The King of Always On


#1

At the risk of being declared the ultimate nerd, I am gonna go out on a limb and share my extraordinary Always On success story. In 2011, I installed a 5kW solar array. Prior to doing so, I began getting a handle on wasted energy. Devices that were truly always on like TVs, routers, modems, DVR, microwave, etc. were left alone. Items that would be used intermittently like scanners, printers, stereo components, etc. moved to smart surge protectors.

Once this project was successful, in 2012, I added a Chevy Volt and 1kW more solar. We are retired driving 8000 annual electric miles and gas miles for long trips, so 1kW did the trick. Maybe 2kW for future usage.

I installed my Sense monitor in Q1 of 2018. It has taken several months to find 30 major components, and still waiting to discover my EV, I’m talkin to you Sense staff =). Still all in all, the real-time visual of solar vs household energy has been eye-opening. My EV is charged by a smart EVSE provided by MyEnergi called the zappi. It allows me to charge only when the sun is shining or when surplus power is available. So when I saw the Always On average was 288, I knew we would be half of that right off the bat. We have over 30 electronic devices that could be impacted by the Always On monitor (see below).

Soooo here comes the nerd. Ohhh how my wife hates the newly implemented Sense goals! So back in 2011, I got the low hanging fruit if you will. Now, I have really gone after optimization. Here are just a few. Spectrum is our ISP. We found a Motorola Surfboard SB6580 router/modem combo that cut that always on usage in half of using two components. Our LED TVs are Samsung that have fantastic sleep mode pulling the minimum vampire drain. We made sure that all tablets, laptops, and phones were set to proper sleep mode. We unplugged all the bricks that were being used seasonally. For instance, our pellets stove does not need to register in the summertime. So maybe I saved this picture for last. Snapped the picture when other was at a minimum as not to confuse with always-on. Anybody better than this?


Lowest Always-On Wattage?
Disappointed in device discovery
#2

Wow!! cool. So what devices are included in that “Always On” number? Can you give more details on how you achieved that?


#3

Anything with a DC transformer is drawing power
Anything with a programmable control is drawing power
Anything with a remote is drawing power

Sense
Digital clock
Phone base with three VoiP phones
VoIP MagicJack
Apple TV
DVR Tivo sleep mode
DVD sleep mode
TV sleep mode
Microwave
EVSE II
EVSE 1 unplugged one EV
Whole house Surge protector (This reduces consumption)
Envoy Enphase solar monitor
Modem/router Motorola
Night light replaced LED
Night light replaced LED
Night light replaced LED
Oven light
Range light
Drive beeper alarm monitor
Battery vacuum
Wine opener
Water softener Whirlpool
Paper shredder off
Pellet stove seasonal off
Wave radio off
Green house control seasonal off
Nest thermostat
Weather station
Stereo components switched to off surge switch
Printers surge off
Scanner surge off
Two garage doors rf


#4

This is awesome! Can I ask what router/modem you’re using? I didn’t realize just how much power my router and modem were using. Well, I probably should have given how much heat they throw off. No wonder my cat loves to snuggle the router…

:grin:


#5

Motorola SB6580. I have been holding below 60 watts for awhile so I decided it was a story worth telling. I am an energy nerd for sure. We cook with the sun on an induction stove when the sun is shining and with CH4 from the food we ate 10 days before from our homebiogas digester when it is not. Free fire on demand, what’s not to like?

Our mantra is no sacrifice. Not that I am against some good conservation, I just no others won’t. As for the homebiogas, you have to get rid of your scraps anyway. Put them in the trash and grow maggots until trash day or make free plant fertilizer and free gas.

As for the 53 watt Always On, somebody will take it down, but until they do, I declare Nerd King! :nerd_face:
The King of Always On is easier to swallow.


#6

Impressive. Very impressive. MachoDrone recently adopted 4 sisters, our family of 4 grew to 8 and will be teenagers before we’re ready. My personal goal is to attempt to get to 50W always on. It will be a struggle. MachoDrone occasionally sees 184W always on and see much hope to get to double digits in the next year… Tackling some bigger issues with a 1975 home at the moment.
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … V heart V


#7

https://community.sense.com/t/so-what-is-your-minimum-power-usage-249-here-for-a-big-house/292
So I was killing some time on this hot July 4th and came across this previously posted comment to which I have to give the crown to https://community.sense.com/u/NJHaley. Some others posted Always on as low as 28 with a large other category but NJHaley posted proof of 32! You ARE the King my friend!


