We enjoyed using the SmartThings App for everyday energy consumption tracking. It provides a good amount of detail, is easy to use and understand, and enables a good understanding of how much energy is costing and what days or times of the day are the most energy intensive. This is increasingly vital for people to know about considering today’s cost of living, and with a couple of tweaks and updates the app could be even more useful for people on a strict budget. If you have smart home devices in your house and you’d like to connect them up, the automation is easy to configure and could allow for far greater day to day efficiency and money saving.
- Gives detailed Samsung appliance power usage
- Works with all smart meters
- Doesn’t give much power saving help
- Energy monitoringConnects to any smart meter to pull energy use and electricity cost.
While the SmartThings app has been around for a long time, SmartThings Energy is a new service that can integrate your smart meter into the app. Built to provide comprehensive data on energy consumption and usage habits, the new service is designed to help you take control of your power usage – something that has hit at just the right time with rapidly increasing energy prices. SmartThings energy provides more information if you have Samsung smart appliances, and is little more than a basic reporting tool for most people.
Features and performance
- The user interface is intuitive, with an easy to understand navigation
- Direct integration with Samsung’s smart devices is key selling point
- A tutorial guides you through the setup process
SmartThigns Energy is a new service that runs inside the regular SmartThings app. SmartThings is the centralised smart home control app, letting you manage and automate devices from different manufacturers. You can read more about how this works in our SmartThings review.
SmartThings Energy is a new service that runs in the SmartThings app. To enable it, your smart meter first has to be added, and then the Energy service has to be enabled. Doing this requires logging in to the Chameleon Technology’s login interface, which is the technology that allows the data from your smart meter to be collected. There are a few different moving parts, but the tutorial was easy to understand and thorough.
I had to enter in my postcode and price per kWh for electricity to complete the setup. After which, SmartThings Energy synchronized data every night to give complete information on how much electricity is used per day.
By clicking on the graph within the Energy tab, there is more detail available, and the app did a good job of drilling down in Report mode, telling me what day of the week I used the most energy, and whether I was trending up or down. Based on the pricing information I entered, SmartThings Energy can also tell me how much the energy used has cost, along with a price prediction for the month (a useful feature, but one that could well get quite scary over the coming year thanks to increasing energy prices).
If you happen to have any smart Samsung devices, such as a fridge freezer or washing machine, the app can tell you how much power that device is using, plus give one-click options to run them in power-saving modes. By tracking energy usage over time, you can see what effect that makes on your energy bills.
That’s useful, but this deep-dive insight is limited to Samsung’s own smart appliances. Other smart devices that you can connect don’t provide this level of detail, so you’re left with general usage statistics, similar to what your smart meter gives you.
This standard power usage information is useful and detailed, but it doesn’t tell you exactly what devices and usage is causing the most energy usage. Nor does the app give you much help in cutting energy usage. Tap the Save tab in SmartThings Energy, and there are some rules you can enable energy-saving automatically. For example, SmartThings can turn down your hot water temperature when there’s no solar power available. It’s all very clever, but these rules need compatible smart devices to work, and a lot of people won’t have the right kit.
The option to set a monthly target is useful, and SmartThings will ping you if you exceed this amount. Daily and weekly budgets are in development.
I’d like to see better-personalised recommendations for energy saving, and pre-emptive notifications when you’re going over budget, for example. The system is in its early days, so I’m assured that these developments are on the way.
Should you buy it?
If you’re already a SmartThings user, having energy usage figures in the app is a useful way to see how much your home costs to run.
If you don’t have Samsung smart devices, the Energy service provides similar data to your smart meter.
SmartThings Energy adds a new level of detail to the SmartThings app, pulling in accurate energy usage and pricing information. Being able to track power usage over the month and see how much your home costs to run is useful and saves having to go and look at the smart meter. If you have Samsung smart devices in your home, you can drill down to see how much they cost to run, but the same features aren’t available to other devices. The energy-saving tools are more hit and miss, requiring compatible smart devices to be implemented. For many people, then, SmartThings Energy is a useful reporting tool but not much else.
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You must have a smart meter – any model will work.
No, SmartThings Energy does not require smart devices, although it will only give basic reporting. Add Samsung smart devices and you can get more detailed energy usage for each device. With the right other smart devices, there are some other automatic energy saving rules, too.