Device Detection Major Update: Ecobee Historical (v29.1 iOS/v29.2 Android)

As noted in our 2019 Data Science Update, attaining ground truth data on real devices, in real homes has been a major priority throughout the year. Our smart plug integration was a great first step in that direction, but we’re happy to announce a new Ecobee data integration that will help us gather specific data on HVAC devices across our userbase.

To enable the integration:

  1. Navigate to Settings > My Home > Connected Devices.
  2. You’ll find Ecobee under the Data sources section.
  3. When Sense has been properly connected, it will display “Sending Data” on the Connected Devices screen.

This integration will immediately send all of your historic Ecobee data to the Sense data science team. Going forward, it will continue to send batched historical data on a recurring schedule.

Note that this will not result in any immediate new or refined detections in your home, but we’re confident that the data we receive will help us improve HVAC detection going forward for your home. In time, this data will also help improve HVAC device detection for all homes in the Sense userbase.

Please note that it may take some time for the release to populate in the app store.



Just FYI my app was still “looking for thermostats.”

[Moderator edit: Discussed beta release]

UPDATE: This has been fixed.

Looks like there’s a small bug where the status copy shows ‘Looking for thermostats’. We’ll push a fix to this soon. In the meantime, even if you see that text, you should be fully connected and dumping data to us.

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This is awesome for Ecobee users! If I had known going with Trane would lock me into using their crappy thermostat I would’ve went with another brand. But nothing else can use Trane’s proprietary communicating technology from what I understand.

Though… The thermostat is connected to Nexia, so maybe one day this integration could possibly still be possible.

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I’ve tried to avoid proprietary thermostats like the plague.


In honor of this new enhancement, I decided to do a graphical view of Sense honing in on the operation of both of my AC compressors, using correlation comparisons to my upstairs and downstairs Ecobees. Initially, the detection was spotty and often conflated, but as the summer wore on, Sense started getting very accurate.

[Sense vs. Ecobee II]

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How do I get the secret handshake to see the data at your link?

Read back through that thread and you’ll see some of @kevin1’s data

Hi @ejcobb,
I didn’t really use any of the data from this new feature directly. I just generally emulated the kind of analysis that Sense would likely be doing with this feature, though in reality, they would probably use some form of the the difference between runtime * power usage (via Ecobee data) vs. Sense detection energy use, as a loss function for training, in addition to doing the correlation analysis.

The steps in doing my analysis:

  • Collect hourly data from Sense and 5-minute data from my two Ecobees via web app export
  • Merge and assemble the monthly data from the Ecobees into a single dataframe and aggregate into hourly data
  • Merge all the hourly data based on timestamp
  • Perform Pearson correlation calculation between the Sense detection energy usage and the Ecobee cooling runtimes on a weekly basis
  • Chart

Sense probably uses the the Ecobee data at its fundamental 5 minute intervals and aggregates their detected power usage (prediction) to 5 minutes intervals.

We’ve pushed a fix to the “Looking for thermostats” issue. If Sense is correctly connected to your Ecobee thermostat(s), it will display “Sending data.”

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Now says “Sending Data”

How can I tell if Sense has identified both of my ecobees? It now says “Sending data”. How can I access any of the Ecobee related data in Sense? I would love it if Sense could tell me how much energy my AC and furnace have been using historically. I am installing Geothermal heat pumps at the end of the month. Are there any plans for Sense to work with water furnace equipment? They are variable speed heat pumps with their own energy usage reporting.

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Three thoughts:

  • If you see “Sending Data”, there’s a high likelihood that Sense is capturing data for all your Ecobees on the account.
  • If Sense is detecting your AC and Furnace, either via native detection or smart plugs (my furnaces are on smart plugs), you can see that data under the Devices section within the app. Or you can export hourly data into a .csv file for use with Excel, etc. from the web app.
  • If you aren’t seeing the detections in Sense yet, you can still pull data from your Ecobees via export and use it to estimate your energy usage if you have some idea how much power your AC compressor and furnace blower use. The Ecobee export will give your cooling, heating and fan runtimes for your HVAC system.

If you’re seeing ‘Sending data,’ that means they’re connected and sending data to us.

As noted in the initial post, this is only a data-gathering integration. You cannot, at this time, see any Ecobee data within Sense. As for additional HVAC integrations, it’s certainly a future possibility but keep in mind that building out an integration, even one that just pulls in historical data, is a lot of work. Thus, resources will likely only be devoted to integrations that would benefit a significant portion of the user base.

Done and sending data. Cool! I’m liking these integrations - keep them coming.

What other information should we be filling in to help?

My HVAC hasn’t been detected, so you don’t have make/model on my system, which seems like it’d be helpful info for grouping and correlating.

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You can always fill in the Home Details, under Settings > My Home > Home Details with all your HVAC equipment info. That should help.

I had an Ecobee with 1 extra temp sensor installed.

When I upgraded to the 20 seer Trane system, I too was forced to remove the Ecobee and go with the Nexia thermostat.

There is a communication path with the Nexia system so I would be very interested in providing any support that I can to get the Nexia system communicating with sense like the ecobee.

PS. I now have an ecobee thermostat (with power injector) and an extra temp sensor if anyone wants it. Feel free to message me for it. I’ll update this message once it is spoken for.

When are these proprietary thermostat suppliers going to offer data export ??? Not enough to just offer remote control via app or home automation. I just installed a bunch of floor heaters using NuHeats fanciest thermostats. I can see the heating runtimes on the thermostat screen and the app, but can’t collect it.

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The data may actually be available. Contact their support team, and don’t give up till you get the answer you want. I am speaking with Nexia right now about how to get the data for ITTT purposes.