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!

enjoyed our post? let others know: 


Somehow I managed to miss this thread entirely and dove into installing and setting up my new TED 5000 on my own. Doh! It didn't turn out to be that hard, and it's working great. I think most of the issues are covered here, but I did a pretty thorough write-up of my <a href="" rel="nofollow">TED 5000 installation successes and issues</a> on my blog. I ran into and addressed a couple of the items people have noted here, in particular: -- The documentation is confusing about the sources of line noise that can disrupt communications. I struggled with this for a while until I realized what they meant: anything on the circuit that the gateway is plugged into that has a switch-mode transformer can mess up the gateway ... in my case, my router did. More details on my post. -- I ran into an issue with figuring out how to get at the gateway when the name http://TED5000 didn't work on my Mac. Details on how to sort that out on the post, too. -- A few other observations about the display unit. Very cool product! Tom
Have any of you compared the voltage TED5000 gives you against a Multimeter reading... My ted 5000 says my voltage is 115.5 V but when I use my Multimeter and take a reading out of the socket it reads 132.1 V. Any Ideas?
Mine is pretty close. TED reads 1.2% lower than my multimeter. 132.1 is pretty high. What does the other leg read? Where are you located?
I too saw these spikes (one had me spending $35 an hour for electricity!), but they've gone away since the new firmware upgrade. I'll look at it again this weekend when we've got a house-full of guests. That will be a good test.
I contacted Energy, Inc. today to order my TED5000-SC. Unfortunately these are not yet available. i was told that they are still finishing off the programing for the solar/wind side of things and should be available to us in 2-3 weeks. I will just have to keep trying back.
Anyone else getting random, huge, erroneous energy use spikes (as in thousands of KWh) with their 5000 system? After a few days of stable operation, I'm now getting several of these each day. I've reset the system and changed where the gateway is plugged in, but they keep on coming. Haven't heard back from Energy, Inc. yet. Obviously, they corrupt the data set pretty badly.
I have the TED 5000 and have a couple of questions and comments. (BTW, I love the product, but think there are a few bugs that have to be worked out yet.) 1. This is more curiosity than anything else, but why does voltage being metered vary so much. I just looked at the last 12 hours (hourly graphing) and notice that the voltage varied from a low of 121.4 at around midnight to a high of 127.1 at 5:00 this morning, and is now working its way down. 2. When exporting an Hourly .csv file the voltage shown is double the voltage shown in any of the graphs. I think that should be fixed. 3. When exporting a Second or Minute file (same question as number 2 above) plus I just have to wonder why they have cost in there. All it really does is state that if run at the wattage shown, this would be your hourly cost. Kind of redundant data. 4. Anyone having problems with profiling an A/C Unit. My readings are as follows (I will use an actual example). I must use the 3 stage setup. 8:02:25 - .791 kW 8:02:26 - 4.554 kW 8:02:27 - 2.201 Fan then ramps up to speed which takes 26 seconds 8:02:53 - 2.905 Remains constant at this level during the AC on time then dropped to 1.32 with the fan staying on for 1 minute, at which time it then ramps down to .788 kW From the above you can see that the Heat Pump and Fan total consumption is 2.144 (for some reason this can vary a bit so I have come up with an average of 2.2 kWh. The only way that I have been able to profile this is to manually set a 3 stage start up, but if I put it up to a 1900w start with a 30% error factor and 2 steps of 150w to get to 2.2 kWh it will only catch it some of the time. I have had to fiddle with the numbers a bit but still haven't been able to get it to record every time (sometimes it will start recording and not stop when it should.) hmmm! Also, I had to put in a dummy profile which has to be called every time before I call for the Heat Pump profile or it just simply states "No Data Found". BTW, I have a 15 SEER Heat Pump and a High Efficiency furnace (all just installed) Furnace has a DC fan which is supposed to have less energy requirements than an AC fan. All of this is heating and cooling a 2400 sq. ft. house, and does quite well. We just had a major heat wave for this part of the country at 3 days of 104 degree temps and my maximum daily usage was 62 kWh. Now that the temps are back to normal at 87 degrees I am consuming less than 30 per day. Loren
