You can ask yourself how the Smappee energy monitor can measure consumption in one single spot –where the power cable enters your fuse box- and still detect your household appliances that are all over the place. Well, do you know Shazam, the app that can identify songs? Basically it comes down to the same thing : Smappee listens to the electrical power in your house and hears appliances being switched on and off. A real challenge, because there are many appliances at the same time. As if Smappee hears a rockband play and has to isolate the guitar, the bass, the drums and the lead vocals, and on top of that the different backing vocals.
How can Smappee identify appliances?
Every appliance that is being switched on and off has its own melody. A lamp of 60 watt sounds completely different from a fridge with the same 60 watt. That’s how Smappee can distinguish them from one another.
What does Smappee do once it identified an appliance?
Smappee does not only give you readings on the total energy use in your home, but also on the use of each separate identified device. Via the app you can view data of more than 30 appliances.
Can Smappee detect and identify all appliances?
Unfortunately Smappee can’t identify appliances under 30 watt, the so-called silent appliances, simply because they are drowned out by the louder ones. Other devices can hardly be distinguished from each other, eg appliances with a heating component such as a toaster, a water boiler or a cooker hob. Or those that don’t have an unambiguous pattern due to the variable capacity, like a heat pump or a TV with ambilight.
Nevertheless, Smappee can identify all main appliances in your home, the ones that matter when it comes down to energy saving. Besides, even if Smappee couldn’t recognize a device, its consumption and power is registered. The bubbles in the homescreen of the app represent your total use and include the non-detected appliances.
How long does it take before Smappee gives you a survey of your appliances?
Smappee needs some time to trace your appliances. As soon as you’ve installed the energy monitor, the homescreen in the app shows you the total real-time use. Then Smappee starts looking for your devices, starting with those that are switched on and off most often, such as the fridge or the freezer. Afterwards it identifies those devices that are most frequently used.
In the ‘My Appliances’ list in the app, each device is given a number. You can look into its DNA, information which is very useful when labelling your appliances. The function “Label me” in the homescreen helps you to link the number of the appliance to its name. On average, Smappee identifies a handful of appliances within a week. Logically it all depends on the number of appliances in your house ☺, but in general Smappee detects more than 60% of the devices after a month, representing about 80% of total consumption.
And what is it all good for?
As soon as Smappee has identified a device, it can measure its use separately. After about a month, it has gathered enough data to make an itemized bill. This bill shows you how much each device has consumed that month and gives you an indication on how much it will cost you on a yearly basis. Perfect to trace energy guzzlers and to find out which devices are not or no longer energy-efficient. Which tells you exactly how you can save!