As the maker of several high quality connected thermostats, Ecobee is already a smart company. But its new project may be its best move yet — an opt-in program that lets users volunteer to share their data for a large-scale study into home energy efficiency and climate change.
“Helping the world conserve energy is at the core of our brand promise and we don’t believe that it’s limited to those who own Ecobee thermostats,” Ecobee founder and CEO Stuart Lombard told Digital Trends. “We believe in energy efficiency for everyone. We saw a unique opportunity to collaborate with some of the brightest minds in the scientific community and, with the support of our customers, to advance their work.”
The Donate Your Data program shares anonymized data concerning metrics like the size of a user’s home, the house’s age, occupancy numbers, and external and internal temperatures. Information will be shared with academic, government and nonprofit organizations, and research partners already include the likes of The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Carleton University, and others.
What makes it so revolutionary is, like Apple’s ResearchKit health initiative, it makes it easy for researchers to gain insights from hundreds of thousands of users at a time.
“We all [benefit from this],” Lombard said. “This program offers a voluntary way for people to share their anonymized data with leading North American researchers and scientists. When we invest in the science, we advance the innovation that informs better policy, better technology, better codes and standards that underpin a clean energy future. We hope this platform will ultimately create an unmatched data-sharing movement to advance the research driving innovation in energy efficiency and environmental progress.”
If you are interested in getting involved, you can sign up at Ecobee’s Donate Your Data web page here.