University of Oxford

JoyMeter

A data sharing service as part of the ReNEW project at the University of Oxford

Why should I take part?

Many reasons: climate, energy, empowering decisions, democratising data, fight fuel poverty, support energy science, national statistics...

Your benefits:

From the data we collect, tools will be developed to give households targeted advice on some of the most challenging decisions ahead of us, such as:

The activity diaries and energy data you submit with JoyMeter may seem innocuous individually. At scale, they can provide important insights for some of our greatest challenges for energy and climate change.

Climate

International agreements set out to prevent global temperature rises to 1.5°C. We are already at 1.1°C. Urgent and meaningful action is required at global, national, local and personal level. Energy is responsible for 80% of human greenhouse-gas emissions. This is where we can make a big difference.

JoyMeter data is used for research into the way we use energy and how we can make the journey to net zero emissions fast and fair.

Energy

The UK has halved the emissions from electricity generation in the last decade. A kWh used to cause over 500g of CO2 - now it is less that 250g. A great success with more to come.

As we drive this number closer to zero, with cheaper wind and solar power, new challenges emerge. Even with the best supply in the world, changes to the way we use energy are inevitable.

The Committee on Climate Change estimates that 59% of measures needed for us to meet our targets involve "behavioural and societal" changes, i.e. we have to make changes ourselves.

JoyMeter observes these changes over time and helps to identify which ones are effective and agreeable, and where we should tread carefully if we want to bring everyone onto the zero carbon journey.

Empowering decisions

So what can I do? This is a question JoyMeter helps to address. The problem is that we all use energy in very different ways and quantities. Blanket policies and generic advice can only get us so far.

Your smart meter data is a powerful source of information that can help our understanding of your energy needs and opportunities for effective measures. The patterns of gas and electricity demand can reveal helpful insights where and when we may be using too much energy and what simple changes can help us reduce our demand. For some people that could be as simple as turning the thermostat down when not at home (or have a smart device do it for us), for others it may be time to replace the fridge or invest in some insulation or draft proofing. With the right data driven tools we can narrow down which measure is right for you. Better still, we can ensure that the expected saving have been achieved by collecting these data after making a change. At scale this learning from data can result in powerful advice tools on the best measures for your particular energy use profile.

We want to democratise data. As things stand it is really difficult for you to access your smart meter data, let alone process it in a way that is useful for you. Our ambition is to translate confusing smart meter data into meaningful and helpful messages. Ultimately everyone should have access to their data and services that allow them to extract value from it.

Fighting fuel poverty

Britain is a wealthy country, and yet, millions of people live in fuel poverty. Many of us cannot afford to stay warm or have to pay over the odds because of poorly insulated homes with inefficient appliances.

Smart meter data can help to track down homes with 'easy wins', where a small grant could make a big difference. At the same time we can make sure that any interventions or policy measures do not inadvertently disadvantage fuel poor homes further. Imagine being sold a heat pump that locks households into higher bills for years to come. With smart meter data we can ensure that systems perform as promised.

The data we collect is made available for research. Data scientists can tease out how we can best make progress towards our net zero climate ambitions. If we hit any stumbling blocks, for instance because technologies do not perform as we expected, or result in new practices with different energy demands, we better know about it sooner rather than later. JoyMeter data can form part of this early warning system.

What do I have to do?

You don't have to do anything. Record as many or as few activities as you like. You also have the option to link your smart meter (if you have one) to allow us to share your data with you.

We may contact you via email to invite you to special study days. On these days we may encourage you to record activities or to try out changes to your energy practices. Again, all this is entirely voluntary and optional.

Login

No need for user names or passwords - phew. Just enter your email and we send you a code to verify it is you. Type that in and you are good to go. It is that simple.

If you don't get the email, do check your junk folder - that happens a lot!

Using multiple devices

JoyMeter is available as a website for desktop and mobile devices. You can use the app
Google PlayApp Store.

Start recording with any of them and pick up where you left off. So long as you use the same email address, all your records will be synced up.

For security reasons you have to provide your smart meter details for each device separately.

Protecting your data

Privacy is precious. To make sure only you can access the data you submit we use your email to verify it's you.

When you receive a code or a personalised link from us via email, do not share it with people you don't want to access these data.

To remove all data from a device, go to the menu and tap:

Using JoyMeter

JoyMeter is designed to be easy to use and largely self-explanatory. How much you use it is entirely up to you. We may email you and suggest particular days on which we would like to encourage you to keep a diary. If you feel it is becoming a burden, don't do it.

When you record a lot of activities you can reach star status

The tabs

At the top you always have four tabs:

Menu: The main overview of options. Everything can be reached from here.

Activities: Add, view and edit activities.

User: Change user, see or download your data.

Help: Toggle additional explanations for each button.

Activities

This tab lists the activities you have recorded

Add activity: Start a new entry. Tip: tap the clock to set the time when recording past activities. You can also make changes to the times by tapping them in the list below.

List view: Scroll through past activities. Tap time, description or the enjoyment symbol to change them.

Customising

Tap the description to make changes.

Save: If you want to reuse this description in future, save it and it will appear under

Delete: Remove this activity

Back: Return to the previous screen without changes

Link your smart meter

On the User tab you have the option to

If you have a smart meter, you would have been given an In-Home-Display. At the bottom of this display is a 16 digit code. Type this in, along with your postcode. We will check if we can access it. If so, you will get an email from us explaining exactly what data we will access, how we share it with you and how you can withdraw consent. At this point you can decide whether to go ahead.

How to find out more

Have a look at recent research on Energy-Use.org or contact us directly via email phil@joymeter.uk