Empowering a Cleaner Future: Sense’s Mission to Combat Climate Change

The evidence is undeniable: the climate is changing. Every day, we can see in headlines—or outside our own windows—the impacts of a warming planet on our health, well-being, and environment. The science is clear about what greater threats the future could hold.

Though it’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of climate change, we do have the power to tackle these challenges. We are in the midst of a massive technological revolution that presents solutions and opportunities that allow each of us, individually, to make a difference. Sense is one such solution.

Our goal is simple: to reduce global carbon emissions by transforming the relationship between people, homes, and the grid. Founded with the purpose of applying our expertise in voice recognition to make an impact on climate change, Sense gives homeowners agency over their own energy use. You might say we give you power over your power.

Why building energy efficiency matters

Today, 70% of greenhouse gas emissions stem from energy use, with homes contributing to a quarter of these emissions. Clearly, our homes—and how they’re powered—make a difference.

While the energy industry is attempting to adapt, it’s facing an uphill battle, with aging infrastructure, growing pressures from technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps, and permitting issues—among many other challenges. Renewable energy is making inroads, with 21% of U.S. energy production, but it still has a long way to go.

In order to reduce emissions, it’s crucial that we use energy as efficiently as possible. Sense gives homeowners the ability to do that—and tens of thousands already are. In the next few years, this same technology will be available to millions more people at no cost.

Sense's blueprint for change

In the past, none of us had much insight into our home energy use. We might get a monthly bill and imagine that we owe more than usual because we were running the heat or AC on high all month, but there wasn’t an easy way to know the cause. The technology just wasn’t there.

Now, Sense turns data into clear insights that people can use when making everyday decisions. For example, we help homeowners decide when to run their appliances or make home energy upgrades. And, in partnership with electric utilities, Sense is making the grid more intelligent and reliable.

Sense helps homeowners do the following:

  • Gain insights into their energy use: Knowledge is power, and our data-driven intel helps people cut down on energy use. Our app helps homeowners see how much energy their home is consuming in real-time and how it compares to previous months.

  • Detect energy hogs: Sense alerts people to energy-guzzling devices that would otherwise slip under the radar. For example, It can identify appliances that run all the time unnecessarily or sometimes identify equipment that is nearing the end of its life. With that information, the Sense Home app helps people understand all the different ways they could troubleshoot and stop the hogs.

  • Make smart consumer decisions: We help homeowners understand the real-world cost savings of energy-efficient upgrades, which in turn helps them decide which upgrades to make and when.

  • Make the most use of solar: Solar is a key part of the energy transition, but homeowners don’t always understand how to use it to its full potential. Sense makes it easy to use more of the power your solar system produces by providing a real-time view of how much you're producing, using, and selling back to the grid.

  • Shift energy use: Running devices at less popular times can ease strain on the grid, reduce emissions, and, depending on your utility plan, save you money. Sense helps people do all of this with ease.

  • Reduce their carbon footprint: Utilities use different fuel sources at different times, all of which produce different amounts of “carbon intensity,” which is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted to generate a specific unit of power. The higher the intensity, the greater the environmental impact. Where possible, we give homeowners info about how much carbon intensity they’re using, allowing them to make informed decisions about when to use energy.

What’s next?

We envision a world in which homeowners have even easier, more sophisticated ways to align their energy use with their goals. Many of these changes will serve the double function of saving homeowner’s money and reducing emissions.

We hope to give users more real-time insights that enable them to take advantage of clean, cheap energy in many different circumstances—for instance, by helping them get the most from time-of-use rate plans. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to optimize a home’s energy use.

We’re also exploring solutions like automated energy use, which could make it effortless to charge electric vehicles at the optimal time of day, while maintaining a minimum specified charge. And we’re moving towards more personalization in the app so that we can recommend home appliance upgrades that maximize utility bill savings.

While homeowners are at the center of our work, we believe addressing climate change will take a village. We’re looking at the big picture, working with the entire energy industry to have the greatest impact possible.

At Sense, we don't just believe in a better future; we're actively creating it. Last year alone, our work saved roughly 22,000 tons of CO2. This is just the beginning. Join us in reimagining power.