Meet Curb: Energy monitoring for all of the devices in your house


(Erik Norwood) #1

Hello Smart Things Community,

I’d like to introduce you to Curb, the whole home intelligence energy monitor. With just one device you can track the power consumption of up to 16 different circuits all in real time. We’ve been working with the SmartThings team for a few months and we are wrapping up our integration as we launch the product in the coming weeks. I wanted to reach out to the larger SmartThings community to both introduce our new product as well as help identify any additional features that we should prioritize for our integration with the SmartThings system. Below is a quick rundown of our existing feature set and I’d love to answer any specific questions and generate a conversation about what we can do together with greater integration.

With so many smart home solution controlling only a single device, we built Curb with the goal of providing users with a holistic view of their home. Naturally, we wanted to add the ability to control devices and found SmartThings to be a great partner.


Curb features:

  • Monitor total home consumption + 16 additional circuits (including
    solar)
  • Real time consumption view (total home and by circuit)
  • Push notification alerts based on any abnormal energy consumption
    (Accidently left the iron on? Curb has you covered!)
  • Energy savings recommendations engine
  • Integration with SmartThings in Curb app (once fully approved)

You can also download the Curb app from either the iOS or Android store for a demo tour of the features.

One of the areas that we’ve been working on is pushing all of the energy information from each circuit into the ST platform so that each of your devices/areas becomes a “thing” that can trigger other events. For example, if the fridge door is accidentally left open, it could trigger lights in the rest of the house to flash. With Curb, all of your devices can become triggers…

Looking forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts on how we can power our homes smarter!

-Erik
President & Founder
www.energycurb.com
Erik@EnergyCurb.com


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(Ash (www.smart-dots.com) / Ashutosh Jaiswal) #2

@Erik this is going to be really useful. The question i have is how easy is it from installation standpoint? Do you have some information around that?


#3

This looks very interesting, but I don’t put anything in a breaker box that isn’t
UL-certified. Have you applied for certification as components of an energy monitoring system and if so with which organizations?


(Marc) #4

Looks interesting. I have a few questions:

  1. As mentioned above, how does installation work?
  2. I have a standby generator with load switch, how does that impact this? Half of my circuits are on this load switch.
  3. is it wifi based?
  4. How does it distinguish what devices are using what power on each circuit? I am confused on how it can distinguish amongst devices.

#5

According to their features page:

Communicates over homes internet connection by powerline communication or standard ethernet cord

My guess is that works better with the installs that are outside the breaker box, though. Most Ethernet cable doesn’t have plastic that passes flammability requirements for inside the box, although there are more expensive versions.


(Daniel) #6

Won’t plenum rated Ethernet cable be enough?


#7

Better, certainly. NFPA 90A. And plenum rated would limit a fire’s running along the cable.

But this company’s website says “standard Ethernet cable,” which to many people means riser.

If the breaker box is indoors in a basement or utility room, I might consider LSZH, just for lower toxicity. It’s human nature to try to put out a circuit fire because it seems small at first. But I’m a safety first planner, and that includes planning for people not making the smartest choice in an emergency. :wink:


(Daniel) #8

well let’s just hope people are wiser. :smirk:


(Daniel) #9

If It’s anything like other smart power monitoring system I would expect those green ports at the top connect to couplers that you would insert around individual circuits. So you don’t have to install this inside your panel.

Actually by looking at the picture on their website that is exactly what this does. I’ve seen this sort of thing being used by Savant.


#10

They have some pictures inside the breaker box and some outside.


(Ray) #11

Look like the aeon current/voltage clamp on sensor on steroids. My question is. How can you differentiate different devices on the same circuit and how do you log each one? UL certified is a must for sure.


#12

Reminds me of neurio?


#13

Neurio is similar, but with just one sensor so it gives you total energy for the house, not circuit by circuit. Curb looks like it is designed for one sensor per circuit.

There are a bunch of similar systems out now, at different price points with different safety certifications and degrees of granularity.


(Erik Norwood) #14

Thanks for the feedback, interest and thoughtful comments!

Here is a little bit more about the Curb installation:
The Curb monitoring box can be installed either inside or outside of the circuit breaker box. Each of the green connectors as shown on the photo connect to CT clamps which monitor the main input of current to the house as well as up to 16 additional circuits. Below is a photo of the product installed inside a typical circuit breaker box. We do recommend professional installation and have a partnership with a nation wide group of electricians who can support. That said, we’ve had a good number of early customers who have opted to complete the installation themselves. UL certification is certainly on the roadmap, we are already working with a testing agency.

Communication:
The device can communicate two ways. The first is over power line communication (we use actiontec as shown, but any homeplug compliant device will work), meaning that all you need is a PLC plug/receiver near your homes router and from there you can run an ethernet cord into your router.
Alternatively, you can run ethernet directly to the device if it is convenient. In many instances this is done when the device is mounted outside of the breaker box.


(Jody) #15

Are you accepting beta testers? When you will your hardware be ready to market?


(Erik Norwood) #16

@JDRoberts We are working with Met Labs to complete the certifications.


(Daniel) #17

I don’t think it can do device by device monitoring unless you dedicate a whole circuit to that device. But it can help you hunt down devices that are energy hogs by narrowing down which circuit it’s on and then through process of elimination you can tell what device is causing problems. Usually air conditioners have their own circuits so That would be an example of CURB knowing a single device is acting funny.


(Erik Norwood) #18

@jodyalbritton

Yes, we are looking for beta testers please sign up on our website. We already have Curb running in ~150 beta homes so we’ve had good experience collecting feedback, getting the installation process down, and building out the feature set. The hardware is production ready, we just have a few steps left (such as certifications) and we will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in the coming weeks and shipping product very soon afterwards.


(Daniel) #19

you know a good feature would be a database of energy rates in different areas. Some places you can choose your energy provider. Curb should have the ability to let you know if there is a company in your area with cheaper rates. Also let you know how your rates compare nation wide.


(Marc) #20

This is what concerns me. When you have circuits with tons of equipment on it, your better off getting some of those power monitoring local solutions. I don’t have a lot of experience in this area, so I could be wrong here. I see this as helpful though as a more birds eve view of power consumption in your house. What would be cool if this worked in conjunction with local power monitoring of devices to give you a full complete picture.