To study the correlation between home energy consumption and climate change, researchers use volunteering groups of home as studying samples. However, the number of referents is often limited and to access the data is usually expensive and time-consuming.
Smart home devices that processing thousands of data every day might be able to help the researchers.
Ecobee, the Toronto-based smart thermostat manufacturer, has announced a new volunteer program called Donate Your Data. Its customers is able to opt in to provide anonymized real-time home data from their Ecobee thermostat to boost related energy researches, including home details like size and age, indoor and outdoor temperatures, HVAC usage and occupancy schedules and overrides.
According to Ecobee, 50% of home energy consumption comes from heating and cooling. More, over half of the energy becomes a waste since many people heat and cool their homes while they are not physically there. The energy used on heating and cooling in North America produces an estimated 384 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
With the launch of this program, the company hopes to help lower overall energy consumption while provide people to live comfortably.
The data from Donate Your Data program will be shared with academic, governmental and NGO research partners across North America.
For the popularity of the company’s products, these researchers are able to access data from more than one million customers in the region, to accelerate studies on energy efficiency. Partnered research organizations now include the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Carleton University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Resources for the Future and Toronto Atmospheric Fund.
Users of Ecobee’s devices can go to their Ecobee portal via tablet or desktop, find and click “Donate Your Data,” and click the check box to join the Donate Your Data program. They can also opt out the program anytime they feel to stop sharing their home data. The data sharing with the researchers, according to Ecobee, is the exact same information from users’ Home IQ report, with the removed personal information.