Smart thermostats sharing information on household habits

Big brother is always watching.

NEWSTALK 1010 has exclusively learned the smart thermostats the province wants you to install is collecting and sharing data on your habits.

Last month, the Wynne Liberals announced a $40 million program to give away 100,000 free devices.

Those devices are collecting information like when you're home and when you're not.

Smart Thermostats are meant to make life easier, leaving the days of pre-programming behind and even allowing for a person to remotely adjust the temperature inside their house by using an app.

They aim to reduce energy consumption and green house gas emissions.

As long as you're fine with data being shared on your household habits.

"There are algorithms in the smart thermostats, and many people are buying these at Home Depot, right now there are algorithms in there that use intelligence to know when people are home or not," explains Parminder Sandhu with the Green Ontario Fund. "The data will be collected by the smart thermostat manufacturers and they will share that with the Green Ontario Fund, which is an agency of the government, and then we will use that through a third-party to do some analysis and provide additional information to homeowners to reduce energy costs."

Homeowners must sign a consent form. Sandhu says the data will be collected and kept for about a year.