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Electro Save: A Persuasive Design Concept for Saving Energy in Student Homes
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Electro Save: A Persuasive Design Concept for Saving Energy in Student Homes

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December, 2008...

December, 2008

Final presentation for the "Persuasive Technology" course for the User-System Interaction (USI) program at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

Our assignment was to come up with a persuasive system for a unique user segment.

Project partners: Maartje de Vries, Eva Kraaijenbrink, and Frank van Gils

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  • EnergyHub The device uses a touch screen control panel (familiarly referred to as a "dashboard") to help gauge and adjust energy levels for satellite outlets that it communicates with. The data will be accessible and adjustable online, and users will also be able to compare their stats with other eco-tweakers or neighbors. The company claims the devices could reduce energy costs by 20 percent for homes that employ the system. There's no word on a release date or pricing, but we'll keep you abreast of any exciting developments. It's far from the first energy monitor we've seen, but this new so-called Ewgeco device does look to be one of the more sophisticated offerings so far, with it not only promising to keep tabs on your electricity use, but your water and gas consumption as well. That's apparently done with the aid of sensors that wirelessly transfer readings to the main device, which translates the information into easy to read bars that light up green, red, or amber depending on your level of consumption. Unfortunately, the device is only being sold to businesses at the moment, and it's not exactly plug-and-play either, with one of the company engineers required to install it, and a week needed for the Ewgeco to get used to your normal consumption patterns. Wattson showing a running total of wattage output represented in a digital readout or ambient light -- it can also connect to your PC and record consumption patterns. Unfortunately you're going to have to spend £350 ($600 US) to get one, and that's if you're lucky enough to snag one of the limited run of 250 they manufactured.
  • Reduction (Normally it is hard to see the influence of your energy consumption on the amount of money you have to spent, we use reduction to make this easier) Self-monitoring :(It is now possible to be able to also see you influence on the complete enery consumption) Surveillance (People can check each others consumption and see the influence on the complete picture)
  • The number on the meter is simple and factual, problem is the understanding of this number

Electro Save: A Persuasive Design Concept for Saving Energy in Student Homes Electro Save: A Persuasive Design Concept for Saving Energy in Student Homes Presentation Transcript

  • Electro Save Eva, Frank, Brian, Maartje Designing a conceptual interface to stimulate energy saving using social factors Time limit:10hrs
  • Persuasive purpose
    • Using social factors to create awareness on energy consumption in households
  • Existing solutions EnergyHub DIY Kyoto's Wattson Ewgeco energy monitor
  • Users
    • Students consume large amounts of energy:
    • Average household = per person 1480 kWh
    • Student household = per person 1742 kWh! *
    *www.milieucentraal.nl; www.acasa.nl Living in a student house with roommates
  • Users
    • What motivates students?
  • Persona's Jimmy Tanja Gary Renée
  • Storyboard
  • Storyboard(2)
  • Storyboard(3)
  • 114 Storyboard(4)
  • Prototype
  • Features
    • Monthly energy consumption is shown
    • Based on advanced payment
    • Saving energy fills beer glasses
    • Wasting energy empties them
    • Current energy consumption (   ) per room
  • Theory
    • Persuasive strategies
      • Reduction : Easy insight between energy consumption and money
      • Self-monitoring : Check your own energy consumption and influence on advance payment
      • Surveillance : People can see each others' energy consumption and influence on advance payment
  • Evaluation
    • Questionnaire (n=15; USI's)
    • absolutely not no neutral yes absolutely
    • 0 0 0 0 0
    • Evaluate two systems
    Current system Prototype
  • Results
      • Current system Prototype
      • Confront roommates with excessive energy waste?
      • M= 3.8 (SD= 0.86) M= 3.7 (SD= 0.83)
      • Adapt energy consumption?
      • M = 3.59 (SD= 0.94) M = 3.94 (SD= 0.66)
      • Paired sample t-test
      • (t= -2.4, df= 16, p< 0.05)
  • Evaluation
    • 3) What do you think of advanced payment system
    • Negative points
    • Pay more at the end of the year (2pp)
    • Pay exact amount is better (3pp)
    • No update each month, otherwise would adjust energy use (3pp)
    • Positive points
    • Restrict energy overuse (2pp)
    • Good system as long as people are aware that they could pay more
    • Ok, extra payment will be returned
  • Results
      • Main design Issues
      • Current system Prototype
    +Clear cost/benefit per individual/room (8) +Insight / awareness (Encourage to save money)(8) -Understandability (6) (E30,- and number under smiley, No clear relationship between calendar and smiley, icons) -Not everyone motivated by beer (4) -No numbers (detailed info) (4) +Factual, based on hard facts (5) +Simple design (4) -Poor understanding (6) -Not clear visible (5) -Lacking current consumption/ overview month (5)
  • Shortcomings
    • Not EVERYBODY likes beer; personal relevance
    • More steps in visualization? 
    • Not always possible to measure personal use
    • Who uses shared equipment?
    • Privacy: being at home
  • Expansion
    • Use for families
    • Make calculations on personal use
    • Personal feedback on HOW to save, based on used equipment
    • Competition between student houses
  • Next steps in Design
    • Working prototype
    • More specific requirements analysis towards goal-setting in student houses
    • Testing in home setting
    • Get funding from
  • Questions?