Wattsup?: Motivating reductions in domestic energy consumption using social media


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Our domestic energy intervention study presentation for the NORDICHI2010 conference. Please see the accompanying video of Wattsup on slideshare.net at http://www.slideshare.net/LiSC_/wattsup

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Wattsup?: Motivating reductions in domestic energy consumption using social media

  1. 1. Derek Foster<br />Shaun Lawson<br />Mark Blythe<br />Paul Cairns<br />Wattsup?: Motivating reductions in domestic energy consumption using social networks <br />
  2. 2. Derek Foster<br />PhD Student<br />Lincoln Social Computing (LiSC) Research Centre<br />University of Lincoln<br />http://lisc.lincoln.ac.uk<br />
  3. 3. Introduction<br />Sustainable HCI<br />- Motivating pro-environmental behaviour through technology-enabled feedback<br />Social Norms <br />- Utilising peer-pressure and social competiveness to bring about reductions in energy usage<br />By combining above concepts we target behaviour change for energy consumption using online social applications<br />
  4. 4. Structure<br />Background - Domestic energy<br />Background – Home energy monitors<br />Method – Participants<br />Method – Design<br />Results<br />Discussion<br />Future Work<br />
  5. 5. Domestic Energy Usage<br />UK domestic energy accounts for approx 30% of total energy expenditure in 2008<br />30% Increase since the 1970’s<br />19% Increase since 1990<br />Only 1.9% of domestic energy consumed is from renewable resources<br />UK goal of 34% carbon reduction by 2020<br />Climate change<br />Source: UK Government Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR)<br />
  6. 6. Home Energy Meters<br />Meter location – Flats, apartments – difficult to access or inaccessible<br />Energy is intangible<br />Understanding traditional meter readings<br />
  7. 7. Home Energy Monitoring<br /><ul><li>Basic presentation of energy data
  8. 8. Limited interaction
  9. 9. Closed systems with no social data sharing
  10. 10. Limited online applications
  11. 11. Bound to proprietary software</li></li></ul><li>Home Energy Interventions<br />Darby, S., found that technology-enabled feedback can support up to 20% reductions 1<br />Yun, T., used a minimalist portable display providing energy feedback in the home resulting in energy reductions2<br />Recent work at CHI highlighted the need to recognise social and environmental psychology when designing energy interventions 34<br />Build on previous energy feedback work by introducing social media as feedback delivery platform<br />1 Darby, S. The effectiveness of feedback on energy consumption: A review for DEFRA of the literature on metering, billing and direct displays, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, 2006. <br />2 Yun, T. Investigating the impact of a minimalist in-home energy consumption display. In Ext. Abstracts CHI 2009. ACM Press (2009), 4417-4422. <br />3 Froehlich, J., Findlater, L., and Landay, J. 2010. The design of eco-feedback technology. In Proceedings of the 28th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 - 15, 2010). CHI '10. ACM, New York, NY, 1999-2008<br />4 DiSalvo, C., Sengers, P., and Brynjarsdóttir, H. 2010. Mapping the landscape of sustainable HCI. In Proceedings of the 28th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 - 15, 2010). CHI '10. ACM, New York, NY, 1975-1984.<br />
  12. 12. Pilot Study<br />Recruited 8 households <br />18 day ‘within subjects’ study to measure energy usage in two conditions <br />Social condition: participants could view their own and comment upon others’ energy usage<br />Non social condition: participants could view only their own energy usage<br />Research question: Can the use of social media motivate further reductions in energy usage?<br />
  13. 13. Method - Participants<br />Recruited lead participant for each household<br />Regular users of Facebook for the past 12 months<br />Given a Wattson energy monitor <br />Asked to use<br />
  14. 14. Method - Design<br />Independent Variable - interaction mode, either social or non-social. <br />Dependent Variable – amount of energy used by each lead participant, with total energy being recorded in each condition for each participant.<br />Repeated measures design<br />Each participant experienced both conditions, and order effects were controlled for as carefully as possible.<br />
  15. 15. Materials - Wattson Monitor<br />PC connectivity<br />Bespoke data collection software developed to transmit data online<br />Good design aesthetics<br />(fits in with environment)<br />
