Koehler C., Ziebart B.D., Mankoff J., Dey A.K.

UbiComp 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing

pp 103



Reducing the large energy consumption of temperature regulation systems is a challenge for researchers and practitioners alike. In this paper, we explore and compare two common types of solutions: A manual systems that encourages reduced energy use, and an intelligent automatic control system. We deployed an eco-feedback system with the ability to remotely control one’s thermostat to ten participants for three months. Participants appreciated the ability to remotely control the thermostat, and controlled their heating system with 78.8% accuracy, a 6.3% improvement over not having this system. However, despite having feedback and remote control, they still wasted a lot of energy heating when away from home for the day. Using data from our deployment, we developed TherML, an occupancy prediction algorithm that uses GPS data from a user’s smartphone to automatically control the indoor temperature of a home with 92.1% accuracy. We compare TherML to other state-of-the-art techniques, and show that the higher accuracy of our approach optimizes both energy usage and user comfort. We end with recommendations for a mixed initiative system that leverages aspects of both the manual and automated approaches that can better match heating control to users’ routines and preferences.