If anyone has previously brought this up, I couldn’t find it.
I like the Similar Homes comparison, but one major aspect that seems to be missing to me is comparing available types of utilities. For instance, I’m always higher average wattage than the majority of similar homes according to Sense, but it doesn’t seem to allow for the fact that I’m on 100% electricity. Therefore, I assume I’m being compared to homes that cook with gas, for instance. Or in the winter, heating with oil (which is common in my area) or gas, when again I’m using electric (geothermal in my case).
I realize the Similar Homes comparison right now only accounts for location and square footage, but I’d love to see how I compare against other 100% electric homes. Do I really have very high usage for my square footage, or is it just because I run everything on electric?
I think at some point Sense will use the Home Inventory to dial in closer on that aspect Similar Homes.
Our home is different form many in that there is always someone home. Either my wife or I work from home so we can be close to the school, if there is an issue with our kids. This means that we need to run heat or A/C all year round. We would have a much lower Summer electricity bill if we didn’t work from home. It would likely be better in the Winter too.
Up to date insulation or construction can also be a huge difference. My Brother in law recently gutted their house and spent a year getting it rebuilt properly. Their house is about the same size as ours but is fully detached. Both of their A/C units combined are about a third of ours(two by 3/4 tonne versus our 4 tonne). They usually only run one of them. Also, our house is 100 years old with almost no insulation.
Good points! We both work from home as well, and we also have a PHEV car so we use a lot of electricity for that. Sense tracks the car pretty well. We did invest a lot of money in replacing our oil heater with geothermal, updating insulation, etc so it is just a little depressing to have Sense constantly telling me that we are using so much more energy than everyone else! I actually hadn’t considered the work-from-home aspect though, and I’m sure that contributes a fair bit.
Our overall utilities cost considerably less than they have in the past, including when we lived in much smaller apartments, so I don’t feel bad about our costs. I’d just be interested to know how we compare to houses that are more similar to ours. When I discuss costs with my family and friends they are always surprised to hear my electricity bills are often $100-$150, but they don’t take into account that I’m not paying their $100 gas bill! And oil, ugh, nobody wants to pay for that. We’ve had the geothermal for 2 years and Sense has had zero luck finding it, so it is hard to figure out that cost for comparison.
Maybe I just want some validation that I didn’t spend $$$$ for energy-efficient upgrades only to be still using more electricity than everyone else for no good reason
@sassnak, I forgot about electric vehicles. They, like Geothermal, would skew consumption against you. $100-150 would be nice. We do get down to $110 in Winter, however, that doesn’t include heating.
Another issue that affects me is price. We pay about 27c per kWh. I see a few people paying a half to a third of this.
Yes I only pay about 11c a kWh! Since the Similar Homes comparison does control for location though, I don’t think this would be as much of a factor.
This is definitely the plan. As we gather more data from Home Details, we intend on dialing in the Similar Homes feature even more.
In a future where every high-rise dweller has Sense one can imagine the potential for “similar homes” having distinctly different energy usage, and not for the most obvious reasons:
Solar gain through the windows vs being in shadow. The Southsiders are dissimilar to the Northsiders?
Your “2D” location on the map vs your “3D” vertical location within a building along with your absolute altitude.
You like outdoor air so you open windows … a classic NYC solve to overheated (steamy) apartments is to do just that mid-Winter. In Summer you close up all the windows and crank the AC … even when it’s cool outside at night.
The list is much longer and of course highlights factors outside of strictly being Sense-related … if you have centralized un-metered HVAC your Sense monitored energy use will no-doubt be much lower than your actual energy use.
Similar Homes and/or Similar Occupants with Similar Devices?
Another iterative & hard problem for which we need patience!
Got it, that makes sense. I saw that Similar Homes would be expanded, but didn’t consider that identifying devices could help narrow down utility comparisons. Does that mean it will go more in depth with types of appliances? Like I have an electric dryer, and my neighbor with gas has a gas dryer but it still uses electricity and might show up on Sense. Comparing our dryer electric usage would be apples to oranges, but if the Home Inventory asks if he has a dryer he’d say yes.
Look more closely - the inventory separates out electric dryers vs. gas. Same for heating systems and water heaters, ovens, etc. The Sense inventory for all-electric house will look distinctly different than a hybrid house with mixed electric and gas energy sources.
Oh you are right! Duh. Apparently I even filled that out, but since I read the article about how it isn’t used yet I forgot it already existed.