Sensors & Behavior (ARPA-E) > Technology Projects

Reference Energy Disaggregation Data Set (REDD)

Despite the potential for disaggregation of energy consumption to help residents and small businesses use energy more efficiently, academic work on energy data analytics has been difficult.


REDD monitoring device collecting data from a circuit breaker panel

Investigators: J. Zico Kolter, Sarah Jo Chadwick, Larsen Plano, K. Carrie Armel, June Flora, Matthew J. Johnson

Several factors make sharing utilities' energy data difficult: privacy concerns; the data has substantial business value; the volume of raw data can be quite large. As a result, for studies that have been conducted using utility information, data sets have not been released and cannot be obtained by researchers looking to build on the research. Researchers on this project, the Reference Energy Disaggregation Data Set (REDD), were unable to identify a single independent study that used a common data set prior to the initial release of REDD.

The project collected such a data set, standardized the collection process, and made REDD free and publicly available. With common evaluation metrics, scientists can use it to develop algorithms designed to separate an aggregate, or whole-home, energy signal into its component appliance/electronic contributions, as well as to develop other energy related analytics. REDD has been downloaded by numerous academic researchers and commercial developers. The related paper has been cited by 85 other published studies.

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Publications and Presentations

REDD is available at: http://redd.csail.mit.edu. Those interested need to email Zico Kolter, (zkolter@cs.cmu.edu), to receive a username and password. Researchers can download an initial version of the data, containing several weeks of power data for 30 different homes, and high-frequency current/voltage data for the main power supply of two of these homes. The data and the hardware used to collect it are described more thoroughly in the "Readme" on the main page and in the links provided below.

REDD: A public data set for energy disaggregation research (893KB PDF)
Proceedings of the SustKDD workshop on Data Mining Applications in Sustainability
Kolter, J. Z., & Johnson, M. J. (2011)

The energy reduction motivational interview: Pilot research (2.2MB PDF)
Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference
Chadwick, S.J., Plano, L., Flora, J., Armel, C. (2012)

Future Work

A second paper, "REDD 2.0: The Expanded Reference Energy Disaggregation Data Set" is in the process of being published.

Overall, this work is aimed at spawning the development of algorithms, more standardized testing of algorithms, and the collection of new datasets. Such a database could also provide a foundation for open competitions to seed innovation. Finally, in the future, these types of data collection procedures could be tightly integrated into commercial devices developed by companies.

In addition to this work providing data for algorithm developers and testers, researchers anticipate that this database and protocol will allow professionals in other geographic regions and climate zones to collect and store data to facilitate the continued advancement of disaggregation algorithms. Of relevance to continued work is the lesson to date that even in homogenous suburban areas, home energy systems, appliance stock and consumption patterns are extremely diverse.