Home Energy Monitoring

I have been reading many reviews on home energy monitoring and narrowed it down to Sense, Curb, Smappee, and Aeotec by Aeon Labs ZW095 ZW095-A Home Energy Meter Gen5.

I am looking for input on which of those, or any other device, is best for identifying energy consumption down to the appliance as well as being able to have some form of integration to Smartthings, even if only via IFTTT or Alexa.

Are any of you using energy monitoring solutions? Any and all input appreciated.

I used to own a Curb and had to remove it because an addition as there was no space in the electrical panel for all the new wires and breakers. Curb is great but you have tons of CTs to place on each circuit so bear that in mind if you have a busy panel like mine. I wasn’t impressed with the app at the time I had it several years ago. I would expect this to change.

In August I purchased a Sense. It has only 1 pair of CTs that you place on your main lines but them requires 240V power that you hook up to a breaker. Much less space. It’s been OK at detecting devices. Some of the ones I want to track it hasn’t determined yet but others it has like my sump pump and 3 air handlers. The app is very nice and useful to see how many watts things are consuming by watching consumption rise when you turn them on.

I know @ogiewon has one too that isn’t in your list. He has enjoyed it.

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My favorite is the IoTaWatt. I have two of them, one for each breaker panel, and they work very well, IMHO. The base unit can handle up to 14 current transformers. I wrote an integration for Hubitat that also works well. This allows me to trigger events like the laundry cycle being finished without any need for sensors/outlets on the washer and dryer.

And here is what my installation looks like

I am sure someone could port the integration to SmartThings, if desired.

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I have the Aeotec Gen5 - I would say it will not meet your needs. I cannot see anything at a level sub the main lines. I use it to track monthly usage for the whole house, but can’t really do anything more. But, it does integrate very nicely with SmartThings, and I use WebCore to reset it every month, and there is a smartapp that will write to a Google spreadsheet for your own personal data analysis.

I have Smappee, but it’s actually not very useful in a HA environment. The app only updates once every 5 minutes, and then only reports consumption. No values for Grid (in or out) or solar production are available.

I have see a lot of different energy monitoring devices lately as deccher list. What are people doing with the information they get from the monitors? Are you actually replacing appliances or are you using them differently?

One use-case is to monitor and notify when a certain appliance either starts or stops. Washer and Dryer machines stopping is a good example. Another use would be for monitoring an emergency sump-pump - if you ever see it power on, then maybe the primary sump-pump has failed. Nice to get a notification.

I recently had a Nest Thermostat fail in a strange way… Its base plate developed an internal short that caused the auxiliary heat strips to turn on and run at 10kW for about 9 hours straight, until I woke up and noticed that the house didn’t ‘feel right’. The temperature on the Nest said with was about 75degF, the Air Conditioning was running full blast, yet the air from the vents was still slightly warm…with an outdoor temperature of about 40 degrees! I knew something was wrong for sure. Having the energy usage data in InfluxDB and being able to visualize it via Grafana showed me a scenario that should not be possible - Auxilairy Heat and AC both running constantly for about 8-9 hours! I yanked the Nest off the wall and disconnected the AUX heat wire. This resolved the issue until I replaced the Nest with an Ecobee thermostat.

I have also caught my teenage son disabling all power savings features on his gaming PC (i.e. MAX Performance :wink: ) Being able to visualize the data, it was simple to see the impact to energy usage before and after the change.

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At least in Europe Smappee did use to do a version with extra clamps for monitoring solar power. They have a newer model called the Infinity which does not mention Solar any more but I contacted them and they told me it still can monitor solar power by adding additional clamp sensors to their new unit. I also believe older units can be ‘upgraded’ to solar models again by buying more clamps as a new cable/clamp kit, so once more it may be worth contacting them.

Smappee do still make also water and gas monitors. Unfortunately both have major limitations here in the UK. The Gas sensor is not compatible with new smart meters only old dumb meters. The water sensor has to be fitted to the water meter in a non intrusive manner but in the UK most water meters are at the edge of a property and far too far away to reach back to the house. Theoretically you could add a second meter inside the house but that starts to get silly.

I am interested in the Sense but sadly so far they have shown no likelihood of doing a European version.

I haven’t looked in to the following in great detail because

  • Legrand UK are useless unlike some of their other territories
  • It looks very expensive
  • It would be very disruptive to fit
  • It would take a lot more space

However others here may find it interesting.

How are you using the data. I had mine feeding into Emoncms but not sure how to get good data.

I have my pair of IoTaWatt devices feeding data into my local InfluxDB server. I can then easily graph the data using Grafana. I also wrote a driver to be able to collect the power usage data via my Hubitat hub. This allows me to use the data for things like laundry cycle complete notifications, or excessive power usage. I was able to detect a problem caused by a faulty Nest thermostat a year ago. The Nest was calling for auxiliary heat strips to be on, while it was also running my heat pump in air conditioning mode. I now have a pair of Ecobee thermostats to replace the old ones.

Very cool. I am using emoncms to collect the data. I just need to figure out how to graph it so i can see real numbers