Experience with new energy monitoring tools such as Curb, Sense, Nerio and Smapee

I have been trying to get feedback from people's experience with these breaker box monitoring tools. Do any of them work and provide useful data. I frequently get called by people who want me to audit their homes to tell them exactly where all their power/energy is being used and why their bills are so high. In a one day audit, one can't really do that without knowing a detailed breakdown of the energy usage over time, though one can make some educated guesses based on HVAC quality, but that is not a complete picture. The typical question: "where is all my energy going?"

Thanks. 

Tags: energy, house, monitoring, whole

Views: 913

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have been thinking about putting it on my own home as you suggest, and was wondering which, if any to try, though they all seem to have issues. With circuit level of my existing home, it was not built with such forethought such that I have no idea what if any logic there is to most of my circuits to know from what rooms they feed. I am not an electrician so it would take a ton of work (doable but I have some other priorities on my time) to go through my house and id everything just to know what the circuit monitors are recording. 

In reviewing the few replies, it seems there really is nothing yet to answer those inquiries: "where is my (E) going and driving up my bill" with any of these devices.    

@Dav, 240-volt circuits are dedicated to a single appliance so circuit monitoring with CT's provides per-appliance data. I don't think it makes sense to try to use circuit level monitoring for plug & lighting loads. TED, Brultech and other CT-based monitoring systems include a virtual 'everything else' channel that accounts for lighting and plug loads. Individual plug loads can easily be monitored with a $20 Kill-A-Watt or similar.

SiteSage, formerly eMonitor, is a great system for sleuthing. Plus you can download data to excel. Stable and relatively easy to install - once you understand the instructions. The main downside is a monthly fee, which acts something like a financial phantom load. It can monitor 14+ circuits at once, fewer if they're not all single phase.

Details here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006Z5OKLE/ref=asc_df_B006Z5OKLE5323212/?...

To clarify, SiteSage can monitor any number of circuits. We have installations where over 200 circuits are being monitored in a single location. 

I'm actively trying to help my clients with high electrical bills even with solar. Im in Calif.   I anticipate this need will explode when consumers with or without solar wake up to find their utility is switching to Time Of Use billing.  I anticipate the could be the year of selling onsite battery storage as a cost effective measure.

I've personally installed energy monitoring units from Raintree.  Real time monitoring of your electrical load.  Installation is a breeze,  wirelessly talks to your smart meter (zigbee).  Raintree needs 3rd party software for the residential market.

I'm also looking a apps or service providers to can download 12 months of data in hour or 15 minutes increments.  Calif utilities can provide this feature.  There are dozens of service providers that can integrate this into their energy models.  The providers/developers in this space are mostly focused on the commercial market.

I plan to offer to install EMU from raintree and offer analysis their current electrical load by dumping it into excel.    It would be great if there develops entering the residential marketplace.

Let me know if there other tools out there that should be considered.  This is bringing energy assessments back to life.

I've tried out most of the available residential energy monitors over the years and am satisfied with none of them. The ones that monitor just a single circuit don't provide enough detail, the "learning" devices (such as Sense) aren't nearly smart enough nor learn fast enough...and the "whole panel" solutions (Site Sage/Power Wise, Curb, eGauge) are too expensive for everyday use. 

I recently tried out the Neurio, which offers up to 4 input channels at a reasonable cost. The user interface (mobile and computer) is poor, but my detailed analysis is often done in a spreadsheet after downloading data. Unfortunately, Neurio is currently limiting download granularity to 5-, 15- and 60-minute "intervals" (I'd like to have 1-minute data). On top of that, the 5-minute data can only be downloaded in 1-day chunks at a time. And on top of that (!) the "interval" data is not averaged over the interval, but is in fact, just a single measurement at the end of the interval...rendering the data nearly useless. 

I hate to say it, but this space (home energy monitors) now appears to be dominated by dot.com 'app' developers who lack a mature understanding of what's involved in data logging & graphing algorithms.

BTW, the Brultech monitor natively has user-defined data increments that can be modified via RS485 comm. This is separate from client and web-based graphing and logging software available from several 3rd party vendors.

