Pecan Street Participant FAQ
Following are some of the most common questions we receive from active or potential research participants. If you have a question that is not answered below, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some details vary by individual study. Listed here are questions that apply to all of our research.
Participation in our research is completely free for participants.
For additional information, visit our Participant Resources page.
What’s required of me to participate?
Installation is the biggest “requirement.” Participants must be available and on-site for the installation of the eGauge home energy monitoring device. If the eGauge stops reporting data, a Pecan Street staff member may need you to try some troubleshooting. In addition, we ask that each of our participating households complete a 15 – 20-minute-long annual survey.
How long does the installation take?
A typical eGauge installation takes 2 – 4 hours.
What happens during the installation?
A certified electrician will install an eGauge in a protected enclosure adjacent to your home’s circuit panel(s) (breaker box) and a device that allows it to communicate through your internet connection or a via a cellular connection.
Do I have to be home for the installation?
Yes. Someone must be there to allow the electrician access to the electrical panel and your internet connection.
Will I lose power during the installation?
No. The electrician will not cut power to your home to complete the installation.
Will I lose internet access?
No. We may plug a device into a port on the back of your router or use your WiFi network to transmit your data to our secure servers, but this will not impact your WiFi speed or connectivity.
How does participating in this project benefit my community?
Your participation will provide critical data to support the development of cleaner energy solutions for your community.
What if I move or no longer wish to participate?
If you move or can no longer participate for any reason, please contact Pecan Street at email@example.com so we can update our records, terminate data collection, and schedule a time to collect our equipment if necessary.
Can I participate if I live in an apartment?
Most of our participants live in single-family dwellings. But we are expanding our network constantly. So if you live in an apartment or condo and would like to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will keep you on our interest list.
What does the eGauge and data it produces look like?
eGauge measures the power of individual circuits in your electric panel by using passive sensors that clamp around each circuit. It sits in or near your circuit panel and connects wirelessly to your home internet access so Pecan Street can access your energy use data.
What if I don’t have internet at my home?
If your home doesn’t have reliable internet please let us know and we can see if there are resources available to help provide internet.
Will the eGauge increase or decrease the number of power outages I experience?
No. The eGauge is a completely passive device. It will not cause your home to lose power. If your home loses power, so will the eGauge.
Should I change how I use electricity after the energy monitor is installed?
No. We don’t want you to change your behavior at all. We want real world data from real people.
Can the eGauge harm my appliances?
No. The eGauge will not harm your appliances.
How will my data be used?
Data from our participants’ homes is used by researchers to understand how energy customers use energy. This helps identify what products, services and grid improvements are needed to create a more modern, clean and reliable grid.
How do I access my data?
A few days after the installation, you will receive an email from Pecan Street’s electrician, Richard Smith, with instructions about how to access your home’s energy data through the eGauge online platform or Pecan Street’s customized portal at https://portal.pecanstreet.org/.
How is my data protected?
No personally identifiable information is stored in our databases with participant’s energy data. Data received from every home is given a unique numerical ID before being shared with research partners. All personally identifiable information is stored in a separate database that is accessible only to a limited number of Pecan Street employees for contacting participants as needed.
Who can see/use my data?
Pecan Street staff and researchers with a valid data license can access de-identified data.
Who do I contact if I am having a problem with my eGauge?
Please contact Pecan Street at email@example.com or 512-782-9213.