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Project Description

Research has shown that detailed feedback on domestic energy consumption can substantially contribute to achieve durable effects on energy savings in private households. However, existing solutions such as regular energy bills or conventional home energy displays provide the feedback untimely or in a way that is difficult to understand. It requires the user to make mental efforts to translate the available information into appropriate actions. Furthermore, the information is not presented in the context where it is needed most i.e. when interacting with the home appliances or environment. Therefore the feedback lacks a direct and tangible link to the consumers behaviour. Current mechanisms also frequently have shortcomings with regard to long-term effectiveness, as initial results tend to wear off once the novelty effect is over.
PEEM therefore aims at improving the communication of energy feedback by seamlessly integrating it in the environment of the user and providing it where and when it is most useful and efficient. Such an integration of feedback could increase the comfort of the users, as no abstract translation and explicit attention towards achieving the goals is needed. Moreover, positive effects on the sustainability of behaviour change are expected. The concept of behaviour change through support of technology and appropriate interfaces can also be referred to as persuasive technology.

The main starting point for the proposed study is to explore persuasive technologies to influence behaviour towards optimized end-user energy management. Recent technological progress especially with regard to computational power, connectivity, availability of data and equipment cost allows deploying persuasive technologies in more and more contexts economically. Hence, advanced strategies of persuasion are technically possible. The potential of such approaches have been shown in several approaches in different contexts. The PEEM project aims to systematically explore the possibilities of ambient persuasive home displays for energy savings and develop targeted strategies for achieving energysavings in the context home.

The project will deliver valuable results on different levels. First, new prototypes and tools for providing situated and persuasive energy feedback will be developed. Second, guidelines on how to best implement ambient energy feedback in the home context will be defined and third, an empirical quantification of achievable effect sizes using persuasive ambient displays is determined.

The knowledge and approaches generated within PEEM will contribute significantly to achieve energy-savings in private households without compromising the comfort of the inhabitants or forcing them to take explicit actions. Guidance on positive energy behavior will be naturally embedded into users living environment.