Accounting for Energy-reliant Services within Everyday Life at Home, Pervasive 2012, Newcastle
Accounting forEnergy-Reliant Serviceswithin Everyday Life at HomeOliver Bates,Adrian K. Clear,Adrian Friday,Mike Hazas, and Janine MorleyLancaster University
Introduction• rel work: home energy sensing/feedback• a “services” approach• our study and ﬁndings• advantages of the approach
Vignette 1Enter A very warm Adrian Clear, fanning himself.Adrian complains about the difﬁculties he has with keepingcool. He’s been told he can save on heating bills by turningthe heating down by a few degrees. But, this conﬂicts withhis housemate’s preferences, and with the heatinginstaller’s advice to just leave the heating system to takecare of itself.Exit Adrian, to ﬁnd a refreshing drink or take a cold shower
indoor climate• differing expectations of what iscomfortable, or normal• negotiating with others that do not engagewith knowledges of resources• speciﬁc meanings associated with keeping acosy house (Gram-Hanssen 2010)• the role of competencies and expertise
Vignette 2Enter Adrian Friday (to the MiB theme tune),wearing a black suit and carrying a waterpistol and an ironAdrian has ﬁnished killing aliens for the day, but is waitingfor his laundry to tumble-dry. He knows that tumble-dryingis energy-intensive, but he must do so frequently becausehe’s too busy to line-dry, and his workplace has a strictdress code and hygiene expectations.Exit Adrian, to get back to his laundry
keeping up appearancesin a busy life• social expectations dictate things like howwe need to look or smell, which has bigimplications for daily practice (Shove 2003)• powerful institutions (like employment)• contribute to these expectations,• tend to organise time in certain ways,• ... making other ways of doing thingsmore difﬁcult
Vignette 3Enter Oliver Bates with a Powerbook 170, introduced asan energy monitoring enthusiast by Mike.Oliver has spent the last 21 years calibrating a complexenergy monitoring system so he can calculate exactly howmuch energy each device he owns uses. However, Oliver’senergy bill still hasn’t reduced much, partly because of hisguilty pleasure: he is a serial TV watcher and can only getto sleep while [a boring crime show] plays in thebackground.Exit A tired Oliver to go and watch some TV
resource managers?• negotiable: feedback can expose thingsalready seen as wasteful• ...resulting changes tend to result insavings of about 10% (Darby 2006)• non-negotiable: external factors dictate thepossible range of actions, and which ofthem are affordable/rewarding/valued(Strengers 2011)
Vignette 4Enter Janine, holding a candle.Janine has turned the lights out, and is using 12.6 lumensof candle power instead. She’s taking part in an energysaving competition and has been in 2nd place for 3 weeks.She’s just 0.5 kWh behind the leaders and has worked outthat if she uses candles 3 nights a week she can win thecompetition. She hasn’t considered the environmentalimpact of candles, but is sure they can help her win.Exit Janine to check the competition web portal to seehow she’s doing
energy competitor• resources and impacts are not as narrowlydeﬁned as the feedback system implies(Brynjarsdóttir et al. 2012)• Sustainability is complicated!
Resource-centrism• Our examples start with an awareness ofresources, then run into problems.• If not resource-centrism, then what?
How doesconsumption comeabout?"[R]elevant patterns of consumptionfollow from efforts to provide and sustainwhat people take to be normal serviceslike those of comfort and cleanliness"Elizabeth Shove, Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience, p. 198
What is "service"?• e.g. lighting, heating, food preparation• services also support work and play athome• Thus, resources (energies) are just part ofthe picture.
Participants and methods• Four on-campus ﬂats, 7-8 students each• High-average and low-average, historically (variation)• Twenty days (March 2011)• Kitchen, corridor, two showers• 22 private rooms monitored (out of 31)• Sensing: per-socket mains electricity, binarymotion & light; camera over cooker/stove• Experience sampling and 11 follow-up interviews
Lighting• 16-29% of the energy in each ﬂat• bedrooms are comparable (~10 kWh)• but communal areas more varied (46-85 kWh)• A mix of conventions, expectations, meaningsand actions around the lighting in the ﬂats
• Communal lights often left on• But, corridor switchoffs in “Green”• Navigation• Meanings around comfort and security?
Entertainment and IT• Big variation: 3.5% to 34% of the energy• room inventories• most had laptops; three PCs• 9/12 male participants had extra audio,video, or gaming devices• A room’s energy attribution correspondedroughly to its inventory.
Computing• discrete periods of use, vs. consistently on• laptops vs. other: order of magnitude less• Blue: two server PCs; four with AV/gaming• differing conventions for powermanagement (Chetty, Brush et al. 2009)
IT: one service to rulethem all?• multi-purpose: looking up lecture notes,doing coursework, listening to music,reading the news, keeping in touch withfriends• signiﬁcant overlap of these activities• challenges in attributing which practices aservice supports
Systems of devices• multiple devices clustered together• e.g.“computer” a bunch of devices served bytwo sockets• supporting a service like gaming or watchingTV• often makes sense to bundle the energy ofthese devices, and attribute to a singleservice, like entertainment
Entertainment• socialising: casual and planned groupactivites• access to digital media infrastructures• boredom and ﬁlling time has resourceimplications
Advantages of a service-oriented approach1. exposes service-reliance across areas ofpractice2. identiﬁes systems of devices and constellationsof services3. resource measurements can be actioned moreeffectively, taken in context4. facilitates higher-level reconsideration of howservice might be reconﬁgured for sustainability
Summary• the “services” approach is really aboutdesigning sustainability research to take thebroader view that it needs• far-reaching implications; scalability• because of the nature of variation, formativestudies are always needed• develop qualitative/quantitativeunderstandings, and in designing interventions