Smart meters and related technologies promise that energy information will change energy use. Poorly designed interfaces, however, jeopardize billion dollar infrastructure investments because sensor information is complex and dull, incentives are inappropriate, interfaces are not designed to modify behavior, and social context is ignored. These problems all involve the intersection of human behavior and technology.
In 2010, Stanford won a grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-e) to develop a transformative technology system that leverages pervasive sensor & communication technologies to achieve large-scale energy savings. The initiative has four parts: (1) a software platform that enables behavioral programs to be implemented at scale; (2) behavioral interventions to reduce and shift energy use; (3) data modeling that incorporates behavior into prescriptive engineering and economic analyses; and (4) an extensible energy communication network to enable future innovation.
To reduce energy consumption and increase energy literacy by designing behavior-changing interventions.
We've developed three human centered online residential energy reduction interfaces based on three motivational frames; these frames apply affective, cognitive and social engagement in energy reduction. This program originated from qualitative interviews of electricity consumers which suggested that homeowners do not understand drivers of electricity consumption and that their motivations are to reduce energy are multi-faceted and varied.
- Cognitive Feedback - Powerbar displays real-time home energy data to allow the user to form a more tangible understanding of his or her energy usage.
- Affect-based Feedback - Kidogo leverages emotions to help users correlate electricity savings with saved money and donations.
- Social - Splitbar leverages a users competitive spirit in social energy-savings contests, motivating a sense of community and energy-awareness.