Love Sense but I am disappointed in Device Detection

I have had Sense now for going on 2 years and I think it is a great product. I truly think most people should have Sense and learn about their energy usage. We are 100% solar and think it is pretty accurate.

But….

I am disappointed in the Device Detection.

We live in Central, east coast FL. We have a pool with a Pentair heat pump. And of course A/C. Our A/C unit is about 10 years old and still going strong (everyone knock on some wood for me now).

Sense has never been able to distinguish between the pool heat pump and the A/C. Now mind you, it is not common for us to run both at the same time. By way of example, when it gets cool enough to turn off the A/C, it is then cool enough to have to run the pool heater. And vise-a-versa.

But after almost 2 years? With devices that are that different in age (technology)? 2 different brands, etc.?

And there are other detection “issues” that I think should not be happening.

And I have deleted the devices a couple of times, after months of allowing Sense to figure it out, as directed to delete them by Sense representatives.

And this is my final point: We should be allowed to name our own devices in situations like this. Where WE KNOW what the device is and how to label it correctly.

And my wife is a software engineer. She agrees with Sense about not allowing people to label devices but she also agrees that there comes a point in time when self-labeling also makes “sense.” Pardon the pun.

Anyway, I recommend Sense to anyone who starts discussing our solar panels with me. ANd I will continue to in the future.

1 Like

Yeah… I have pretty much given up on device detection and have gone with smart plugs to gain subsetted visibility to my energy consumption… I call it “subsetting” because I don’t necessarily attach a smart plug to a single device (but sometimes I do).

I am often not so interested what my notebook, attached storage, monitors and cable modem are individually consuming… It is much more interesting for me to know what my “home office” is consuming… So in this case, I put my smart plug in front of a power strip that powers my home office. I do the same with my living room entertainment set-up, as well as my master bedroom entertainment set-up.

From an individual device perspective, I have connected my space heaters and portable air conditioners (individually) to smart plugs because I am actually interested in how much I am consuming to heat and cool my home with these portable devices.

I currently own 16 KP115 smart plugs, all of which I purchased on sale between $3.50 and $10.00 each… It gives me instant and accurate visibility to my subsetted energy usage.

Device detection and reporting by Sense is frustrating, not only because it takes a long time to detect… But also because the detection often is not precisely identifying a single device (as you already reported)… My coffee maker, my microwave and my toaster oven are detected as the same thing in my household…

ALSO, when it reports usage, it only reports the usage of the “thing” that it recognizes… What do I mean by that? What I mean is that my refrigerator is clearly using some energy when it is plugged in. But Sense doesn’t really detect and report my holistic refrigerator energy consumption. It detects power transitions. So when the compressor kicks on, and it recognizes that…it will track the energy used by the refrigerator when the compressor is on…but it really does not report how much total energy is being drawn by the refrigerator at the plug. In order to do that, you need to put a Kill-a-Watt or a smart plug on it.

ALL THAT SAID, I am not trying to crap on Sense at all… I am a huge fan of Sense… I am saying it here, and I have said it in other threads… The main value I get from Sense is my total household usage… It never bothered me (at least not greatly) that device level information was not accurately or quickly available… But now that I have had a taste of subsetting my usage visibility through smart plugs, I have to admit that I do find it interesting… Example is when I “shut down” my home office for the evening…it’s always interesting to see how close I can get my home office to really “shut down” to as close to zero as possible…

Even though I would love to put my refrigerator on a smart plug, I have decided to keep it off the smart plug and let Sense report the different components that it has detected. Sense must really be tuned to refrigerator units because one of the few things that it has detected individually are my fridge compressor, freezer light, fridge light, defroster… I really love being able to see the last time the freezer or fridge door was open. And I can’t really do that by simply tracking the fridge as a single appliance…

So pros and cons… That’s life, right? :slight_smile:

3 Likes

If I only wanted monthly total, I’d just wait for my monthly electric bill. It’s no additional charge than my amount due.

On the other hand, my bill usually shows about 10% more usage than Sense anyway.

It’s not that all I want is a monthly total… You are right…if that’s all I wanted, my utility bill is all I need…

The realtime meter is the main benefit that I get from Sense… The ability to turn something on, and immediately see the impact on my household consumption … The ability to turn off household appliances and see how much I save when something that is normally in “standby” is unplugged (or on a power strip that has been turned off)…

After 3.5 months, mine still hasn’t detected my pool pump, hot water heat pump, Tesla car charger, woodshop tools…