforums and some of the resources we’ve put out over the last few years. We’re actively working on addressing the detection issues you’ve mentioned, and even taking a bit of a step back to see how we can best accomplish this.

How long have you had the coffee device and the heat pump detected? If you haven’t reached out to Support@sense.com yet about this issue, sometimes they can make adjustments on their end to help resolve this type of device conflation.

This is actually contradictory to our data policy and completely false. We’re not selling user data and our leadership team is pretty adamant about data privacy in general. We did not become an energy monitoring company and develop our machine learning algorithms just to sell appliance manufacturers data on what kind of fridge you’re using.

If you’re willing, I’d love to try and improve the experience you’ve had with your Sense so far. If you reach out to me via private message, I’d be more than happy to send you a couple of smart plugs to place on some devices that have presented issues with detections.

If, as @pswired mentioned above, you’d rather return Sense you have within 120-days to do so if you purchased directly from www.sense.com . A company that is a “gimmick” would not offer such a long return window - we’d be out of business.

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With my newly discovered Heat 4, I’m just letting the device show me how smart it is. As an electrician this was dual purpose. No way to recommend this to customers. My experience just doesn’t support it. It wants me to hold its hand. It could not seem like a more hands on device.

It’s not a return item. We’ll see if this offering matures into something really worthwhile.

This has only proven my suspicions before purchase. How good are the algorithms? At this point, quality monitoring requires dedicated donuts and individual circuit monitoring.

In a world of data selling, I put it past no company to find ways to commit suicide. Wink found a great way to cannibalize their customers. Anyone want a neat looking white paperweight?

There’s a fun novelty to it. And I’ll still pull the app up and take a look. But haven’t found it helpful. It would piss my customers off. In that Sense, I learned what I needed to know.

We’re improving detection on our end, but yes, at this point sometimes your input is needed when a new device is detected. For a lot of folks, it involves a little bit of deductive reasoning (“What is on right now?”, “How often does it run?”, etc.). Again, we’re continuing to make this easier for new users and have a fair amount of resources dedicated to this in 2021.

So I can appreciate your skepticism of “companies” in general, but this logic is somewhat confusing. I could understand this if we had no explicit privacy policy or had some history of violating our user agreements, but we don’t. Accusing us of breaching our own policy before doing so seems slightly irrelevant to your overall issues with the product in general.

That’s very fair. I was unaware of your policy when that was tossed out there. It’s not relevant and is no more than a symptom of a disappointed customer.

I get the what is on now researching. The app indicates a devices turns on. In the app the device shows no usage and that it is off, despite the very screen before saying it turned on without saying it turned off. In real life who knows what it is. Some day I’ll turn the whole house off and guide it through a phased cycling on of things. It’s a gigantic pain and there’s no way I could as a customer to do that. And I see it still leaving monstrous holes still.

It’s imperfect. It has fallen short thus far.

My home sees heavy usage with 3 connected people. Living together separately.

I appreciate the engagement. It’s good to know it’s being improved.

Granted this is an open forum and all voices are to be heard and respected. However, my intention when I started this thread was not to hear from those who’ve lost faith in Sense and moved on. My intention instead was to ask how long the ‘pull/interest’ from such novel device is. To me, this is really a hobby, with a very capable device that provides some insight into our power consumption habits. I am cognizant this is by no means a pro-grade device that’s going to tell us ALL about such habits. If that is the expectation, then $300 won’t get you there ($240 if you bought yours when it was on sale). No, I am not saying Sense should increase their sticker price either. I’ve worked for many years on signal processing, and it is not a trivial task to accomplish what the device promises/delivers.

How about specific conditions in our houses that make it ‘difficult’ for the device to do its thing? How clean is the power? How old are the devices? Are the devices placed behind UPS (my TV and Computers are). I certainly cannot expect Sense to detect my Samsung TV when such TV is plugged into a UPS … Granted, for some of us there are still many undetected devices, and so be it. But still, for the little orange box to do what it does, in my book, is phenomenal. I studied/researched the device for a long time before deciding to acquire one. I am ‘fascinated’ not by what the device promises, but by how novel the technology/approach is. This is in essence the reason for the thread: How long such a novel approach/technology would keep your interest high enough?

For those with plenty of time, just the ability to double-check (and challenge) the charges from the Utilities Company is a big plus … Seeing the graphs move up/down when my kettle kicks in is a big plus … seeing how the oven heats up by continuously going thru on/off cycles (for those of us that did not know how thermostats work) is a big plus … coming to the realization that the power pulled in by the fridge is not constant, but depends on how many devices are energized is … well, you get my point. It’s a hobby, and it’s a lot of learning. And for that, it’s worth the $300 I spent on it (+ the DCMs and few KP115).

Whichever stage you’re at (see original post), I hope the device delivers on your expectations.

Peace and Happy New Year.

Disclaimer: Sense is the brainchild of MIT-affiliated people. As a graduate of such school myself, I’m naturally a bit biased.

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So far, #1 it’s all very new and exciting. And yet, I’ve already experienced a lock-up. 'Submitted a support ticket about 24 hours ago, but no replay yet. The potential is intriguing, but I think that #2 and #3 are going to come down to how many devices Sense can identify. 72 hours in, it has identified none, so hoping that will improve before I reach #4 !

Support is usually very good about responding within 24 hours. We’re currently experiencing some high ticket volume, so replies are taking a bit longer than usual with the holiday.