Ecobee Wants Smart Home Users to ‘Donate Data’ to Research Firms

Ecobee this week launched Donate Your Data, a program that allows customers to voluntarily contribute their home data to advance energy efficiency research.

Historically, these studies have been undertaken with very small groups of homes. As a smart home company, ecobee has created a unique opportunity to engage more than one million customers to share data anonymously and securely with research organizations to advance innovations in energy efficiency. Donate Your Data will share information including home details such as age, size and occupancy as well as reporting on indoor and outdoor temperatures, HVAC usage and occupant preferences.

“Our customers want more than just savings on their energy bill; they want to make a difference,” said Stuart Lombard, CEO of ecobee. “With Donate Your Data, ecobee customers have the potential to supply an incredible amount of data that directly supports some of the most sophisticated advancements in energy efficiency, which is core to the mission ecobee was founded on.”

Donate Your Data provides a turn-key solution for research partners, at a scale previously out of reach, says the Toronto-based Ecobee. The program leverages Ecobee thermostats installed across North America.

“This customer dataset is truly unique, said Alan Meier of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “We are looking forward to gathering deeper insights on how people manage their home heating and cooling. This is the type of data that will accelerate our research and help us identify further home energy efficiency opportunities.”

Ecobee has already recruited research partners including ‎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.

“Ecobee is establishing a form of public engagement that we have never seen before; it is a groundbreaking cross-sector partnership model to advance our understanding of how we use energy and engage with new technologies,” said Jennifer Thorne Amann of The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “Donate Your Data shows that there is a growing understanding that people, companies and civil society can collaborate effectively.”

Ecobee, founded in 2007, last week launched the ecobee3 lite, a more affordable version of its flagship device.

“Ecobee is committed to driving meaningful cost savings without compromising on quality, and ecobee3 lite is a great example of that innovation at work,” said Casey McKinnon, Vice President of Product at ecobee. “Ease of use, stunning design, interoperability and category-leading savings were our top priorities while developing ecobee3 lite, and we’re excited for consumers to experience these benefits at a better value than ever before.”

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