  16. 16. Materials - Wattson Monitor<br />
  17. 17. Materials - Wattsup Application<br />Wattsup – A Facebook application providing energy and social feedback <br />Displays live energy data from Wattson monitor<br />Transforms limited Wattson display into an online interactive social app<br />Utilises Facebook social features<br />MSDN Facebook featured application http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ee384421.aspx<br />
  18. 18.
  19. 19. Wattsup Participatory Design<br />User-centred design approach - focus groups and paper-prototyping to produce final interface designs<br />
  20. 20. Wattsup Social Norms<br />
  21. 21. Wattsup Technical Implementation<br />
  22. 22. Wattsup Technical Implementation<br />Recent developments in home energy monitors have simplified development of third party energy applications and raised UX quality<br />Easier to access online energy data through devices like AlertMe monitor and Google’s Powermeter<br />
  23. 23. Results<br />7 out of 8 households reduced their energy consumption when in the social condition<br />130KwH of energy saved – equivalent to Co2 emissions of driving a small car for 399 Km<br />If sustained for 6 months would result in reductions of 2600KwH<br />A Wilcoxon test showed that energy consumption was significantly lower when using in the socially enabled condition (Z= -2.1, N=8, p=0.036)<br />
  24. 24. Results<br />
  25. 25. Results<br />Comments board on rankings interface<br />Small Analysis using Grounded Theory<br />Three main categories centred around the user experience emerged:<br />- Banter<br />- Engagement<br />- Competition<br />
  26. 26. Results<br />Banter<br />“how come you are at the top, cut down drastically on your cups of tea?”<br />“energy vampire...you clearly are!!”.<br />Diane: “I’ve turned my washing machine settings down as this uses loads...no pun intended”<br />Alice: “I once turned down a washing machine. Wasn't pretty. It went into a cycle of depression and self-loathing before finally giving me my socks back”<br />
  27. 27. Results<br />Engagement<br />Engagement included disclosure of information such as:<br />“Left my main PC on the last two nights. Made a massive difference to my scores.”<br />“gone down in the rankings? I´m in Spain :S” <br />“I NEED TO STOP PLAYING PUTER! (idontwanttoidontwanttoidontwantto)”.<br />
  28. 28. Results<br />Competition<br />Competition between the participants was evident in their comments:<br />“Take’s the top spot: D” <br />“I've been usurped”. <br />“good to see I'm higher in the table then you rob ha ha” <br />
  29. 29. Results<br />Google Analytics<br />- highlighted the differences in user interaction activity between both conditions<br />- 263 visits in social condition vs 51 visits in non-social condition<br />- Participants spent greatest amount of time interacting with the rankings interface<br />
  30. 30. Results<br />Semi-Stuctured interviews<br />- carried out at the end of the study in participants' home<br />- asked which condition they preferred with all preferring the social condition<br />- willing to take part in longer studies<br />- found the experience fun and enjoyable<br />“I preferred the second one (socially) because I am quite competitive, it gave me further incentive. I think putting a bit of fun in it is quite important.”. <br />“Well, this morning we unplugged EVERYTHING one by one, room by room. The reading on the wattson went down by around 450 to 970 watts. Ha, we actually enjoyed investigating this though ;)” <br />
  31. 31. Discussion<br />Household energy usage was significantly lower when participating in the social condition, 780KW vs 640KW <br />- This suggests that social interaction over an online social network, such as viewing each others energy usage, comparing own usage to that of peers, and commenting on each other’s progress, can help motivate participants reduce their household energy consumption.<br />
  32. 32. Future Work – Domestic Energy<br />Longitudinal study <br />Better integration in Facebook and Twitter<br />Use contemporary energy monitors for transparent implementation<br />
  33. 33. Future Work – Workplace Energy<br />Looking at organisational and local authority energy usage targeting employees. Electro-Magnates project: <br />http://www.electro-magnates.com<br />Design a suite of social applications – including games – to support behaviour change in energy reduction in the workplace<br />
  34. 34. Thank You!<br />Questions?……<br />