Oxford’s new app to provide insights for a net-zero carbon future

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A TEAM of researchers from the University of Oxford is calling for households to download a new app, which aims to improve our electricity use and capture a unique look at life in the lockdown.

The current social distancing, to protect people from catching and spreading the corona virus, presents a perfect opportunity to capture unique data.

By studying one day’s data from thousands of UK households from the app, dubbed JoyMeter, the research team will be able to see how we can make better use of renewables and spread the load during peak times to be more energy efficient.

Dr Phil Grunewald, Deputy Director of Energy Research at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, commented on the announcement: “By taking part in this survey you can help our understanding of energy usage.

“Right now, with so many people in lockdown, we need more electricity at home, while national demand is at a record low.

“This is a unique opportunity to understand trends in energy usage and how they could change towards a net-zero carbon future.”

The participants need only to record 25 activities during a day, the data collected will provide invaluable insights on energy use in the home.

In order to encourage participation, one participant will receive a year’s free electricity, to a maximum of £1,000.

Backed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, researchers are particularly interested in data from the unique circumstances of the lockdown and are hoping to capture this through dedicated questions.

The survey will throw light on household energy consumption, while also revealing the impact of social distancing by tracking the movements and attitudes of participants and comparing these with 20,000 records collected over the past three years.

To contribute to the study, participants can download the app or visit the website and register.

Find out more about the app here.