Sense Energy Monitor with Solar – Track Electricity Usage and Solar Production in Real Time Meets Rigorous ETL/Intertek Safety Standards
|Included Components||Sense monitor, Additional Set of Current Sensors (2 pcs), Power Cable, Set of Current Sensors (2 pcs), Mounting Bracket, AntennaSense monitor, Additional Set of Current Sensors (2 pcs), Power Cable, Set of Current Sensors (2…|
|Number of Items||1|
|Power Source||Solar Powered|
|Package Type||Standard Packaging|
- SENSE SAVES: Sense saves you energy and money by providing insight into your home’s energy use and activity. NOW SUPPORTING TIME-OF-USE RATE PLANS.
- MAXIMIZE YOUR SOLAR ENERGY USE: Compare solar production and energy consumption side-by-side in a single view so you can maximize the power you make and minimize the power you buy.
- SEE WHAT’S UP. KNOW WHAT’S ON: Track how much electricity you’re using, what time your kids got home, or when someone leaves the basement light on. Sense identifies patterns in your energy use to help your family be more efficient, informed, and secure.
- AVOID DISASTER: Set custom notifications for critical devices, like your sump pump, well pump, or flat iron.
- MEETS RIGOROUS SAFETY STANDARDS: Sense’s components and system have been designed and ETL/Intertek certified for installation and operation inside the electrical panel. Sense is not currently available or compatible outside the United States and Canada.
Features and specification
|Manufacturer Smart device manufacturer|
|Country of Origin|
|Item Package Quantity||
Limited Manufacturer Warranty
7.9 x 7.6 x 7.4 inches
Sense monitor, Additional Set of Current Sensors (2 pcs), Power Cable, Set of Current Sensors (2 pcs), Mounting Bracket, Antenna
Frequently asked question
Using IFTT, you can log device turning on (or off) in a Google spreadsheet, see https://ifttt.com/sense_energy_monitor --- that said, if Google goes belly up and closes, same cloud-based service problem exists.
At the moment, we don't have an API or developer program. That being said, we see integrations are an important part of the future of Sense and will continue to look into additional ways to connect with other devices. In the meantime, check out our IFTT integration!
Unfortunately, Sense does not have an option for an ethernet port, our monitors must have a consistent WiFi connection.
It tracks solar generation. It also tracks all power usage in real time. So it is possible to determine how much of the power generated is used in loco at any given time. Thus it is also possible to know how much excess there is feeding back into the grid. -- But Sense does not present this information as a separate item.
2 reviews for Sense Energy Monitor with Solar – Track Electricity Usage and Solar Production in Real Time Meets Rigorous ETL/Intertek Safety Standards
02 Customer(s) recommended this item
Reviewed by 0 customer(s)
Outstanding way to get in tune with your house's power consumption and solar power production
Sense is a truly amazing product. I can say without hesitation that this product paid for itself quite easily within just a few days of installation. I’m a solar power generator, so that makes the product even more useful for me.
This review is overwhelmingly positive, let’s get the negatives out of the way first.
First: installation. This wasn’t necessarily ‘easy’ to install, even though I hired a licensed electrician to do the work (by the way, this really isn’t optional — home DIYers need to be very knowledgeable to safely install this unit. Get an electrician!)
Problem: electricians generally haven’t heard of this and don’t know what they’re installing or why. In my case my electrican initially stated it wasn’t possible to set up the solar relay CTs until I gently nudged him to try it a different way.
The other issue with installation was that the solar CTs simply didn’t work at all once the box was hooked up. Of course I had this done on the weekend and had to wait until Monday for tech support. The whole time I kept trying different processes to initialize the system, getting more frustrated all the while. But on Monday the tech was able to do something remotely to the box which let the CTs start making their initial readings. However, they were calibrated wrong, sending wildly inaccurate readings. I went to the user’s forum. At the end of the day and after trying many different combinations of routing the CTs I discovered that when I closed the panel it was putting pressure on one of the CTs. Voila. I re-routed the CT one last time and carefully watched the readings as I tightened down the panel. That was the last of the troubleshooting relating to installation and I started enjoying the product greatly at that point.
Let me state up front that although tech support is email only, it was outstanding across the board. Although I ended up discovering my own installation problem before my tech did, we were exchanging photos of my breaker panel via email, he was marking them up and sending them back, and providing detailed guidance. I never felt like I was left to twist in the wind. If you purchase this unit and have some hang-ups at the beginning, just trust that the process is probably going to work out okay.