#8

Congrats @markhovis73. This is a record I will never touch. I have had sense since 2016 and my Always On and Unknown have not changed substantially.

image


#9

I am only a month into this, so I am still find devices and cleaning up hogs…but I wanted to post my current situation as well. No where close to some of you folks…yet.

Always on is about 368 Watts


#10

I have about 240 watts “Always on”. Most of my “Always on” power is my cable modem and router.

I identified them best by

  1. Shutting off all devices around the house that are not Always On
  2. Turn off the heat or AC, and the refrigerator too (unplug or shut off the breaker if just for the refrigerator)
  3. If you have shut everything off, then the Always On power should match the total power as seen on Sense. Even if it doesn’t, note the current power.
  4. Now, shut down power on a breaker and see the difference in total power in Sense. The “Always On” will not change, but total power should change. This basically tells the power associated with that breaker, and identifying those device(s) on that breaker is much easier.
  5. Turn the breaker breaker back on, and repeat with the next breaker.

Note: Do not shut off the breaker that powers your Sense and whichever one affects the modem and wifi to your Sense. In my case, Sense is on it’s own breaker and my modem and router have a UPS battery backup, so I can shut them off for a while.

I am 100% solar and have a Chevy Volt too (about 60% electric miles).

Previously I had a Motorola SB6580, but the router part failed, and left me with less upgrade options, so I replaced it with separates.

And for those who don’t know what outlets are associated with what breaker, it’s a good thing to do in a household. Some people mark the plate with stickers with the breaker number on them. I just have a spreadsheet listing the outlet or device (like fans and lights) and location. I have sometimes moved my devices between 20 amp and 15 amp circuits to better balance the load, as well as to the different phases of 120V (useful for standby generators).


#11

Nowhere near the low “Always Ons” of the illustrious guys on the leader board here, but my personal best (at least without disabling stuff I want to keep always on):

The weird thing is that I have no idea how I made the breakthrough from 350W (my typical previously) to only 159W. But here as I just happen to look this AM, is something far lower. My only clue to why is that my daughter is at camp right now.


#12

Mine is 68W - haven’t done any particular optimization.


#13

I thought I was the king of always on. 472, do any of you go higher?


#14

Wasn’t there a guy on Facebook last week that was over 2000W (always on).
He switched off a breaker and it dropped 2000W. He wasn’t sure what was using all of that power.
He has left the breaker off until he can get an electrician to look into it.


#15

lol, Yeah I’ve seen a lot higher. Mine has added 20 watts since the original post. I think @NJHaley has the lowest if he is still maintaining. I think one of the biggest advantages of lowering always on is to reduce the electrical noise thus detecting more devices. It can’t be achieved falsely by temporarily stopping devices.


#16

Mine is currently at 1060. But it fluctuates. However, I’ve never seen it below 800 and I can’t for life of me figure out why it’s so high.


#17

@Mcraehfloor,
consider floor heating, well pumps, AC auxiliary heating elements, outside lights. basement/attic lights left on. etc.
One guy on Facebook just started switching off breakers. He got a 2000W drop but can’t work out what is not working. He is waiting for a Sparky (electrician) to come out and look at it.


#18

Yeah we don’t have a well and the heat and water heater is all gas. We do leave some lights on but they are all LED. So I’ve decided it must be all the home theater stuff and the computers. I also went through every breaker but because always on is calculated based on an average I couldn’t really tell where the big stinkers are. One day I’ll repeat that and leave stuff off for a day or so if I can.


#19

Most new stuff should use less than 1W in standby mode.
I have a 12 year old rear projection TV that says it uses 17W on Standby. $3.5 a month, just in standby mode.
PCs can use 1Kw if they have really fast Video cards and other peripherals. laser printers can also use a lot.


#20

Installed my Sense just under 3 hours ago. Everyone is asleep and I’m staring at the energy usage graph :slight_smile:

I’m using 104-108 watts which includes 2 ceiling fans (both on low), a baby swing that is currently on, and about 10 night lights. Overall better than I expected for our first night. I’ll be coming for that 53 watts of always on :slight_smile: