Smart Thermostats: Is my information Private??
With the recent proliferation of “Smart Thermostats”, consumers are now receiving monthly emails from the thermostat manufacturer. The information tells the owner how many hours the system is working, average temperature, etc. Many homeowners are now asking:
How should I address concerns about data privacy and does the EPA (Federal Government) cultivate my information? Access to customer data remains solely in control of the smart thermostat service providers. EPA’s process is intentionally confidential. Data analysis and aggregation is done by service providers using EPA-provided software to protect privacy and proprietary information. Certification bodies receive aggregated data only. If the smart thermostat’s aggregate data meets or exceeds EPA’s savings requirements, EPA receives only final overall scores.Customers should be encouraged to consult their smart thermostat provider about data security and privacy, but can be assured that the federal government does not receive personally identifiable information or individual usage data from anyone that uses an ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostat.Energy efficiency programs that have direct data sharing agreements with smart thermostat providers should consult with their legal and corporate communications departments to determine the best way to communicate data privacy issues with their customers.
*Information from Energy Star web site December 13, 2018.