Last criticism before the happy parts: Sense is a learning unit. You can’t ‘teach’ it (well, you can, with some $$ exceptions) and it learns at its own pace. That pace can feel very slow. It doesn’t always identify units correctly and in my cases it has a hard time figuring out the difference between my oven and a space heater, and one of my heating elements and the dryer. Understandable, but annoying, because I had correctly tagged those units and then Sense thinks they’re something else.
Okay. Enough of that.
WOW! Let’s just make this clear — even if all of those issues are enough to drive you crazy (for me, they’re not) they pale in comparison to what this thing does out of the box. I now have a clear picture of how much power I consume, how much solar power I send to the grid, and how much solar is used to power my home. I’ve identified energy hogs (a water booster pump) which I’ve placed a smart plug on so it can’t run all night. I’ve found surprising energy hogs in my kids’ bathroom — thought I had replaced all of the lights in the house with LED but the hot/bright lights embedded above their vanity drew nearly 600w. I realized that leaving the ‘small’ lights on in the garage were costs me 200w per hour. And the real shocker was just how much power my electric heat drew.
I have a house built in the 60s which I recently converted to natural gas. That dramatically lowered my heating costs in the winter, but I was only able to heat/cool the top half of the house with the forced air furnace and central AC we installed. The finished basement, the lower level, didn’t have any room for aesthetically pleasing ducting. So we installed an energy efficient mini split in the large den and left the electric heat for a guest room, guest bathroom, and my home office.
Turns out it costs more to run the heat for just one of those rooms than the entire rest of the house. Even the smaller rooms. These rooms have combinations of electric baseboard heaters and radiant ceiling heat. Extraordinarily expensive to operate.
This nudged me towards the Mysa thermostat which allows me to control the heat in all the rooms on schedules and as a group. When we have guests in our home, I can now simply engage a ‘guest mode.’ The heating savings on this alone more than pays for the Mysa thermostats and Sense.
Sense also made me a lot smarter about how and when to consume power. Here in NJ we have net metering and on/off peak per kWh billing from JCP&L. Whenever possible we try to do the ‘big stuff’ off peak, although at some point you’ve just got to live a normal life — you can’t get too crazy about this stuff, although it is certainly addictive.
Sense also made me willing to purchase a few TP-Link accessories which are compatible with Sense — mainly smart outlets which let me a) monitor specific consumption of items and b) name the device for Sense. Sense learns at its own pace, but when you tell it what’s on one of the TP-Link outlets, it knows right away… and that’s good for the ‘community learning’ so others with that appliance or device will have faster ID with Sense.
Basically, I feel way ahead of the game now with my power consumption and production. Very, very happy with Sense!09/10/2022Verified Purchase
IT MAKES NO SENSE IF YOU DON’T HAVE SENSE
I just want to chime in about the Sense. I installed our unit and had it running on the first of January 2019 and it’s been running flawlessly since. My background is that I have spent the last 10 years installing solar electric systems in addition to installing low voltage, high tech equipment such as security alarm, camera and door access systems as well as networks and telephone key systems for the past 40 plus years. As far as installation goes, no two electrical panel setups are the same especially if you have solar and a backup generator with an automatic transfer switch like I do. For me I figuratively put a blindfold on and tied one hand behind my back and I was able to install the unit but for you, you may need assistance. Understand that we all have our own skill sets. I also had to run some cat6 to the garage and place an access point there because my wifi from the center of the house just couldn’t reach. You may have to also but you can use your phone to check your WiFi strength at the panel before you start to install. You can use a WiFi range extender too which are totally wireless.
Here’s why I invested in the Sense. Over the years some of my solar clients would invariably tell me that even with solar their electrical bills were creeping up from $5 a month to $20 to $75 etc. After analyzing their solar production and being spot on we noticed that the clients were getting “solar lazy.” I phrase that I just made up. Here’s the definition. You get solar installed and you are promised that your bill will go from $150 a month to zero (using my house as an example) and you begin to think that because you have solar no matter how many appliances you buy and plug in your bill will still be zero. Then you also get lazy and start leaving things turned on such as lights, coffee makers, TV systems with cable boxes etc. Over time your usage increases but your solar only produces enough to cover your original usage and BOOM! Your electric bill starts increasing. Now if you don’t have solar your Bill just keeps going up higher and higher until you say, something’s wrong here. Now, in my case I swore it must have been the new Digital electric meter that the utility installed. I was ready to start a class action suit if I found this to be true. That’s when I got the Sense to prove the meter was faulty.
