More than 200,000 ecobee Smart Owners have opted-in to ecobee’s one-of-a-kind Donate Your Data (DYD) program, creating a unique window into energy use in the home, and making it the world’s largest home energy efficiency dataset.
By sharing the anonymized data from customers who have opted in, ecobee is helping researchers around the globe in their studies aimed at creating a more sustainable and healthier future for communities.
Since then, Aya Doma, a building engineering researcher and PhD researcher at Intelligent Buildings and Cities Lab (IBCL) at Concordia University in Montreal, has been using the dataset to better prioritize which buildings need to be retrofitted for energy efficiency and cost savings.
ecobee Citizen: What is retrofitting?
Doma: When we look at the energy usage of buildings, we try to find which ones are leaking energy. This involves making changes to existing properties to improve their energy efficiency and carbon footprint by upgrading insulation, installing double glazed windows, and adding renewable energy sources like solar power.
ecobee Citizen: How does it benefit the people living in the building?
Doma: The most immediate benefit of retrofitting is the cost savings. The retrofitting measures add up to significantly reduce energy consumption, which means lower monthly utility bills for homeowners, businesses, and tenants. The savings from retrofitting can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year, depending on the scale of the retrofitting measures and the property type. Furthermore, retrofitting not only benefits our pockets but also helps to reduce global carbon emissions. The ecobee data helps compare energy usage with factors such as the age of the building, which helps us prioritize certain buildings over others.
The ecobee data helps compare energy usage with factors such as the age of the building, which helps us prioritize certain buildings over others.
ecobee Citizen: Who will be using these findings?
Doma: We’re working with the National Research Council as well as government bodies to best allocate the decarbonization budget. If we choose the right buildings to retrofit, we can make the most efficient use of our money and energy. In the long term, this will help us make necessary changes to building standards and design requirements – by studying the correlation between building performance and year of construction, we can identify the limitations of building codes within that year.
About Aya Doma
Aya Doma is a PhD researcher at Intelligent Buildings and Cities Lab (IBCL) at Concordia University. Her research focuses on analyzing urban scale datasets to improve how occupants and their activities are represented in buildings energy codes and simulation models. Her research is funded by multiple prestigious organizations such as Hydro QC and Fonds de recherche du Québec.
About Donate Your Data
ecobee offers a one-of-a-kind Donate Your Data (DYD) program that invites customers to voluntarily share anonymized data from their thermostats with scientists and researchers all over the world who are answering critical questions related to the clean energy future. Since we launched the program in 2017, over 200,000 ecobee Smart Owners across North America have opted-in to-date, making it the world’s largest home energy efficiency dataset. We’ve partnered with researchers in over 10 countries – including Yale, UC Berkeley and University of Toronto.
Interested in joining over 200,000 ecobee customers and helping researchers like Aya Doma better prioritize decarbonization funding? Sign up for Donate Your Data in a few short steps:
- Open the ecobee app.
- Tap the Account icon in the top-left corner.
- Select Donate Your Data.
- Toggle on Donate Thermostat Data.
- Learn how your data is anonymized and your privacy protected, then tap Accept & Join.
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