The funny thing about pool heat pumps in particular is that even with the vast amount of electrical power they use, they're still vastly more energy efficient than gas-powered heaters. When we first moved to Phoenix, I ran ours 24/7 in the winter (we had this great idea of swimming in the wintertime). They used a ton of power, but our electrical bill was "only" $400 (in part because electricity rates in the desert are incredibly incredibly cheap in the winter when no one is using their A/C). I asked my pool guy how much it would cost to run a gas heater instead, and he said on the order of $1,000-$2,000 a month. Gas is strangely incredibly expensive down here. Our gas bill is higher here than it was in either Minnesota or Seattle, and yet the furnace runs only a few hours a day in the winter. That said, it's really cheap in the summer, when the only thing you're using it for is cooking and the hot water heater. Our gas bills in the summer are $15 a month. I'm amazed that there's a big push to install very expensive energy efficient gas water heaters in Phoenix (our plumber was keen on this), because there's just not that much payback. IN the summertime, the "cold" water is routinely 80+ degrees, and the garage, where the gas water heater is located, is typically hovering around 100 degrees all the time -- so the water heater just doesn't have to work that hard.
Our TED5000 was installed on Friday by the electrician. Thus far, I've been very impressed -- I've been able to figure out that our pool pump, for instance, uses about 1 kw, and our heat pump for the pool uses about 6 kw (!!!). We had a $620 electric bill last month, which granted was a very hot one in Phoenix (average temperature at any given time: 97 degrees; lows in the mid 80's, and highs around 115), but I was running the heat pump to cool the pool water way too much. I'm guessing that $100 or so of the bill was from the heat pump running 4-5-6 hours a day trying to cool the water to 90 degrees. I'm looking forward to getting around a year worth of data, so I can determine how much our electric bill would go down if we installed various sizes of solar panels, and also whether it would pay to go to a time-of-use plan that our electric company offers. I've seen a couple of spikes, but they last for only a few seconds at a time, so really do not affect the data. Today we jumped up to 36 kw of power usage for about 2 minutes, which was weird, and didn't have any basis in fact. But when I look at the hourly data, everything looks pretty kosher, so I'm not worried about it. What's been interesting to me is that we have two 20 SEER 3.5 ton a/c units which are variable speed, and they increase and decrease in speed/power consumption constantly. I'm also happy that the zigbee wireless doesn't affect our wifi signals. I was hoping that there would be a way to turn this off, since we don't have the display, but no dice. I'm also hoping that they'll release some sort of iphone app for the unit -- the internal web site requires a lot of processing power apparently, as it takes a long time to render on my iphone, and eats up battery life like crazy. My last suggestion would be to have some sort of password protection to access the internal web server. I've set my unit to a very non-standard port, and poked a hole in my firewall so I can access the server from the Internet, but would still be more comfortable if there was a simple password, especially since there's no easy way to determine how many people are currently logged onto the server at any point in time.
Hey Mike, I lived in Tempe for 11 years before moving to NC. You might benefit from going on SRP's Time of Use electric plan. We saved a chunk of change on that plan, but you will have to modify your habits somewhat. Such as running your pool's heat pump only in the night (which is more efficient anyway...) etc. In NC, we have a kW Demand based Time of Use Plan where we have to monitor our peak usage for the month to figure out the "ding factor" on our bill. It's an awesome plan for someone in a big home. I had to get the TED5000 to keep on eye on real time kW usage. I waiting for the the firmware upgrade that will have an alarm to let me know when I'm using too much power as well as the footprints firmware that will have the Demand based energy plan. Otherwise, the TED5000 is working awesome! Bob


Post new comment

Subscribe to Comments for "TED 5000 is installed! It&amp;#039;s alive! "