Motivating domestic energy conservation through comparative, community-based feedback in mobile and social media

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Springer, London
The progress of technology has led to the increased adoption of energy monitors among household energy consumers. While the monitors available on the market deliver real-time energy usage feedback to the consumer, the format of this data is usually unengaging and mundane. Moreover, it fails to address consumers with different motivations and needs to save and compare energy. This paper presents a study that seeks to provide initial indications for motivation-specific design of energy-related feedback. We focus on comparative feedback supported by a community of energy consumers. In particular, we examine eco-visualisations, temporal self-comparison, norm comparison, one-on-one comparison and ranking, whereby the last three allow us to explore the potential of socialising energy-related feedback. These feedback types were integrated in EnergyWiz -- a mobile application that enables users to compare with their past performance, neighbours, contacts from social networking sites and other EnergyWiz users. The application was evaluated in personal, semi-structured interviews, which provided first insights on how to design motivation-related comparative feedback.