New Members/Old Members: Introduce yourself!

Hi everyone! Just joined the sense family trying to get a better sense of where all this energy is going in my new home in LA. Cheers

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Hi. My name is Courtney. I installed the Sense monitor a couple of weeks ago to try to understand my home power usage better. I recently moved to CT for work and the energy cost is higher than I am used to and I have an old house. I’m hoping to streamline my energy usage. I am a theatrical lighting designer and electrician, so I spend a lot of my time working with electricity in that setting. I have basic home electrical skills, but I’m used to working with higher capacities in the theatre.

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My name is Charles. I just bought my own place and since it came with solar I wanted to understand how much energy I was using vs what i was generating on a more granular rate than monthly. I am hoping that this will enable me to save some money as my only source of energy is electricity.

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Hey folks!

My name is Harry and I’m a solutions engineer for a large tech company. I came here to look for some information on calculating production and any other tips or tricks for using the system.

I bought my Sense about a week ago and I love it so far. I have newly installed solar and am monitoring the production via the Enphase app. I’m going to be installing the solar connection to my Sense for a one app view.

My other smart home tech: door lock, doorbell camera, smart hub.

Thanks,

-Harry

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Hey there!!

My name is Jimmy, and I thought I would introduce myself. How do they say it? Long time lurker, first time poster. I am 37 years old and currently living in a house built in 2005. I am a Paramedic and currently working for Amazon as an Onsite Medical Representative in Fort Worth, TX. I haven’t always been energy conscious. I would say that a majority of the time I have spent responsible for my own bills, I haven’t always been a spend thrift either. All of my adult life since I moved out of my parents’ house I have had an electric bill, along with a phone bill, car insurance, water, mortgage/rent etc. and just assumed those were non-negotiable numbers I was always going to pay. It wasn’t until last year that I really began to think about my spending, and where my money was going. Why wouldn’t you do that, and why hadn’t I been doing that all along? Who knows, but I do pay very close attention now. I shop my insurance rates out regularly. I recently refinanced my home. I drive a 1999 Ford Ranger that I make every attempt to repair when it’s within my skills, and replace parts with ones with lifetime warranties when possible. I am constantly working towards lowering my monthly expenses.

Last year (2020) In September, I called a solar installer to come give me a quote after reading a news article on google news about them, and a local business who had selected them to install solar. I did not get multiple quotes on the install, and the salesman used every tactic in the book on me. I paid $40,000 for 25 panels as well as the installation of a radiant barrier and extra blown in insulation in the attic. I feel like this might have been a little on the high side for the cost (hindsight), but at the time I was tunnel visioned on “lower electric bill” and justified it in my head that I will always have an electric bill, or rather be paying for electricity in my house, so does it really matter who the money goes to? The salesman got me with the free $1000 solar attic fan, which was only free if I bought from him within 48 hours. I will say that I do have a regret or two about the solar install and the decisions I made, but there’s no going back now. Just things I have to live with, and lessons learned for future Jimmy.

When I financed the solar, the financing company called and asked if I wanted to refi, and roll everything together, at a lower rate than I was paying now so I went ahead and did that. Really only costing me about $25 more a month on my house payment to include the solar. I used some cash out on that refi to pay to install a hybrid hot water heater (heat pump) which the EFL says costs about $100 a year to run instead of $500 like the 10 year old one I replaced. This cost about $3,300. I also recently had the HVAC system replaced with a new system that is a half-ton larger, and has the top of the line handler in the attic. Old system had electric heat, new system is a heat pump system, dual staged. This cost about $8,800

I have really gotten into the “data” side of my homes energy usage, and started keeping tabs on things. I have Alexa in every room in the house, and I installed Gosund light switches on every switch in the house. If they make a “smart home” option, I prefer it. Water heater has an app, HVAC has an app, Garage door has an app and security system has an app. I just wish I had bought the Sense monitor sooner, as I don’t have any data from before I made all of the changes to the appliances and started keeping track on things other than raw KWH monthly usage, so I really don’t have anything to reference to justify my decisions made. Sense was filling in the void I had with my Solar system and that was monitoring how much I was using, as compared to how much I was producing. The solar company installed the Enlighten system by Enphase, which was only giving me productivity numbers.

Interesting story about the Sense for me. After I purchased it, I took on the installation myself after watching a few YouTube videos and face timing my parent’s neighbor who is an electrician. When I opened the panel to install the CT’s, I spied two CT’s already installed on my mains. Did a little bit of digging, turns out when the solar installers put their equipment in, it had the capability to track consumption but they never turned it on. I called them and gave them hell on the phone and they offered to send me a check to cover the cost of the CT’s they installed… Doesn’t replace historical data. Still haven’t seen the check and that was a month or two ago.

