How long before you lost interest and moved on?

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.

Well like with anything obviously as time goes on it usually becomes less interesting. I still check in on it but I have found that with more complicated devices, which is many devices, I don’t really trust the readings unless I’m using a smart plug or with my Mitsubishi hyper heat mini / multi splits they have their own CT clamps. For instance I have a Rheem HPWH and Sense found it, I think that’s what it’s monitoring, but it never showed nearly as much usage as the native econet app. Over time it’s gotten closer so maybe it found another part of the water heater or maybe it’s reading something else I don’t know. It would be nice if the econet app can be linked with sense.

I have been using Sense since summer 2017, but my interest waned by 2019/20. I hardly ever look at it now. I started using Wemo smart plugs, and Sense duplicated the information, so everything became confusing. Also, Sense never detected all my devices, although it finally detected my electric car after a couple of years waiting. 240 volt devices were never detected, although I think I read that is possible now. Compared to the Wemo smart plugs Sense turned out to be inaccurate, so I never really was able to obtain a good grip on my usage. I was never able to reconcile my usage by adding up the usage of all my appliances. There was always a big “other” and a big “always on”. I tried to split out the always on by assigning Wemo smart plugs to different groups of always on electronics, but that did not account for my always on power usage. It all became a big waste of time and energy. In the end, I figured that adding solar had been the best approach to saving energy, so I just basked in the lower bills that have resulted over the last three or four years. I added ground source heat pump HVAC to my house, which threw out my oil heating, and now I am adding more solar to cover more of my electricity, with a view to net zero in the near future. My philosophy is now “who cares what the appliances use if the electricity comes from the sun, and does not cost much anyway?”

Hey @rgmichel. I’m sorry to hear your interest in Sense has waned over time. A few things from your post.

To complete the set-up of a smart plug, you must also include the ‘What’s being monitored?’ field (Device Settings > Manage > "What’s Plugged Into This) to let Sense know if you’re monitoring something it detected natively. That will remove the duplication you’ve been seeing for those devices.

I’ve included the update on Flex Sensors for Dedicated Circuit Monitoring in case you’re curious here. This uses the port previously reserved for only solar monitoring, so if you have Solar unfortunately this isn’t currently an option.

I’ve shared a great resource below for picking apart your Always On bubble. Personally, I’ve used smart plugs to reduce my Always On from 400W (after week 1) to 75W (at the year mark) with several smart plugs, dedicated circuit monitoring, and a couple Hue bulbs. I tried to replicate this at my parents house (they have more lighting) and realized a lot of their consumption was coming from old, inefficient lightbulbs. They’ve started replacing them and already have cut their Always On in half. I recommend starting with that article if you’re really intent on decreasing that usage.

Although I think this is an absolutely lovely realization to come to, I’d love to see if I can help you reduce your Always On/Other bubble a bit. Wanted to send me a private message and I can let you know what information would be helpful?

Thanks for all the information. I truly appreciate your reading the stuff I wrote. I am familiar with most of it, although I did not know you had fixed the duplication business. I might potter around with that, but in general I just no longer have the patience for it. Too many hobbies I guess. I really feel the solution to global warming does not lie with nit-picking energy use down to the last few watts of electronics left on overnight, but to the energy generation side of things with renewables. The rest is just feel-good stuff because global warming is now out of hand. My conscience leads me to spend quite a lot of money to do my part and go net-zero. That is far more useful to the world than squeezing a few more watts out of my usage. I can turn off the heating on my bathroom floor, use cold water instead of hot water, turn the thermostat down on the HVAC, turn off all my LED lights, which burn more electricity than the old days of incandescents because I just put more lights in the house, and do all sorts of things to make life uncomfortable. Its not worth it. The utilities have to solve this problem, in the end, through distributed solar, batteries, wind, nuclear and so on. Its the only way. So, in my view, forget turning off that little wall-wart to save 150 mA. Its just not worth it. So, Sense no longer plays much part in my thinking.

While I consider myself a moderate environmentalist, what is so annoying to me is that we had nuclear in the 1960s all ready to go, but the ultra-environmentalists decided to fight against it, so development of safety and other engineering stopped. Of course, back then we were worried about running out of oil. It was not until the 1980s that it dawned on us that the climate was at risk. Now 30 years on we are in a total mess due to inaction on this big issue.

p.s. I was actually interested in the Leviton approach at the breaker, but did not pick up on this more expensive route, for the same reasons as I lay out above.

