Hi folks, here’s some general thoughts on how Sense could better support those of us who are converting their home to be fully electric, a.k.a. de carbonizing their home. Some of this has been replacing gas consumers with electric, some has been replacing older electric appliances with modern, more efficient ones. I’m just coming to the end of my process, which has looked like this:
Electric baseboard heaters -> ductless heat pump mini-split system
Natural gas water heater tank -> electric on-demand tankless water heater
Old clothing washer > High Efficiency clothing washer
3 x gas vehicles -> 3 x electric vehicles + 240V level 2 EVSE & 120V Level 1 EVSE
Natural gas fireplace insert -> discontinued use, might replace with electric insert in the future
Gas range -> Electric induction range (using existing 240V 40A circuit)
Also installed grid-tied solar PV, 9.22 kW total system size, inverter maxes out at 7.5 kW
All of the above happened within a ~2.5 year period, most of it in the past year, and I’ve had Sense for nearly 1 year at this point. My only regret is that I should have gone for a heat pump water heater instead of on-demand, but oh well. By the way, all of that cost less than a single Tesla!
So now my house is fully decarbonized, I’m cancelling my gas service today! Of course this means that my electrical load has increased significantly.
Sense sends notifications about our increasing electrical consumption, which certainly is a good thing as it could indicate an appliance going bad and using more electricity than it should. But in my case, the increased load is something to be celebrated, as it means I’m weaning off gas. That leads me to my first suggestion:
What if Sense allowed you to specify if you have a fully electric house, versus a mixed fuel house? That would allow Sense to customize the ‘compare’ section, so that fully electric houses could be compared to other fully electric houses, instead of comparing fully electric houses to mixed fuel houses (and discounting the role of fossil fuels).
Here’s my more ambitious suggestion:
What if Sense allowed a user to input details from their fossil fuel consumption (natural gas, propane, heating oil, gasoline, diesel, etc.) and helped the user make projections about switching this consumption over to electricity?
There are tools out there to help you make these projections about specific items, such as switching from gas to electric vehicles, but I haven’t seen anything that helps you convert your entire lifestyle off fossil fuels. It would certainly take some work, but I think Sense is in a good position to help someone evaluate this proposition.
It could look something like this:
User has a natural gas water heater tank, and is thinking of switching to an electric heat pump water heater. User can input details from their natural gas bill into Sense, and specify the gas appliances that are currently in use (say, water heater, gas range, and gas fireplace in my example). Sense can make some predictions about how much energy the water heater is using (perhaps just based on regional averages, since it would have no way of splitting up the gas bill into consumption by different appliances, or perhaps the user could input info from the EnergyStar sticker on the appliance). So Sense helps the user estimate their current cost of heating water, then project out their new cost of heating water by switching to electric, perhaps even calculating the return on investment. Repeat this same process for all gas appliances and consumption, to come up with a total cost/savings of electrification.
What do you think?