Well, they came out to meet with me and take a look today, and wow…it’s worse than I thought…
Not only was it locked (as you’re thinking, they don’t want us hurt, but also don’t want anyone messing with their special metering device that they monitor it with from their homebase), but it’s also built in such a way that using the HEM won’t even be possible without some serious modifications.
First, the mains and the breakers are in completely separate compartments, and there are no cables running between the two. Rather, in this setup, they are using some other kind of mechanism for the power to travel from the mains, through their metering device and then into the breaker compartment…a mechanism that doesn’t lend itself to being able to connect the HEM clamps around anything.
Then, in order to even get into the mains compartment again (if I do decide to do the following), I will need to call them and schedule an appointment for them to come out again like they did today in order for them to unlock it.
Then, I will need to have somebody modify the mains compartment to allow the cables of the HEM to pass through the box to the outside where I would mount it on the side of the house or whatever, because it is sealed between the mains and the breakers.
Then, I will need to modify the breaker box…
- install new, separate breaker for the wires I will need if I want to power the HEM with AC instead of battery
- Pop out hole in breaker box for those wires to pass outside
- Seal said hole with appropriate fitting and some caulking or whatever
So, I don’t know if I’m even going to do all of that, but at least I now have a good handle on what would actually be needed if I do decide to go that route.
However, they are working on and will soon be implementing and releasing to us a customer portal of some sort that will allow customers to log in and see our energy usage online. Within that system, it will also be possible to configure alert notifications that will go to an app on mobile devices and sms text messaging alerts which I would then be able to get into ST via IFTTT.
It’s not completely horrible, but wow.
I guess I can see their side of things…If I were them, I’d much prefer my customers not getting zapped, and I would feel pretty good about having presented a way for them to be able to track their own usage and get alerts like this.
Since implementation of this new portal is in the near-term, I guess I will just hold off for now, and see what it’s like. If it works for my needs, fine.
The only problem though is that, unless I actually pull the trigger and do the work necessary to install my own energy meter, I will be at the mercy of theirs, and won’t have a ‘second opinion’ on usage.
That said, given the low confidence we now have in the v1 HEM’s metering/tracking abilities, I guess that wouldn’t be something I’d trust up against their metering system anyway.
So, if I ever do decide to do the modifications, it won’t be until I have a v2 HEM or something else that is more trustworthy for actually metering/measuring real usage data anyway.