As soon as I connected it I was blown away at how precise it was in reporting the actual usage and offset by the solar. I could even tell if I unplugged a cellphone charger! At that point I went around the house and unplugged TVs, cable boxes and DVD players to start in all the extra guest bedrooms and basement where we didn’t watch from on a daily basis. Whoa! I was able to notice a sizable difference in the “phantom load” which is the load placed on your electrical system from appliances and devices that stay plugged in but are technically “shut off.” I then noticed that there was a heating device listed as running sporadically when I knew that there really shouldnt have been. I looked all over the house and realized that I had placed a portable heater inside the hot tub just in case it stopped heating to protect against freeze damage to the pvc pipes. Sure enough the hot tub went “cold” and the heater had done it’s job but was costing me a small fortune to run. I was now obsessed with finding and correcting energy wasting usage around the house. Within about two weeks I cut my energy usage in half and my solar now covered 100% and more of the usage and I didn’t have to file a lawsuit against the electrical utility.
To those that want an out of the box experience in knowing exactly what appliances are running, I will tell you that the sense is not for you if you don’t want to help it with detection. In my case, I too was disappointed that the Sense couldn’t figure out many devices in the house including the charging of my Prius plug in or my Prius Prime plug in. So I decided to help. Over the past 5 years at the same time we went solar, we did a major addition to the house and I installed (myself) a high efficiency condensing boiler with radiant heat in the floors as well as a Mitsubishi 8 unit split AC system as well as new front loader washer and Samsung fridge all having inverter based technology and variable speed pumps on the heating system. Sense is designed to recognize electrical loads that repeat their “usage signature” in the same pattern time after time such as a vacuum cleaner that turns a motor on and off when used. The things that i just listed that I installed use varying amounts of electric as they do their thing. They do not simply turn on and off. They spin up slowly saving energy and only use energy very wisely by doing that. But that’s the caveat. Sense can’t really read those “signatures” and match them to past signatures from other systems around the world and tell you that they’re running. So, I helped myself to know when they are running by purchasing Zwave controlled Kasa HS110 modules which communicate with the Sense unit and allow me to name that appliance and get precise usage stats for that normally undetectable appliance. The Kasa HS110 units are labeled 110v but work on 220v and I rigged two separate 110v feeds from two different busses in the panel into a combiner “y’ and then plugged my Prius Prime’s 110 v stock charging cable which is also labeled 110v but works at 220v and now charges the car in half the time. Do a search on the internet and if you have the proper charger from the factory you too can charge yours in half the time. Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand, the Kasa HS110’s are recommended by Sense to pinpoint appliances that can’t be recognized. So now after purchasing a half dozen of these, I now show precise usage from my fridge, heating system, washer and even my two cat genies (automatic washing and flushing cat litter boxes). I can tell you to the penny what it costs us to run those Cat genies versus buying litter and I can tell you that since we rescued two adorable cats and I won the argument by trial after I installed those two automatic litter boxes (my wife was ready to divorce me but the cats took to them immediately and the wife never has to buy or touch litter again). If you have cats, the Cat Genie will change your life.
So, getting back to detection, the Sense tries its best but can’t identify every load in your house. If you understand that from the beginning you will not be disappointed because even if you have a device that is identified as “Heat 1” you can spend a little time to decipher and look at the past usage patterns and in real time when it “kicks in” and go into the app a rename it to “electric fireplace” which BTW use an egregious amount of electric (I installed a natural gas sealed insert fireplace) but when I see people buying those fake fireplaces I shudder for them because they see their next electric bill and it goes up $30-$50.
So, I give the Sense four stars but I really want to give it 5 stars because I think that the Sense people could have done a little bit more to offer additional sensors like the “solar” clip on sensors that they offer so I could monitor the load from devices such as my Mitsubishi split system which uses just a little too much current to wire in two HS110’s in line being too cumbersome to do so. This would also help others who have a separate sub panel for an apartment and they want to track what the renters (or their kids) are using. Obviously they could just buy another Sense if they wanted to but a $50-$100 clip on sensor is way better than another $250.
Bottom line. It makes no sense If you don’t have Sense.
PS, if you look at the attached pic you will see that the Sense app warned me about my usage being high. My wife’s GMC Terrain was leaking water into the car and has been fixed but I stuck a dehumidifier in there to dry it out. I knew it was going to increase energy usage but this is where Sense shines. They also told me that I originally cut my usage in half. It works!05/07/2022Verified Purchase