How to get rewarded for sharing your home energy data with researchers

Wattwatchers started working on the My Energy Marketplace (MEM) project several years ago, with an original concept of creating a consumer-friendly ‘app store for energy’ model. Our founding vision included establishing a marketplace for granular energy data from Australian households (and businesses and schools too) to support the marketplace for electrons. Access to quality data is crucial for researchers who are designing the future of electricity, and they’ll reward households for helping them.

Did you know you can help to shape the clean energy transition and the renewable future of electricity from your own home?

It’s all about data. And homes installed with Wattwatchers smart energy devices are rich in granular, real-time and historical energy data, including whole-of-home, solar generation, and major consumption loads.

Now top Australian engineers and researchers – led by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) on behalf of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) – are looking for data from households like yours … and you’ll be rewarded for granting access to it! 

Wattwatchers is recruiting participating households (limited to 400) from our My Energy Marketplace (MEM) project to share energy datasets for 5 years.

You’ll be helping vital research into the future of home electricity, including energy efficiency, rooftop solar and electric vehicles.

To be eligible for this and future offers to share energy data for academic, industry and commercial research and solutions development, you need to be a MEM participant, which includes having a Wattwatchers device installed at your home (read down for more information about eligibility).

Here’s how it works

What MEM participants get

  • $50 digital voucher from your choice of Woolworths, Coles or JB Hi-Fi
  • Two extra years of Wattwatchers subscriptions worth $120
  • Automatic entry in 10 draws (held every 6 months) for $1000 cash prizes
  • Priority to receive any future offers/rewards to share your data

What MEM participants give (limited to one participant per household)

  • Your Consent for the UNSW project and Wattwatchers to use your data under strict research conditions (to protect your privacy)
  • Your responses to the project’s Survey questions, including information about you and your household 
  • Your participation in yearly Check-ins to keep your details up-to-date

Wattwatchers is communicating this offer directly to MEM households we assess as likely to be eligible*, and you also can put up your hand to participate in the UNSW Energy Data Platform project by emailing us at info@wattwatchers.com.au (please put ‘UNSW project’ in the subject line).

How we’ll keep you engaged for 5 years

When eligible participants join up, you will be rewarded upfront with your $50 gift card (a digital voucher) from the retail chain you’ve selected.  

Then, as long as you stay in the research group and re-confirm your participation online every 12 months, when we prompt you, you’ll be eligible for additional benefits: 

  1. Up to 2 years additional subscription to the Wattwatchers MyEnergy app worth a total of $120.
  2. Inclusion in a rolling series of special $1000 cash prize draws that we’ll conduct every 6 months for 5 years – each June and December – with entry limited to the (up to 400) active participants in this research project. That’s a total of $10,000 to be given away in the draws.
  3. Priority invitations to participate in other data sharing opportunities through the MEM where you could receive additional rewards if you are eligible and sign-up for these as well.

What you need to do to join up

There’s a simple two-step Consent and Survey process which you access online.

  1. You’ll be asked to provide your Consent to participate in the UNSW Energy Data Platform and agree to your data being used for research into rooftop solar and household energy usage. This is a vital part of university ethics requirements for research projects and is designed to help protect your privacy and security by setting rigorous standards and oversight for bona fide researchers who receive access to your data. You’ll also be asked to agree to sharing your Survey information with Wattwatchers.
  2. Then you’ll be asked to complete the online Survey (takes approx. 10 minutes) to provide additional information about you and your household, which helps the researchers to get maximum value from your energy data while undertaking their research projects. This survey also is covered by UNSW ethics approval, and your personal identity will only be known to Wattwatchers (you have shared this with us already) and the administrators of the UNSW Energy Data Platform (all sites will be anonymised for sharing with individual researchers).

If you decide not to take part in this research, your decision will not affect your relationship with UNSW, Wattwatchers or My Energy Marketplace.

How do you stay involved?

Every 6 months, in July and January each year from mid-2022 to the start of 2027, we’ll update you on the project – including the latest $1000 cash prize draw winner! 

Every 12 months, in January each year (from 2023 to 2025) we’ll ask you to complete a brief online survey to re-confirm your Consent for participation and to ask if you’ve had any major changes in your household – such as getting solar, a battery, an electric vehicle or major new appliances, or the number of your household’s occupants going up or down. When you respond and re-confirm for the 2025 (4th) and 2026 (5th) years, you will receive an additional 12-month MyEnergy app subscription free-of-charge each time – and you also will remain eligible for the remaining cash prize draws. 

NOTE: We’ll also contact you from time to time if any new offers for other projects become available, providing you with opportunities to receive even more rewards.

More about the research project itself

The Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) is building a new Energy Data Platform for use by scientific researchers, and it needs hundreds of Australian households to get involved.

The project is led by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and includes other ACAP partners: CSIRO, the Australian National University (ANU), University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, Monash University and the Australian PV Institute (APVI).

Your data is important because researchers need to get deeper insights into how electricity is used, generated and stored by today’s households.

If you would like more information about the research project, please contact Dr Mike Roberts m.roberts@unsw.edu.au. This research has been reviewed and approved by The University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any complaints or concerns about the research study please email humanethics@unsw.edu.au or phone 02 9385 6222 quoting the following number H210821.

*Is your household eligible to participate?

To be eligible, households need to be fitted with a Wattwatchers smart energy monitoring device (all participants in the MEM have this already).

Your home also needs to meet some specific research criteria (e.g. student accommodation is excluded^ and participants must be over 18 and the electricity account holder for the property).

Homes both with and without rooftop solar are eligible, and households with large energy loads and assets are encouraged (e.g. air-conditioning, electric vehicle charging, pool pumps, electric hot water systems and home battery systems).   

^Student accommodation is deemed not to be eligible because of small loads and lack of variety.

*ARENA ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The My Energy Marketplace project is receiving funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government, and the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.