I have really enjoyed daily checks on my total/overall energy picture of the house as provided by the sense energy monitor, as I said earlier, I wish I had put it in sooner.

And Hard 8 BBQ in Fort Worth is the best, hands down. Smoked Bologna sandwich on Jalapeno Sourdough bun for me.

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Welcome @medicjwilson,
Fun stories… Bummer that your solar installer didn’t hook up the mains CTs(sensors) for Enphase, but now you have Sense. I bought Solar via SolarCity (now Tesla) in 2013 (21 220W panels / 4.62kW) for 15.5k$ (with then tax credits going to them). Looking at another Sense user’s Enphase setup, it looks fairly nice.

But the Enphase net usage data is also less accurate vis a vis their utility numbers, vs. Sense.

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Hey All. I’m Dan. I live rurally in British Columbia near Nelson. I’m a nerd and data geek who currently works in disaster and emergence management. I’m new to sense as of this week and already obsessed!

As part of being resilient in rural Canada, I need to know that my devices are all working properly and on schedule. Specifically… Is my lake pump still pushing water up my 300’ cliff to my house? Does my jet pump pressurize my water tank on a consistent basis? Is my effluent pump running regularly so not to back up into the house? Are strategic heaters in my pump house and heat tapes on my water lines operating correctly to keep things from freezing? All the other stuff I’m expecting to learn from sense will be bonus!

Looking forward to seeing where this goes and how I can contribue.

Cheers
Dan

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As someone in a small apartment in Boston, this sounds like a lair of sorts :slight_smile: .

Ha! Totally is.

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Hey @RyanAtSense

Christopher Young here. I’m a network engineer by background, but dabble in a bunch of different stuff including some amateur data science ( mostly coursera courses, Kaggle, etc… ). I also run a Youtube channel on smartphone and have no idea how many devices I have currently in the house, although Apple Homekit is showing more than 270.

I’ve been running Sense for a couple of years now and have found it… ok. But it doesn’t achieve my goals by itself. (I can’t currently acheive my goals without it either though… so I still recommend it all the time! )

I’ve been slowly replacing every powerbar in my house with TP Kasa HS300s ( 24 and counting )to be able to use the sense integration and I HOPE to have the “other” category down to as close to 0 as possible in the next couple of months.

Although Sense is AMAZING as a monitoring tool, where it’s not meeting my goals is around the feedback loop and some of the reporting. With the integration of the Hue lights, TPKasa plugs I SHOULD be able to identify which devices are creating a vampire draw in periods where they aren’t been used at all. I have a TV that draws 18w will turned off. In an ideal world, I’d like to be able to have a report that shows what devices are responsible for the highest vampire draw. Identify if they aren’t been used over a period of time ( ie - these stuff is all turned off between 12am and 7am for the last 6 months, but it’s still consuming X amount of energy ) and then allow me to automatically create a schedule that’s going to turn it off during those hours and then turn them back on in the morning.

My current plan is to do this manually by exporting the data or using the python library, but give these are supported integrations, I would expect that Sense should be able to do this for me out of the box.

As I’m almost hitting the point where I’ve got all the pugs instrumented properly, I’m hoping to be able to dive into the data and really cut out usage and save some $$$ in 2021.

Looking forward to learning with you all!

Christopher

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Hi @chris_young! Ryan has actually moved over to the Product team, so I’ll be the main contact for you on the Sense Community moving forward.

Definitely glad to hear that Sense has been useful for you so far - and that you recommend it!

While it might be something you’re already aware of, you can customize your Standby threshold for a smart plug or dedicated circuit device. You can observe your devices when they are not operating and set the threshold accordingly. Below is a bit more information on what the feature does and how to set it up.

The other part of your request is noted, and I’ll pass along the feedback to the team. I’d add that while that data isn’t exportable, you can see which of your detected devices attribute to your Always On via the web or mobile app. An example explanation I gave in a separate thread is below with visuals.

Thanks. I may start trying them???

Hi! We are in Washington DC and have had Sense for about a year. We are huge fans.

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Hi - I’m Kraig. I bought the Sense Energy Monitor Aug of 2020. I retired from the local Power Company where I was a Protection & Control Tech.

I enjoy having finger-tip data and automating my house as much as possible. Energy monitoring was the next logical step. Since it is hard to determine electrical devices from their signature only, I have added several smart plugs to assist in having accurate reading and devices listed in my energy monitor.
I have propane for my typical high usage appliances so my electrical consumption is lower than most houses my size.