I’ve only had this since Christmas and installed it about a day later. This is what Sense has identified and that I’ve verified so far:
Air Fryer
Coffee Maker
Dishwasher
Disposal
2 non-smart light sets
Blower fan
Deep Freezer
Fridge
Electric furnace
Garage door opener
Microwave
Water pump (well)
Stove
Washer

Being an all-electric house with the exception of a propane fireplace that I installed (stand-alone), energy is a bit more critical to us than one with a gas option.

I know that my interest in checking it every day or so will fade, and it should. Useful automation needs to just be able to work without constant thought at some point. But overall, I am impressed with what it’s already found in less than two months.

It reliably tells me when the garage door opener is turned on and it supplements my YoLink garage door adapter for some redundancy.

So, before my ape-brain sees the next shiny thing (did you see the fridge machine vision system?), I would like to start really using and simplifying the interactions so that my wife can start using it via Google Assistant and/or Home Assistant (not set up yet).

The main thing that I hope to one day utilize this system for aside from the actual energy usage stats is to tell Google “Let me know when [the dryer stops, the coffee is done, etc.]”. If I can set that up, and combine it with other commands like “Let me know if the package box is opened” (YoLink sensor), then I can see some real value to home automation past gimmicks.

Even when my interest fade, I’m happy that things will continue to be added and improved. That sense that there’s more to come has value in itself.

I think it’s important to remember that even if we’re never opening the app to look at our power usage, Sense is monitoring power quality and looking out for conditions like motor stalls and open neutral connections. These are very valuable protective systems to have running in the background, and can easily ID problems early before they cause damage that’s much more expensive to repair than the Sense monitor is to purchase.

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Finding faults using Sense implies keeping an eye on it a good deal of the time. or at least at critical times, on vacation and so on. Sense does not seem to me to be sophisticated enough to be able to do this automatically, accurately, or precisely… Right now, I do use it while out of the house for significant periods of time, because I can tell remotely that a device has not switched on when it should. This together with security cameras and audio monitoring can pretty much pin down what is happening in the house, particularly with HVAC. Otherwise, I don’t look at sense. Its incapable of keeping track of my geothermal HVAC with its. multiple speed fan and compressor, recirculataion pump and so on. I am sure it will catch up in a few years time, like with my electric car, but life is too short to wait for this.

@rgmichel I was referring specifically to the Sense Labs fault detection features such as this:

Using Sense native detection plus custom rules for fault alerts, like you’re pointing out, can be unreliable depending on the device. But I have had very good success setting up those sorts of alerts for reliably-detected devices like my sump pump and well pumps. I wouldn’t rely on that for more “wishy-washy” devices like resistive heating elements.

Just 2 weeks post unit install so Phase #1 for me. Hope to graduate to #2 etc ASAP

I’d like to mention here something I have found valuable in the long-run, which is using the history of an appliance’s power usage to detect when it may be nearing “end-of-life” – before it actually fails completely.

Being able to “plan for” replacement of expensive appliances (e.g. fridges, freezers, …) helps with both budgeting AND possibly being able to take advantage of seasonal sales.

While the Sense infrastructure doesn’t currently detect such changes in a device’s patterns yet, when “something odd” happens (e.g. fridge starts making occasionally odd/different noises) one can look at the power usage over a number of weeks or months to see if something has been changing in that device’s power usage which seems to be unrelated to “user usage” of the device.

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An improvement in the software could allow a user to specify a load that is always on. I still suffer with identification issues. I have also challenged the power company regarding massive billing disparities. That alone holds immense value.

Why not let me tell Sense my NAS never turns off?

“Why not let me tell Sense my NAS never turns off?” That’s sort of like “why not tell sense when this turns on or that turns on, or off, or whatever”. Sense is not built like that. Its more complicated.

Are you thinking you would like too be able to tell Sense that your NAS accounts for 30W of your Always On (or something like that) ?

Haha! I’m thinking I’d like it to do better. I’d like it to be smart enough that when my entered, on-demand water heater draws 100A it isn’t unsure of what caused the instantaneous draw. It doesn’t know. So, I’d like to hold its hands as much as I can to get better performance from it. That’s what I want.

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