Why not use the Smart meter connection?

Just an idea for you guys … Smart meters are standard why not hook into them directly and use them as corrective/learning measure?

In Canada vendors can ask to hook into the Smart meter and get the values right from the meter. This would give you an absolute measure any time you call for it. Sense would never be out of sync with the monthly bill values.

Just as one example: https://rainforestautomation.com/rfa-z114-eagle-200-2/

Sense should also be able to get this “real” value.

Good suggestion, and one I made several years ago, when I was encountering a number of data dropouts. I’m in the US/California and my utility also allows us to tap into the smart meter Zigbee/Zwave feed to view meter data. I own a Rainforest Eagle and did use to compare against Sense in the early days at an hourly level. Since then, Sense has cleaned up many of the dropout issues and I have cleaned up my WiFi network to the point that dropouts are extremely rare.

My take today is that a link to the meter data feed is a nice to have for hyper tuning CT calibration, but not super useful otherwise. Why ?

  • Sense is very accurate: +/- 2% except when acquisition dropouts occur.
    How Accurate is Sense vs. Utility Metering?
  • More accuracy probably isn’t helpful - Sense is more accurate than my solar inverter when computing the solar component.
  • Time resolution - Smart meters only update RMS power data every 3-10 seconds depending on communications infrastructure, so making useful comparisons is hard.

Interesting to hear what you think having a link to the smart meter data feed would improve ?

Most of these that do not require any kind of “hook-up” usually use zigbee to talk to the meter… Very few utilities actually enable this in their meters even if the meter supports it. Its an additional security risk.

That said there are a bunch of other cool readings that can come from the meter, power factor, frequency, harmonics, THD, voltage angles, current angles, waveforms, TDD, k factor, V & A unbalance, min/max/avg counters… But the sense does great on its own.

Here’s the output of my Sense vs. the same data via the Rainforest Automation Eagle (from my meter). Some of the utility meter shortcomings are kind of obvious.

One Hour Detailed Demand

One Day Summary

ps: The Eagle export features don’t work that well either for periods longer than a day.