The question of energy reduction: The problem(s) with feedback
© 2014 The Authors. With smart metering initiatives gaining increasing global popularity, the present paper seeks to challenge the increasingly entrenched view that providing householders with feedback about their energy usage, via an in-home-display, will lead them to substantially reduce their energy consumption. Specifically, we draw on existing quantitative and qualitative evidence to outline three key problems with feedback, namely: (a) the limited evidence of efficacy, (b) the need for user engagement, and (c) the potential for unintended consequences. We conclude by noting that, in their current form, existing in-home-displays may not induce the desired energy-reduction response anticipated by smart metering initiatives. Instead, if smart metering is to effectively reduce energy consumption there is a clear need to develop and test innovative new feedback devices that have been designed with user engagement in mind.
Buchanan, K; Russo, R; Anderson, B
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