Sense Home Energy Monitor Review: Advanced Energy Tracking
Sense makes smart home energy monitors that allow users to track their energy usage across the home and even across specific devices in real time. The Sense Home Energy monitors are among the most popular on the market today. Find out why in our review below.
Sense entered the household energy monitor industry just a few years ago. The Boston area company started using machine learning to study power consumption in real time. This was also in the wake of a discovery that devices that were always on accounted for almost 23% of total electricity consumption in private households.
Sense developed its technology with a team made up of some of the biggest names in speech recognition. The team consisted of engineers from Amazon, Vlingo, Phillips, SpeechWorks, ScanSoft and Nuance.
What came out was the Sense Home Energy Monitor. This Wi-Fi enabled sensor can display real-time energy consumption data directly on users’ smartphones thanks to a small box attached to the home’s electrical box.
Sense offers sophisticated energy monitoring
Compared to others in the industry, Sense is top notch. The diverse range of functions, the user-friendly smartphone application and even the solar energy option for improved savings are the reasons for the higher price.
Despite the relatively high price, consumers rated it quite well. Utilities have verified that it is 99.5% accurate, and it can even track individual device usage to improve accuracy and tracking.
It has been shown that 1 million data points are recorded per second. This is a rate that is not only bigger but also faster than most of the other competitors. Combined with other energy efficient products like smart thermostats and smart lights, the Sense energy monitor can help you to significantly reduce your energy consumption. For those who want to get a better feel for their power usage, Sense may be the best the market has to offer.
Types of Sense Home Energy Monitors
Sense works by plugging a monitor into your home’s breaker panel. Then the voltage and current measurements of your electricity consumption are carried out. It does this over 1 million times per second to produce high resolution data. The monitor then transmits the data to your app or desktop via a WiFi antenna.
In addition, Sense is able to recognize individual devices. That way, you can get an idea of how much energy your home uses and which devices and electrical appliances use the most energy when you run.
There are two Sense home energy monitors: the Standard Sense Unit and the Sense Solar. The latter is designed to provide the services to those who are running out of solar energy and enable better clarification and understanding of solar energy consumption.
Sense Energy Monitor
The Sense energy monitor provides real-time data around the clock that can be accessed via iOS, Android and desktop apps. That means you can always check the energy usage patterns whenever it suits you. Even better, schedules and alerts can be set at the discretion of the user to create a truly customized data system.
Why buy: The Sense Home Energy Monitor enables optimal energy tracking convenience. Users can get live updates on their power consumption from their smartphone anytime, anywhere.
How it works
The Sense Home Energy Monitor works simply enough. It plugs into your home’s circuit breaker and measures energy usage down to individual devices and devices to better understand where your home’s electricity usage is. Sense recommends that you have a licensed electrician perform the installation.
There are also security monitors for customers that can be set with audible notifications. Keep an eye on critical equipment such as well pumps, sump pumps, HVAC systems, water heaters or irons without having to constantly monitor them yourself. Above all, the components have been ETL / Intertek certified. This certification ensures that operation within a control panel is safe.
The Sense is compatible with many smart home devices. By combining Sense with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Phillips Hue, IFTTT, smart thermostats and smart plugs, you can optimize the energy efficiency of your home.
Sense Solar Energy Monitor
Like the Sense, the Sense Solar can track usage data in real time. You can also track your devices and devices individually for a more complete view of your home’s energy consumption.
Why buy: The Sense Solar can record the exact amount of energy that the solar panels in your house generate around the clock. This feature will quickly give you a better idea of what devices are consuming electricity (and how much) at any given time, and how effective your solar panels are.
How it works
The Sense solar energy monitor for private households is largely the same as the original version, although it records solar energy consumption. It is connected to the breaker panel of your house like the Sense, only with an additional cable to connect it to the solar inverter in the main power box of your house.
The Sense Solar uses the same simple user interface as the normal Sense for its smartphone function. Users can graph energy usage over time and even profile monthly, weekly or daily usage, whichever works best for the user.
It is recommended that only electricians perform the installation process.
The Sense App
Perhaps the biggest selling point for Sense and Sense Solar is the mobile app. The Sense app is used to connect to their smart home energy monitors and has the ability to monitor volt and current a million times per second.
The real-time data around the clock is available in a number of interfaces that enable user-defined profiles. Users can set monitoring reports that show overall usage as well as individual device performance.
With a large, easily identifiable interface, users can generate reports that suit their usage needs. In addition, they can display real-time data to monitor devices while they are running.
If that’s not enough, users can also set goals, view trends, and even set audible warnings when the energy level is too high. You can use the Sense app to control your home’s energy consumption and electricity bill.
Sense for and against
Both Sense and Sense Solar have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a breakdown for both versions.
For starters, the Sense app is super easy to use. Even the most technologically advanced can easily add the app to the user interface and navigate it.
In addition, the app shows a lot of historical data. If you want to look at specific trends going back as far as the installation date, you can just go to them. Daily, weekly, and monthly reports are available to provide a better understanding of data usage over time so that you can identify patterns and problem areas.
Finally, it offers individual device tracking. If you want to get really detailed and see which devices are using the most energy to operate, this is easily available through the app.
At $ 299.99, the cost isn’t cheap. In addition, professional installation is highly recommended. This is an additional cost on top of the already high price of the device itself. These installation fees add one notch to an already costly unit.
There is also the problem that there are no cost calculations. While it can track energy usage in real time, it doesn’t tell you what that means in terms of real money. When you know what your energy costs are, you need to put in a little extra effort.
Sense solar professionals
The Sense Solar Energy Monitor is one of the best for tracking solar production in real time. Some similar solar devices only offer updates in 15 minute increments, while the Sense Solar can track down to the second.
In addition, power generation and consumption are also recorded, so you know if your devices are using more energy than the solar panels. Not to mention the easy-to-use app that can be used to create various profiles for tracking and consuming data.
Sense Solar Cons
At $ 349.99, the Sense Solar Monitor is even more expensive than the standard Sense and definitely an investment. This particular home energy monitor is designed to help homeowners get the most out of their own solar panels. If all you want to do is identify ways to reduce energy consumption, there are definitely cheaper options out there.
The other downside is that there are problems finding devices that are always on. That’s not to say it can’t find you, it just takes some time and patience. It can also recognize the same device multiple times, causing confusion.
Both the Sense and Sense solar monitors provide real-time data on power consumption that can be adjusted at the user’s discretion. Besides requiring professional installation, users can easily access and customize data through the app. It creates profiles that display information that can save you money on your electricity bill.
While it’s one of the most expensive options out there, few are out there that offer real-time data customization and app convenience like Sense. With an accuracy of 99.5% on the readings, it is difficult to surpass the comfort and accuracy that Sense offers.
Ryan Womeldorf is a freelance writer specializing in technology and consumer products, including smart home tech. He is husband and father of two children (five if you count his pups).