TED 5000 is installed! It's alive!

TED 5000 Home Energy Monitor Efficiency Smart Meter Grid

TED 5000 opened

In the future, when the smart grid is finally here, every home will have a smart meter.  But the future is a long ways off, so there is no sense in waiting. Energy, Inc., the manufacturers of The Energy Detective and the TED 5000 announced on Tuesday, June 30th that the TED 5000 was ready to order. Well, my TED 5000 came by FedEx today and I had it installed and running in around an hour. While I have only had it a few hours, I am very impressed. While I have already covered the TED 5000 once in my post announcing its release date and some off its features, this will be an overview of some of the first things that have caught my attention.

The TED 5000 installs much the same way that the TED 1000 does.  I really dont want to cover installation that much because if done wrong, it can be dangerous.  While I'm not an electrician, I do have a decent amount of knowledge around electrical equipment, so I felt comfortable installing it.  The biggest thing is to ensure the main breaker is turned off so no electricity is in the panel.  But please don't take this blog post as installation instruction.  There are good installation instructions, getting started guide, and instruction manual that comes with the unit, but if you aren't that comfortable around electrical equipment call an electrician.  If the electrician is competent he will be done in under 30 minutes as it is not hard at all for someone who knows what they are doing.

TED 5000 Home Energy Monitor Efficiency Smart Meter Grid

Display Unit

I purchased the TED 5000-C, which is the model that comes with the Display Unit.  You can purchase the TED 5000-G which does not come with a display unit and you would just access the data through your computer.  I think the display unit is very cool, so I paid the extra $40 bucks and got it.  The total amount I paid was $239.95 before taxes and shipping.  When I opened the TED 5000 there were three smaller packages containing:

  • MTU - this comes with the current transformers (CTs) and wires and installs in your breaker panel.  It sends data to the...
  • Gateway - This is plugged in an electrical outlet by your computer.  It receives signals from the MTU over your home's wiring.  It then sends data over an Ethernet cable to your router or directly to a computer.  It can also send data wirelessly (ZigBee) to the ....
  • Display unit - This is an option but I highly recommend it.  It plugs into the wall for power but gets its data from the Gateway over a wireless connection.  It looks like a big silver Ipod video.

Aside from separating the Gateway and the Display unit, the biggest change with the TED 5000 is the Footprints Software.  They have done an amazing job with this.  Unlike the TED 1000, which sold the software as separate and came on a disc, the TED 5000 includes the software in the price, but the software is retrieved directly from the Gateway, meaning there is no installation necessary.  You simply have to type "ted5000" in the  internet address bar to access the software after the Gateway is connecting to your network.  (see screen shot of software on my computer at the end of the post)

Initial configuration is all done through a set-up wizard.  I did notice one error in the "Quick Start Guide" when setting up the software.  The guide instructs you to start from the "Setup Menu", but they must have made a revision, because there is no "Setup Menu".  You have to go to "Edit --> System Wizard Setting".  From there it is very straightforward.

The guide highly recommends plugging the Ethernet cable that comes out of the Gateway into a router, and not directly into a computer.  I would also recommend this because it makes things much simpler. The beauty of having the software reside on the Gateway is that as long as the Gateway is connected to your home router, you will be access the data from any computer on your home network!  I had to do this because my laptop is wireless and I use a VPN to get on my work network.  When I tried to access the TED 5000 software while on the VPN, I had trouble connecting.  When I booted up the desktop, which is not wireless, I was able to access the software right away.  This is the beauty of having the software reside on the Gateway and connecting the Gateway to the router!

Energy, Inc. has definitely beefed up the footprints software and it is much more intuitive and helpful.  There are many, many features.  The biggest of which is that you can EXPORT THE DATA!  If you recall, this is why I returned my TED 1000 unit.  The Gateway unit has internal memory that stores the data (up to 90 days of hourly data, 24 months of daily data, and 10 years of monthly data).  The TED 1000 had no internal memory so it had no way to store and export the data unless you used your computer for that function.  Since the Gateway has internal memory it can store data when your computer is off.  This is great for seeing how your house uses energy while you sleep or when you are on vacation.

Exporting the data is vey simple and the data is exported in a .CSV format so you can easily view it in Excel.

Finally, another great feature is that the Footprints software has a widget that displays your local weather.  All you have to do is tell it your zip code.  Now, my only suggestion for Energy, Inc. is that they store the average temperatures and export those values with the energy data.  This way, you can see how the local weather is affecting your energy consumption and track those changes over the season.

Overall, the TED 5000 has been greatly improved and is one of the best tools I can think of to get control over your electricity consumption.  Much more to come in the following weeks!

***Update - 8/18/09 - The TED 5000 iPhone app has been released and is available in the app store.  Check out my review here: TED 5000 iPhone app

***Update - 9/13/09 - See what kind of stuff you can do with the TED 5000 data once you have it installed in my latest blog on outside temperature impacts on energy consumption.

***Update - 10/07/09 - Several comments have noted you can't purchase the TED 5000 from Energy, Inc.'s website, but that has now changed and they do list them for sale and purchase online at the TED 5000 store.   Click here to buy a TED 5000.

TED 5000 Home Energy Monitor Efficiency Smart Meter Grid

Footprints Screenshot

The below update is no longer viable since Google has shut down PowerMeter.

***Update 10/6/09 - Google has announced they are working with the TED 5000 as a device partner for their Google Power Meter software. Follow the link above to learn about it and to update your firmware. This is pretty big news and will no doubt send sales of the TED 5000 through the roof! I spoke with TED customer service and they said that if you already own a TED 5000, the Google Power Meter software update will be on their site on Friday, 10/9/09. If you don't already own a TED 5000 but buy a new one, the new unit will ship with the Google Power Meter software. I'm looking forward to seeing if the Google Power Meter software will have many advantages over their Footprints software!

