Home Energy Monitor Program

MGE customers are exploring a new technology from Sense Labs.

MGE customer David Devereaux-Weber loves gadgets. From installing heated gutters and a Nest smart thermostat to using a battery-powered snow blower, he's always looking for the latest technology for his home. That's why Devereaux-Weber took the offer from MGE to explore the home energy monitor from Sense Labs.

Sense

"What's really cool is, I contacted MGE and said, 'Have you looked into these energy monitors? Do you have a recommendation of one over the other? They got back to me and said, 'You know, we've been looking into that and we've been looking for somebody,'" said Devereaux-Weber.

Devereaux-Weber is participating in MGE's pilot program with residential customers and in partnership with Sense Labs. The program will help us understand how home energy monitoring technology might be used to better manage our community grid, especially during stretches of hot summer weather when electricity use is at its highest.

Tracking consumption

Sense

The Sense detects devices that use electricity in the home and tracks their consumption. MGE covered the cost of the monitors and their installation on each customer's electrical panel.

Using the Sense app on a smart phone, tablet or computer, customers can see how much electricity each device is using in real-time and make adjustments to save energy. Devereaux-Weber watched his energy consumption when using different appliances.

Sense

Through its app, the Sense displays energy usage, such as powering up the microwave.

"If I have frozen spaghetti sauce, I used to defrost it in the microwave and then heat it up on the stove top. Now, I heat it up on the stove top for longer," said Devereaux-Weber. "You can see how the rest of our power consumption is just dwarfed by that microwave. I had no clue."

Along with learning more about his energy consumption, Devereaux-Weber also hopes the Sense can help him reduce costs.

"If there was a way to be more efficient and save money on our electric bill, we are all for it," said Devereaux-Weber.

Giving customers more control over their energy use is a key objective under MGE's Energy 2030 framework for a more sustainable future. If, by working together, we can reduce our collective energy use, we do not need to build as much generation, thereby reducing long-term costs for all customers and reducing carbon emissions.

published: 04-02-2018