The Sense monitor is working how I expected and have not regretting purchasing it.

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Hello All, My name is Sudhakar! I am BI Developer by profession and I live in Richmond, VA.

I have been using Sense from Dec 2018. It came with Solar (4.03 KWh). It has recognized 40+ devices so far. Working from Home model is putting stress on the solar system. But it is understandable.

Everyday I go to App and see usage, trends, devices… it never stop amazes me to learn about it.

Why I am here? I recently started developing mobile apps. The sense App is so nice, simple and well designed. I am curious to know, how it was built. I know, I cannot get all the info. But like Xcode or something else, Where the visuals are coming from, what language is being used etc for the learning purpose. I do not worry about models being run to identify the devices rather pulling data to display aesthetically.

Happy Sensing!

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Sal here. Just learned about sense and dove in. Got it installed right after getting it and it’s been fun watching what uses energy.

What brought you here? YouTube video
How long have you been using Sense? 1mo
What do you do for work? Signal Engineer
What other smart home tech do you have? Nest Hello, Thermostat, & 2 Protect
What’s your favorite type of barbecue? Maple Whiskey brine for anything!

I don’t have a handle for Reddit or Twitter.

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I am Brian, I am a mechanical engineer and have worked at a home automation company so sense fits right in with my energy saving needs. A few days in and to be honest I feel a little blind sided by how long it is going to take sense to potentially find devices in my house. I see some users have been using Sense for 2 years and only have 10 devices or so found, I hope that is not the case here. Once I read through the forum and aligned my expectations based on that I can see that it is a journey. Hoping the best and looking forward to the system finding it’s first device. Cheers!

EDIT: Not sure if the team at Sense gave me a boost but my system has found my fridge light and a coffee maker since this post.

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Hello All! I’m Scott. I lead the educational technology for a large high school district in Illinois.

I just installed my Sense 5 days ago and it started discovering some items just yesterday. I wanted to learn more about the power draw across my house because my bills are always in the $200-300+ levels year around. Just realizing my exterior patio string lights draw 500w was worth the price of entry… through smart automations, those lights come on at dusk and turn off at 10pm… regardless of whether we are on the patio or not… depending on the time of year that could be 2-4+kw a day :grimacing:

I have move just about as much as possible to Smart tech. I leverage 6 Amazon Echo(es) for family voice convenience, and 2 Apple HomePod(s) for me and HomeKit for automations and my used. My wireless mesh network is Plume. I beta test for Plume as well. (It you are looking for a new mesh network, I cannot more highly recommend Plume.

Currently I run:

  • Lutron Caseta - ~50 devices
  • Hue ~ 15 bulbs (where it is much more difficult to simply replace the switch)
  • Ecobee Thermostats - 2 (with 6 sensors)
  • iSmartGate - Garage Door Opener
  • Level Lock - deadbols(s)
  • Meross - (2) outdoor outlets
  • IHome - (5) indoor outlets, (2) Leak Sensors

Sorry to all this offends, but I am not a fan of anything barbecue or pulled… the closest I’ll get is the occasional BBQ potato chip…

I am active on Reddit u/scott_weidig in the r/smarthome, r/shortcuts, r/teslamotors, r/TeslaModel3, r/HomeKit, and r/Liverpool subreddits. Looking at r/sense it is pretty quiet there.

Looking forward to learning more about my power environment via Sense and connecting with the Sense community.

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Hi, I’m Marcus, I’m a software engineer. I just bought a house at the beginning of this year; I live in North Central Florida so I’ve been pretty quickly adopting smart home tools both for fun, and for hopeful energy conservation.

What brought you here? I originally heard about this from an episode of Ask This Old House, but I didn’t remember it until I started looking to see if there was any way to track utility usage in Home Assistant. I found an article that was very DIY, but it mentioned Sense and after doing some comparisons between different options, this seemed like a good option for me.

How long have you been using Sense? About a week

What other smart home tech do you have? I’ve got a Raspberry Pi with Home Assistant and 4 Inovelli (Z-wave) smart switches, and an Ecobee thermostat with a couple room sensors on the way. I’m planning on more switches and other z-wave stuff once I’ve got my budget better sorted out.

What’s your favorite type of barbecue? Not sure, I’d never really thought about different “types” of BBQ. I do hope to get a grill at some point, though.

I’m most active on the SA forums, though I’ll lurk and comment on Reddit from time to time; usually only looking at Twitter if someone shares a tweet.

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I’m amazed this still exists. Time to catch up, I guess.