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Chris, To obtain a 220 circuit you must have one leg of 110 on phase (a) and one leg of 110 on phase (b). This is why I noted that I was into a 220 breaker. Actually internally a 220 breaker is comprised of 2 individual 110 breakers. I will be calling TED this morning and post when I figure it out.
If you haven't already tried it reboot the router, (unplug power for 30 seconds +), also reboot computer. Sometimes it is required for everything to be recognized. Then try http://TED5000.
I ordered the TED5000 over the phone about a week ago, and wanted to give some of my experiences and impressions for others who are interested, and/or have been considering getting TED. I was able to install the TED 5000 pretty quickly, but ran into problems with my first try. Initially, I was having issues with getting data on both the wireless display and in Footprints, and I also was having adverse interactions with my X10 lighting. All the lights that are X10 controlled would come on by themselves randomly. Very annoying if it happens when you're asleep, I might add. So far I have resolved these problems, though, and presently I am receiving data on both the display and in Footprints, and I haven't had any lights come on by themselves randomly in over 48 hours since making the following changes: 1) The instructions that come with the unit say to type http://Gateway-G/ into your browser to access the Footprints console. It turns out you actually are supposed to type http://TED5000 into your browser. I found this out by reading this blog. 2) I changed the sample rating in Footprints from default (5 seconds I think) to every 10 seconds. A representative from Energy, Inc. told me that cutting back on the sample rate might help with the X10 problem, and the lights seem to have stopped coming on by themselves so far, so maybe this did the trick. I have also applied the firmware updates, so who knows? Maybe this helped as well. 3) I moved the Gateway to another outlet. The LED on the side of the Gateway that indicates it's receiving data from the MTU was not flashing when the gateway was plugged into the same outlet as my router, as was mentioned earlier in this comment string by Kevin. I had to test several outlets in my house before I was able to find one that worked. I wonder if the circuit that ended up working is one of the few in my house that doesn't have an X10 product on it? Just a theory. 4) I switched the MTU to another breaker in the breaker panel. I don't know if this helped anything, but I figured I'd try it anyway. The bad news is, I did it at the same time that I did the other things in this list, so I don't honestly know if this action was helpful or not, but at least if someone else has the problems I did, they have several things they can try to fix it. I was fortunate enough to have a Ethernet socket next to the outlet that ended up working. Now that everything seems to be working right, I'm thrilled with the TED5000. I found out that my AC unit uses about 5.5 kW of power, and it seems to use more late in the afternoon after it's been running all day. I live in Texas, and it's wicked hot this year. I also found out that my refrigerator uses less power than I thought. I think it's somewhere around 250 Watts. Other users in the house pale in comparison to my air conditioner. I'd probably only consume about 4 dollars worth of power each day if it weren't for the AC. I hope my comments are helpful/edifying.
I have been fiddleing with my 5000 for a couple of days and can't get any usage data to appear on the handheld or the footprints screen. I have plugged the gateway into different outlets on different branches but no luck. This is quite humbling since I am usually good at setting up this kind of stuff. Any ideas?
Do you have a green light on the Gateway? I originally had problems because the wires coming out of the MTU were plugged into a breaker that tripped every time I turned on the power. As soon as I switched the wires to another breaker, it worked fine. Make sure the Gateway is receiving the data first. Once you see the green light on the side come on, we can try and troubleshoot from there.
I've noticed that whatever calculation they're using for "projected bill" has a flaw in it. However, my projected KWh seems pretty accurate (could be about 15% on the high side). I've written them about the projected bill issue and it's been passed along to the Footprints software folks. Now, I'm having a repeat issue though where my 5000 Display says "Bootloader in progress, 0 percent" Restarted TED through the Footprints software, but it's just happened again.
I am having a problem getting TED5000/Footprints.html to respond when trying to access it on my MAC in either Safari or Firefox. It's not really that big of a problem because I can access it in Windows XP in the Parallels virtual machine, but I would rather use the MAC side of the computer for security reasons. I have connected the Gateway to my router which in turn is hard wire connected to both of my computers and to the network printer (I do not use wireless). I may have to contact the company to get a resolution to this, but if anyone has already done it and can guide me through the process, it would be great. Loren
Hi Loren, I too have a Mac setup, and just now got my 5000 system (Gateway, Footprints, Display) working completely after about a week. I had some very helpful support from a test engineer at Energy, Inc., but they don't have any Macs in-house, so it's not an area of expertise for them. I might be able to help you based on what I learned from them and some investigating on my own. First of all, I needed to use the Network Utility to find the explicit IP address of my Gateway in order to communicate with it in Safari and/or Firefox (my Gateway is connected into an Apple Airport Extreme Base Station LAN port). In the Network Utility, click on the Netstat tab, and then with the "Display routing table information" choice selected, click on the "Netstat" button on the far right. After the info comes back, look in the second column for a device with a MAC ID that starts with "0:25:2f..." That's the Gateway. Write down the IP address (from the first column) associated with that device, and then try typing that IP address into Safari, e.g. Let's see if that is a start. Might also need to get your firmware version numbers from the Help -> About menu within Footprints (that you say you can run on XP in the Parallels virtual machine). But I'm jumping ahead . . .
I can't seem to find any details on the display unit. Is the battery replaceable? Does it have a backlight? Any tidbits you can provide? Thanks.
Are you in the future? I only see the TED 1000 for sale. Also, on the TED5000 page, it still says coming soon.


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