In May 2021, LG Solar and Sense announced their new partnership with the goal of empowering homeowners to make smarter energy decisions. LG has long been a household name due to their high-quality electronics and their subsidiary, LG Solar, has been no different. LG Solar is a leading manufacturer of solar panels with two residential series: the NeON 2 and the NeON R.
Sense entered the energy space in 2016 with the launch of their Home Energy Monitor. Their energy monitoring system provides you with insights about your energy usage, allowing you to make informed decisions about what devices you’re powering and when you’re powering them. We sat down with LG Solar to learn a bit more about their new partnership, and its potential benefits.
- The Sense Home Energy Monitor is an energy monitoring device that uses machine learning to provide you with electricity insights at the device level–which can ultimately translate to savings.
- Sense Solar includes all the benefits of the original Sense monitor, and allows you to track the power your solar panels are generating.
- When installed with LG NeON 2 ACe panels (which have built-in microinverters), Sense Solar integrates with LG’s EnerVu 2 energy monitoring app, and is eligible for the investment tax credit.
- Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to connect with pre-vetted installers.
What is the Sense monitor and how does it work?
The Sense Home Energy Monitor is a small, red box that sits in–or around–your electrical panel (aka breaker box). The monitor includes current sensors that clamp onto the service mains in your electrical panel and are then able to rapidly read your home’s electrical current. Over a couple of days to a few weeks, the built-in artificial intelligence uses machine learning to recognize the “electricity signatures” associated with your home’s appliances and identify when each device is in use.
You can then use the Sense app to track statistics about individual devices, including trends and costs over time. Not sure if you closed the garage door before you left? You can check your Sense app to see the last time it was operated. Is one of your devices drawing unnecessary power when you’re not even using it? The Sense app will show you this as well. If you live in any area with time-of-use (TOU) rates–in which you pay more for electricity when demand is higher–you’ll be able to enter the different rates and increase the accuracy of your electricity costs in the app. You can also set electricity goals through the Sense app and opt-in to certain notifications that will alert you if some of your consumption data seems off–such as if you’ve left the fridge door open for a bit too long or if you’re using more electricity than usual during peak rate hours!
Want to pair the Sense Home Energy Monitor with solar panels? With Sense Solar, you’ll get all of the same benefits as the standard Sense monitor, but your device will also come with two additional current sensors that will clamp onto your solar wires. You’ll then be able to use the Sense app to track how much electricity your panels are generating, and how much you’re consuming.
Energy monitors vs. energy management systems: what’s the difference?
While the Sense Home Energy Monitor provides many insights into your electricity usage, it’s not considered an energy management system. In order to be an energy management system, it must provide both monitoring and controls. However, with Schneider Electric’s energy management system, the Square D Energy Center, you’ll have access to the Square D edition of the Sense app: the Wiser Energy system. The Wiser Energy system will provide you with the same monitoring data, while also allowing you to remotely control your devices at the circuit level as well. Check out this article to learn more about the Square D Energy Center.
How is LG Solar’s partnership with Sense unique?
You don’t need LG solar panels to purchase a Sense Solar monitor, but doing so will provide you with some additional benefits. Specifically, the partnership is intended for homeowners looking to pair the LG NeON R ACe panels with Sense Solar. The NeOn R ACe panels are unique in that they come with built-in microinverters–and while LG is new to the game in solar inverters, they’ve long been producing inverters for their other numerous power electronics. Sense Solar will integrate with the NeOn R ACe panels and the LG EnerVu 2 energy monitoring app for their microinverters to provide even greater insight into your energy production and consumption.
Will the Sense Solar monitor save you money?
While LG isn’t requiring you to install Sense Solar with their NeOn R ACe modules, it might be worth your investment. Because Sense Solar is a functional part of your solar system, when you install it with solar panels, it’s eligible for the investment tax credit, and it will cost less than if you purchase it directly through Sense or through Amazon–for reference, the standard Sense product is $299 and Sense Solar is $349. The installation is an extremely simple process and should take less than 15 minutes. Because the Sense monitor empowers you to make smarter energy decisions, if you use the app to adjust and reduce your energy consumption, LG estimates that your electrical bill could drop by about six to eight percent.
Explore your solar options on the EnergySage Marketplace
Just like Sense can make you a smarter energy consumer, comparing multiple quotes can make you a smarter solar shopper. On the EnergySage Marketplace, you can receive multiple quotes from pre-vetted solar installers so you can find a system that meets your needs at the right price. Specifically interested in the LG NeOn R ACe panels? Simply make a note in your EnergySage profile. Most installers of LG panels are now offering Sense Solar as an installation upgrade, so if it’s something you’re looking to add, make sure to let your installer know!