My Love/Hate Relationship with Sense

Hi…My name is Mike and I have a love/hate relationship with my Sense Energy Monitor…

On a serious note, I love the transparency and visibility that Sense gives me to my energy usage (and in real-time no less)! They have a saying that you manage what you measure…and pre-Sense I had no real way of measuring my consumption, and as a result, had no real way of managing my usage…

Sure, my utility bill would come once a month… And if I logged onto my utilities website I could get my daily usage metrics… But without the ability to see my usage in real-time, the only thing I could conclude with daily and monthly metrics was simply to tell myself (and my household) to use less energy… That’s it.

Now comes the hate part… :wink:

While I love that Sense allows me to manage and tweak my energy consumption, I think it has resulted in a negative impact on my overall quality of life.

With a real-time meter, I am able to sniff out stuff that I was never able to sniff out. That extra monitor that I use for work to better multi-task…do I need it all the time? Why do I keep it on all day? It’s burning ~80W just sitting there doing nothing when I am not actively using it. That power strip sitting behind my master bedroom television setup…the one that I only use for 2 hours in the evening… It’s burning ~50W all day long, just to be ready for me to turn it on for 2 hours later that evening? Those air purifiers that I run 24x7 on medium. Do I really need to have them on 24x7? And does the extra energy burned by setting it to medium make sense? Maybe I should run them for a third of the time (8 hours a day) and at low.

All of this increases the mental calories that I have to burn every day… I now find my self crawling under furniture to turn off/off power strips, turning my work-at-home monitor on and off during the day based on need and questioning how much longer should I keep that space heater on. I am more energy efficient for sure. However, my life has become less convenient and less comfortable.

I love my Sense… But sometimes it’s true what they say… ignorance can be bliss… :slight_smile:


Get a Solar system and you won’t have to worry as much. :wink:

LOL… That’s the thing… I have solar!!! Ha, ha, ha…

But I still find myself conserving… I draw the analogy of my solar like squirrels storing acorns for later use… I figure why burn an acorn unnecessarily if you don’t need to?

I guess a lot of that is my personality… I am a bit of a hoarder… Not from a physical perspective… I don’t hoard physical stuff… But I do have a tendency to hoard reward points, airline miles, PTO hours, etc… And saving and conserving my solar “acorns” kind of falls into that category for me… It’s sickness, I know! :wink:

Well…I say KEEP IT UP!!! Sense has assisted me in doing a similar thing, but probably more intense. My Always On started at 68. Now I hover between 52 to 55. I’m pretty good at cutting costs/expenses AND I enjoy it! I have tightened the belt as much as possible.

I’m enrolled in a TOU plan and I do not allow myself to use electricity during peak hours (4pm-12am). So, no TV or computers on at all. I don’t think I’ve even turned on my TV in about 3 weeks. Turning on the heater? NEVER. I’d say this is probably my favorite time of the year as I like it darker and cooler. I don’t even own a jacket, but that’s why I’m here in San Diego.

I don’t feel like I have a lower quality of life because it’s my decision to live this way. That said, when I do retire, I will live a free-for-all lifestyle. So, I’m living/working for my future, the present time is just minor speedbumps.

The screenshot is my typical electricity usage probably 30%-40% of the day. See, you’re not that bad!

Granted it’s a bit tedious to turn devices on/off regularly, but I’m working on automating the task a bit. I have several smart tp-link plugs that do not have energy monitoring. I was planning to give them away, but now I’m thinking of re-purposing them as simple on/off switches on a timer, to simply turn off devices I don’t use all day long, be it TV + media server, or else.

Now, an Always_On of 68 Watts is commendable!!! Many of us can only dream of that.

hey @MikeekiM

I feel your pain. I was hoarding everything you mentioned and don’t get me started with squirrels and acorns. At the same time, you worked to save all that energy for something. Might as well use it if you have it.

My always on is about 148w. half of it comes from the two cable box, wifi and modem.

LOL… Thanks… Good to hear from a like-minded person!!!

Yeah, I am trying to figure out how to manage my stored “acorns” that I have accumulated and figure out how to burn them before my annual true-up (at which point, I will get paid a paltry $0.03/kWh for the over production, and my balance resets to zero).

I think you mentioned on another post that you burn your extra “acorn” surplus with space heaters… I have been thinking about using space heaters as well, but I am not sure how well they do in large spaces… And the small spaces heat up so quickly, I can’t really burn a lot in the small bedrooms without breaking a sweat!!!

I feel it is just a waste to burn them needlessly in the large spaces if it truly does not have much impact on the comfort of my home…but if I don’t burn them myself, the utility company is going to come around once a year and burn the whole supply!!! LOL…