I'm not an electrician. I'm a sales engineer for a security company, so my high voltage knowledge is limited. But technology of any kind interests me and I've always wondered "where is my electricity going?". So, I installed Smappee three weeks ago. After getting over the fear of separating my mains that were running next to each other the whole way through my breaker box, I installed the clips in 30 seconds. Immediately began getting a whole house current draw in Watts on my PC and the app. I know the formula to figure out the amp draw and found the first 30 minutes of use fascinating. I have an older 100 AMP box and my wife was always concerned we were going to burn the house down using electricity! The max I've seen so far has been about 3500W or just over 29 AMPS. I'm impatient. The manual says that after 3 weeks I'd see about 60% of my appliances. I wanted them now! Smappee does indeed have a "learn" feature. I went to work. I can honestly say that about 50% of the time I was successful in learning appliances. Not great, but better than 3 weeks! After about 5 days Smappee started listing "Find Me xxx" on the app/PC. It's a slightly frustrating process of trial and error trying to figure out what is what. After three weeks, where I am today, I still have many "Find Me xxx" appliances on the list. It's kind of fun trying to figure it out. Smappee has a "ping me" feature that will send you a notification the next five times the appliance turns on/off. That helps. After I get these appliances reliably discovered, I plan to use IFTTT and Stringify to do some alerting, lights on/off, and some other nerdy stuff. All in all, it's a quite amazing product. Finding that my sump pump draws 750W and that the average new one draws 500W has gotten me thinking of a new one. And that's where any of these devices can actually pay for themselves. Find the energy leach! I'll keep playing with it, but if you like to play with technology and have some patience, I highly recommend the Smappee. Would have gotten Sense, but it requires its own 240V breaker (What?). 

This discussion is great. It is nice to hear all of the positives and negatives about electricity monitoring products out there. This helps me understand the market a bit better. 

Christian

Not exactly for amature's or hobbyists. It may be more accurate because it's monitoring each circuit independently, but much more work and really should be installed by an electrician. This is probably a very good industrial solution.

RSS

Latest Activity

Profile IconJohn Walter and Eric Rabesa joined Home Energy Pros Forum
4 hours ago
William Collins posted a video

The Foam Sealants Kit " Bead or Spray"

Now you can apply foam sealant as a " bead " or a " spray " with the Foam Sealants Kit. When using a 16lb Canister of Black Sealant you can easily go from us...
9 hours ago
Profile IconSean Wiens and Armando Cobo joined Don Fugler's group
Thumbnail

Kitchen Ventilation

In many homes, cooking is the largest indoor source of air pollutants. Exposures can be higher in…See More
10 hours ago
Julie Saporito posted a blog post
11 hours ago
Brennan Less replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Good Eating with Reduced Cooking Emissions in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"Cook outside, as much as you can, and close your doors/windows while you do it ;) "
11 hours ago
Ethan Foley joined Bob Krell's group
Thumbnail

Healthy Indoors (IAQ)

The Healthy Indoors group is focused on indoor air quality (IAQ), mold, moisture control, radon,…See More
11 hours ago
Shane S posted a photo
20 hours ago
Al Tibbs posted photos
yesterday
Al Tibbs commented on Eric Aune's photo
Thumbnail

IMG00173-20100805-1030

"Always remind customer to make sure to mark out location of piping before covering!! The infrared…"
yesterday
Al Tibbs commented on Eric Aune's photo
yesterday
Joe is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
yesterday
Liam Smith replied to Silas Inman's discussion Best Energy Myths
"Yes incandescent bulb are very heat productive. Instead of that use LED bulb which are energy…"
yesterday
Kelly Vaughn's blog post was featured

How Cities Can Ensure Better Rentals for Everyone

By Alisa PetersenWhile much of RMI’s research and analysis on home energy performance has focused…See More
yesterday
Brett Little's event was featured

Resilient Design in an Age of Climate Change - Free CE Webinar at Webinar Online

May 30, 2018 from 12pm to 1:15pm
A changing climate, sea level rise, drought, and a wide range of stresses in the world are…See More
yesterday
Cody Farmer liked Jim Gunshinan's blog post Highlights from the 2018 HPC National Home Performance Conference in Philadelphia
yesterday
Rick Barker is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
Tuesday
David Keefe's video was featured

A Climate Report From The Field - Keefe

"A Climate Report from the Field" by David Keefe. Part of a TED-inspired evening session at the HPC Home Performance Conference, Philadelphia PA, April 25, 2018
Tuesday
Bob Krell's video was featured

Carbon Monoxide Webinar with Bill Spohn - Healthy Indoors Show- Special Live Edition 4-16-18

Guest Bill Spohn, of Tru Tech Tools, joins host Bob Krell, to discuss Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the indoor environment. This show is a recording of a live webinar event on April 16, 2018.
Tuesday
David Keefe posted a video

A Climate Report From The Field - Keefe

"A Climate Report from the Field" by David Keefe. Part of a TED-inspired evening session at the HPC Home Performance Conference, Philadelphia PA, April 25, 2018
Tuesday
John White posted a blog post

What to Expect from a New HVAC Unit Installation Cost

The cost of installing an HVAC unit, such as an air conditioner installation in Laguna Hills, will…See More
Tuesday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service