The smart plugs don’t “help” Sense at all. They help you as the end user. Sense will still do it’s thing using AI and attempt to detect the devices with or without the plug. The plug doesn’t contribute to this learning. The reason the Sense team pushes these devices is because sometimes technological limitations can frustrate people, some devices are very difficult to find via AI and other times people just don’t have the patience to wait for the AI.
I think there’s a couple main reasons that people get these plugs and I think you hit the nail on the head with ability to control. I would venture to say that a large portion of users here have their homes automated more than the every day Joe. I for example, tell my Google display when going to bed, “Good Night”. It then goes through the house and turns off lights, sets thermostats, ensures the gate and garage are closed, locks doors, makes sure the fireplace and BBQ are turned off and the list goes on. Another example is when someone pulls up to my gate, there’s a sensor at my gate that sends a signal inside the house, it is connected to a MimoLite (relay) that turns on lights, plays an alert inside the house and launches a video feed of the gate across all of my digital displays. So it’s not just a way to measure power, but it’s a safety feature. Some of the lights in the aforementioned cases are on Kasa plugs.
There’s also a lot of people who use these plugs like a kill-a-watt and move them around. This allows them to get a good idea of what’s going on in their house.
I would agree that if you’re putting them in just for power monitoring, unless there’s a good reason to do so, it might not make a lot of good sense. Monitoring a 1kWh load with a device that doubles it, might be a waste.