As Sense CEO Mike Phillips noted in his 2018 year-end letter, Sense is working to help our customers find more ways to save money and energy in their homes throughout 2019. In the coming months, we’ll share energy insights and some cool tricks and new features to help our customers reduce their electric bill and tame those energy hogs, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, we wanted to share key data that is informing our plan: feedback from a broad customer survey of almost 1,700 Sense customers, some dating all the way back to Sense’s debut. We learned a lot, to say the least! Here are some key results you might find interesting.
Motivations for purchase
By a wide margin, the two most important motivations for purchase were reducing energy costs and looking for data-driven energy insights. Other motivations include gaining a better understanding of electric vehicle charging, fault detection, solar and generator system sizing, and vacation and rental property monitoring.
How others saved money
Since the debut of the Sense Home Energy Monitor, our customers have generously shared their energy insights and offered tips to other Sense users in our online community. The survey validated your interest in learning from others’ experiences: over 90% of Sense users expressed a desire to learn in more detail how other users are saving money with Sense. We were especially pleased to see such an interest in knowledge sharing. Stay tuned for some exciting news, and community enhancements, to facilitate this.
Energy awareness impact
The first step toward saving energy is simply awareness. Most people have no idea what appliances or devices in their home cost to run. We believe that deeper awareness can inspire significant savings — and we’ve heard the same from users like Fred_W and Kevin1. So it was great to learn that over 90% of surveyed users experienced greater home energy awareness after purchasing Sense. But did awareness actually help them save money?
In most cases, yes! Almost 67% of surveyed users reported that Sense met or exceeded their expectations to help them save money in their homes. We asked a couple of questions to learn how they did it.
Sixty-six percent of surveyed users said that Sense helped them to make behavioral changes in their homes. But how did their behavior change?
Sense users shared their most common behavioral changes. Over a quarter of the surveyed users reported identifying energy hogs. Twenty percent of users reported that Sense helped them encourage other household members to change habits, while over 16% used Sense data to justify the purchase of new, energy-efficient devices. Many customers reported simple but effective changes such as using appliances when energy costs were lower or putting devices on power strips to cut back usage.
We also asked users to share specific examples of behavioral changes they made based on insights from Sense. With 2,000 users responding, we heard a lot of interesting stories, ranging from identifying pesky Always On devices to fault detection, home awareness, and just better optimization of high-consumption loads. Here’s just a few samples:
Changed to a hybrid heat-pump water heater, for a savings of almost $40/month.
Found the roof ice melt cables were on all summer! [...] Watching in real time as I switched things on and off led me to the discovery they were already on! $300 per month right there.
I really realized how much heating contributes to power consumption. I knew it was a factor before, but didn't realize it's really 50%+ of our consumption. I've definitely tailored our heating needs and reduced our energy bill.
My wife says I’m now obsessed with how many watts things are using.
For the last one — us too!
With all the insights from Sense and the resultant behavioral changes, was Sense worth it in the end? Almost 75% of surveyed users report that it has met their expectations in terms of value for the money. That's pretty good, but we want that number to be 100% and we're dedicated to keep improving Sense.
For the many customers who participated in our survey, thank you. We pored over the results and they are making a difference. Case in point: Savings was a top priority to our base customers (and in surveys of prospective Sense customers, savings consistently tops their buyer motivation lists as well). We are busy at work preparing more app enhancements to deliver insights relevant to savings, as well as an upcoming initiative to stimulate community knowledge exchange.