53.3 User-driven Points for Feedback Motivated Electricity savings in Private Households

Anne Marie Kanstrup , Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Ellen Christiansen , University of Southern Denmark, Sønderborg, Denmark
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  • User-driven Points for Feedback Motivated Electricity savings in Private Households

    Anne Marie Kanstrup & Ellen Christiansen


    This paper reports from a study of design and exploration of feedback for motivated electricity consumption to private households based on user-driven innovation. Traditionally feedback is designed on the basis of technical possibilities and/or theories on consumer behavior. In this study we present i) methods for engaging consumers in design of feedback by use of methods and techniques for evoking users innovative potential and ii) results from a user-driven process in form of design concepts and design examples for a home devise for feedback on electricity consumption. The paper starts with an introduction to the domain of electricity consumption in private households. Second, we present related work on feedback motivated electricity conservation in private households and our relation to this research field. Third, we present methods and results from our user-driven design study. In a discussion we relate our results to existing research, and are on this basis able to outline user-driven points for feedback motivated electricity savings in private households.

     The study reported in the paper is part of the FEEDBACK-project: FEEDBACK motivated electricity saving in private households is a research project running from 2006-2010 involving Danish Universities (Aarhus Business School, Aalborg University, and the Danish Institute of local government studies) and business partners (software companies, hardware companies, and electricity suppliers) and households in Southern Denmark and West Denmark. The explicit goal of the project is i) to develop and test out new concepts for communication from the electrical power industry to end-users (feedback) and ii) to investigate whether on-line-feedback on electricity consumption results in energy saving. The project consists of three related sub-projects, one of which is the design of a user-interface for on-line feedback on electricity consumption. This part is based on user-driven innovation with eight families, in the spring of 2006 and managed by the authors. Prototypes providing on-line feedback on total consumption and selected devices has been implemented based on the user-driven design process and are installed in 20 households in West Denmark. A qualitative evaluation of this test are taken place in Spring 2009.