What's new in v37 (iOS/Android)

We’re very excited to announce the release of v37 (iOS/Android), enabling you to tell Sense what Always On devices are inside your home to see an estimated breakdown of your Always On wattage. v37 should is live for iOS and will be available in the Google Play Store shortly.

Always On Estimates

One area where you can quickly make changes to net savings is Always On, the category of your home’s energy use that often goes unnoticed as “vampire” energy. With Always-On Estimates, you can tell Sense what Always On devices you have and get an estimated breakdown of your Always On wattage.

You can search our database of known devices or add your own with estimated wattage. By breaking out known Always On devices, you will better be able to focus on the unknowns, leading to a better understanding of your overall vampire load.

To add a device, navigate to the Always On Device Details screen and tap the ‘plus’ icon in the top-right corner of the Always On Devices card. You’ll be able to see your total wattage from known Always On devices as well as your remaining unknown Always On. Please note that device adding is currently only available on mobile.

Given that these are estimated devices, they will not be added to your core Devices list and your provided wattage estimates will not affect calculations outside of the Always On Devices card

Please note that we intend to update the database on an ongoing basis. We’ll be looking at custom devices that users input to inform what we add, so be sure to do your best to get accurate wattages and provide accurate make/model details.

If you’re interested in the technical particularities of how we calculate Always On, check out this article in our Help Center or this visual analysis of Always On from @kevin1. As a reminder, this release does not automatically enable detection of devices and does not impact your Device list outside of the Always On Devices card.

As you dig into this new feature, we’d love to get your feedback. Please share your thoughts in this short survey: Always On Estimates Feedback

New help.sense.com articles:

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@ATechGuy, I think this was one of the things you were suggesting in a recent post as a way of categorizing all of the components of Always On. This seems like a good place to insert the Always On results obtained from your breaker technique or from leaving each plug-in device on a traveling KP115 smart plug for 24 hours or more to get Sense’s result for the individual device Always On.

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Thanks for adding this feature! I love that you have automatically included the Sense monitor itself, and provided a beautiful icon depicting the Sense box.

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I certainly need to play with it! I never understand which apps auto update and which ones require manual updating in IOS.

FWIW, other than the hot tub circulator (~110w) and my two refrigerators (150w/120w) the rest of my “Always On” power (computers) is hidden behind a UPS. I can easily imagine a UPS being a great “cloaking device” for anything behind it. I think there are six in all, ranging from 450VA to 3000VA.

Simply having the ability to list the items is a start. And, without Sense, I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to review each UPS and its items, so indirectly, you could debate that Sense did “help” identify where my power drain and “Always On” items are coming from.

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Depending on UPS type, I definitely see a UPS “cloaking” the on/off signatures of devices on the output side, as it conditions the power, though a standby type probably won’t. And I’m guessing that a double conversion UPS will add a significant Always On component of its own, to the Always On of the devices connected to it.

Thanks for providing this important feature. In starting to use the feature I found myself using a variety of techniques to estimate the wattage used by each device. Some techniques are much more accurate than others. It will be helpful if the feature can allow us to record how we estimated each wattage value assigned to each device. Options might include, Power Meter use, Kill-A-Watt measurements, Sense estimated values, manufacture’s specification, or simply a guess. Recording this can help each user recall the accuracy of the estimate, and encourage the user to continue to seek a more accurate estimate. When Sense aggregates this information, or shares it among users, it will be helpful to know what estimates are most accurate so an accurate overall-estimate can be derived for each device.

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Thanks for your feedback. User-added Always On devices are missing the ‘Notes’ field that is present in other devices. Would adding that solve what you’re looking for?

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Ryan, I think that adding a ‘Notes’ field to Always On devices as is available for other devices would be great! Similar to @lee, sometimes I keep reminders of thoughts related to a device, and having a place to note them right in Sense would be handy.

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Question. If you add estimated always on devices as described, and then add them to the “What’s Plugged In” list of a Kasa Plug by checking that estimated device in the provided list, are you double counting the always on power? I added a bunch of estimated always on devices when this came out and then I got two Kasa HS300s. After setting up the strips I started defining what was plugged in by checking the devices in the list on the settings screen for the plug device. Some of those checked were in the list of estimated devices. I assumed that since checking them there removed them from Always On card that it wouldn’t double count. But this morning I woke up and my always on is considerably higher that it ever has been so my first guess was that there may be some double counting going on.

LJ

Hi @ljp-sense. If you have smart plugs or dedicated circuit devices that Sense has calculated Always On wattage for, you should not add them to your Always On Estimates unless you intend to remove the device from the smart plug. Otherwise, there will be double counting in the Always On Devices card.

If you remove the double-counted devices from your Always On Estimates, you should see your Always On return to normal.

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Thanks for the reply. I hear what you are saying but this being the case I have some suggestions. If double counting estimated devices is possible then perhaps you should not present them on the “what’s plugged into this” card. Or give a warning that the proper thing to do is delete them from the estimate list. Or even better, if you do present them there then give the user the option to delete them from the estimate list or exclude them from the count of always on. It is a bit confusing as it stands now.

LJ

Just to be clear @ljp-sense, did your actual Always On increase “considerably beyond what you expected”, or just the estimate on the Always On card ? The actual Always On value is calculated from 48 hours worth usage data in your house, so if that has increased, it’s your house. If the estimate on the Always On card has grown, because the HS300’s have kicked in with their own Always On measurements, then I can see your challenge, but that’s different than the house Always On increasing. I would just remove the estimates for the devices on the HS300s from the estimates.

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I was basing my statement on the Always on Bubble on the Home Screen. When I tap that this morning it is up about 150W

LJ

I don’t think that’s coming from the Always On estimate card and double counting. I think that’s your house speaking to you. A 150W increase means a 150W increase in your house’s baseline - maybe someone left a 150W device on during the hours when your energy usage is normally at its lowest.

Always On

Always On is a calculation of the lowest power of each of your mains, added together, where “lowest” refers to the 1% bin of the observed wattage histogram over the previous 24-48 hour period. It is updated every half second, though most users will not see significant real-time changes given the 48 hour lookback window.

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Adding a notes section will certainly be helpful, and I suggest going further. If the uncertainty of the watts estimate can be recorded in a structed way, then this confidence level can be communicated as the data for each device type (make and model) is shared and aggregated.

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We’re releasing v37.1 for iOS imminently. It includes a minor bug fix.

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Ryan- A few suggested items to add to the list of “Always On” devices that can be manually added by users:

TP-Link HS300 smart power strip: I have 2 of these and they are great for measuring energy use of specific devices but the strip itself also uses power
Google Nest smoke/CO2 detectors
myQ smart garage hub

I realize I can add these manually but would guess that these 3 are all pretty common and would be helpful from a data perspective for Sense to have widely available for everyone to use. Thanks.

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It’s be great if the estimated always on could be associated with an existing device. My garage door opener is detected, but even after adding a GDO always on device, there is no way to associate the two that I can see, so it’s still not recorded anywhere how much energy my GDO actually uses.

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I think Sense needs to improve added devices globally throughout the app. There are multiple areas where we add devices, and Sense always asks for Make and Model. I don’t understand why there’s not a global device list where we can pick from the list to select. That section already does exist via the Home Inventory, but those devices sit there unassociated with any other function or feature of the app. I’ve been filling out my Always On devices and yet again need to fill out Make and Model info that’s already been input into Sense. end rant

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