Connected thermostat maker ecobee is launching a new program that lets users of its devices opt-in to sharing their anonymized usage data as part of a large-scale study regarding home energy efficiency. The program will share info like home age, size and occupancy numbers as well as temperature outside the home and within academic, government and non-profit research groups to help them derive insights that could lead to improved energy consumption practices.
The so-called “Donate Your Data” program is aiming to tap the interest of ecobee users in not just saving money, but also in making a material difference in global energy consumption overall. Studies of this kind are typically conducted with only a handful of houses at a very small scale, ecobee notes, and so being able to potentially tap its customer base of over a million users would make for a huge step change in how those studies are conducted.
Research partners include The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Carleton University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Resources for the Future and Toronto Atmospheric Fund. Ecobee’s going to start reaching out to customers to ask them for participation today, and you can also find out more or sign up at the startup’s Donate Your Data website.