The literature concerning the application of information-feedback methods for saving energy in the home is reviewed. Particular attention is given to electronic feedback via smart meters and displays, or "energy-consumption indicators" (ECI). Previous studies have not focused on individual appliances, but this paper presents the findings of a UK field study involving 44 households which considered domestic cooking: it compares the effectiveness of providing paper-based energy-use/saving information with electronic feedback of energy-consumption via ECIs designed specifically for this investigation. Twelve Control Group households were monitored for a period of at least 12 months and this revealed an average daily consumption for electric cooking of 1.30kWh. Subsequently across a minimum monitoring period of 2 months, 14 out of 31 households achieved energy savings of greater than 10% and six of these achieved savings of greater than 20%. The average reduction for households employing an ECI was 15%, whereas those given antecedent information alone reduced their electricity consumption, on average, by only 3%. The associated behavioural changes and the importance of providing regular feedback during use are identified. It is recommended that further attention be given to optimising the design and assessing the use of energy-consumption indicators in the home, in order to maximise the associated energy-saving potential. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
- Energy-consumption indicators
- Energy-saving potential
- Home automation