Sense Energy Monitor: … a Shocking Review ;)

Sense Energy Monitor

If you are trying to mix economic savings with a reduced environmental footprint in your daily life, then the Sense Energy Monitor might be what you are looking for.

Join us as we explore the features, functionalities, and real-world impact of this cutting-edge device, so you can learn the good and the bad, and ultimately decide if this is the right tool for you.

What's In this Article?

Sense Energy Monitor Overview

Sense Energy Monitor

First and foremost, I think the Sense Energy Monitor has the easiest-to-understand and most engaging data visuals of any energy monitor on the market. 

It’s easy to set up, is compact, and has personalized suggestions for energy savings which help you save energy and money. Most importantly, it offers machine learning which makes mapping your home extremely easy.

Additionally, you can get upgraded versions that include solar monitoring (Sense Solar) and dedicated circuit monitoring (Sense Flex).

Our positive for the Sense Energy Monitor is also our negative. The machine learning is initially slower at picking up devices and can have a hard time detecting every device. However, this negative can be corrected by buying the Sense Flex upgrade, which comes with dedicated circuit monitoring.

1. Is the Sense Energy Monitor Any Good?

The Sense Home Energy Monitor is the energy monitor that I personally use. It has amazing data visualizations, is ridiculously easy to set up, and has fantastic customer support. 

Sense also has monitors that are compatible with solar panels (Sense Solar), and one with dedicated circuit monitoring to help you identify power usage of singular devices (Sense Flex). Dedicated circuit monitoring means you have additional clamps to hook to individual appliances and can be really helpful if you know something is using energy but you can’t find out exactly what and where.

The Sense Home Energy Monitor also has machine learning, which starts to find and suggest labels for appliances around your house based on unique energy signatures. This makes finding each appliance’s energy use a lot easier. 

However, machine learning would also be my only negative because it can have a hard time differentiating heat-producing similar energy signatures and takes a while to fully map your home. This can be slightly annoying if you are looking to target certain devices immediately after installation, or when it groups devices into one lumped device. 

I would definitely say this is the largest downfall of the Sense Energy Monitor. But, I would gladly trade this minor annoyance for the limitations of single circuit monitoring, which makes you manually install clamps to every device, is really bulky in your panel, and might not be able to monitor every device at once. 

Plus you can rectify this issue with Senses machine learning by upgrading to Sense Flex, which comes with dedicated circuit monitoring.

So in summary, there are a few “bads” to the Sense Energy Monitor, mainly surrounding the machine learning’s inability to sort certain devices. But, this can be rectified, and it is amazing at everything else you would want from an energy monitor. In our comparison of the best energy monitors, Sense got rated as our “Best Do It All Energy Monitor“.

2. How Does Sense Energy Monitor Work?

The Sense Energy Monitor works by using “non-intrusive load monitoring” (NILM) technology, which allows it to understand the energy consumption of individual household devices. 

Once the compact device is installed into an electrical panel, the monitor uses precision current and voltage sensors to capture unique electrical signatures and the directions they are flowing. 

Energy signatures are distinctive (i.e., ramp up differently and to a different number of watts) allowing the monitor to detect unique devices. This data is passed to the monitor’s processing units which use sophisticated machine learning to decode, sort, and suggest the types of devices these could be (e.g. washing machine).

Through this process of pattern recognition and data analysis, the monitor becomes increasingly smarter and learns your home’s devices over time. Data is presented to users via a user-friendly app, enabling them to gain real-time insights into their energy usage.

As it learns your home it will make proactive suggestions on how your home could be more efficient at efficient energy use, creating less environmental impacts while saving you money.

Sense Home Energy Monitor

3. Is Sense Energy Monitor Worth It?

The quick answer… maybe. It depends on your goals (e.g., money, decreased environmental footprint), the monitor you choose, it’s cost, the house you own, and your usage habits before and after installation.

Energy monitors have the potential to slash household energy consumption by anywhere from 6% to an impressive 34%, depending on your usage habits. So, they will definitely decrease your environmental footprint if used right. But they also have a good chance to save you more money on energy bills than what you paid to purchase and install them.

If you want to figure out if the cost will be recouped, take your current electricity bill and subtract the hookup fees. Then multiply the dollar value remaining by 0.15 (15%). Take the cost of the Sense Energy Monitor and divide it by your dollar value remaining (15% of your energy bill). 

This will tell you how many months it will take to recoup your investment. After that, you are making money!


$250 bill – $50 hookup = $200

$200 x 0.15 = $30

$299 / $30 = 10 months

4. Sense Energy Monitor with Solar

Sense Solar Energy Monitor

If have solar panels and are looking to get information on both your usage and your solar production, Sense has an upgraded monitor that facilitates this (Sense Solar).

In fact, this is the solar monitor that I personally have chosen for my home because I like its data visualizations, easy installation, machine learning, and compactness (fits in my cramped electrical panel).

Essentially, how the Sense Solar unit works is you get a couple of extra cables to hook to your incoming wires from your solar panels. These cables automatically allow the app to understand your incoming vs. outgoing energy and show you comparisons and estimated dollar earnings for the month.

5. Sense Energy Monitor Vs Other Options

Overall, we rate the Sense Energy Monitor as our “best do it all monitor” in our list of the Best Home Energy Monitors available. But, the answer to the question of “is the sense home energy monitor best for you?” depends on what you are trying to achieve.

We recommend reading this article to understand the myriad of factors that are important when comparing the Sense Energy Monitor vs. Other options.

Related Articles:

Best Home Energy Monitors

Additional Resources

Frequently asked questions on solar panels

Check here for our general description of the steps involved in Home Energy Monitor Installation.

It’s important to understand that the installation of the Sense Energy Monitor requires work inside of your electrical panel which has real safety concerns. Read the manuals carefully and decide whether you should hire a professional for insurance and safety reasons.

Yes! In fact, I am from Canada. Though, Sense Monitor Canada availability was limited for me and so I had to order online.

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