Understanding the design of energy interventions to reduce end-user demand in organisational and domestic environments

Foster, Derek (2017) Understanding the design of energy interventions to reduce end-user demand in organisational and domestic environments. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


Energy demand is on the rise globally due to unchecked factors such as population growth, lifestyle choices, and the industrialization of developing countries. Governments
are investing in technologies for efficient and renewable energy in an attempt to secure energy for the future over current dependencies on fossil fuels, but the development costs are high, and the rate of developed technologies is projected to fall far short of meeting global requirements. Overshadowing this growing appetite for energy is the global issue of climate change, igniting the scientific and humanitarian debate over the use of fossil fuels and a need for renewable energy, presenting a societal problem of generating clean, sustainable and secure energy for future generations. As part of understanding how society can make positive changes to daily practices around energy use, many governments have turned to behaviour change, or ‘nudge’ units, that research work on changing energy consumption behaviours. The importance of this is underlined by a focus on reducing end-user energy demand (EUED) by providing contextual energy feedback, interwoven with behaviour change strategies, in both residential and organizational sectors. EUED in large organisations and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) accounts for a significant proportion of a nation’s energy requirements. In Europe, the services sector saw a 34% growth in EUED in the period 1990-2012, with computers and other appliances in the office substantially contributing to this. In the UK, for example, 13% of total energy consumed in 2011-2012 was within the services sector, which accounts for services and business, while the residential sector consumed 30% of total consumption. Given a lack of academic HCI research in the organisational energy intervention space when comparted to domestic, the principle research undertaken in this thesis was to understand employee energy consumption practices and attitudes in the workplace, through a combination of qualitative enquiry and analysis. Additionally, alternative forms of feedback such as aversive stimuli are often ignored in the HCI literature, with favour focused on positive feedback alone as a means for behaviour change. The work in this thesis presents findings on the design implications and considerations that inform the design of in-the-field organisational energy interventions that integrate feedback and antecedent behaviour contingencies. Additionally, research is undertaken in understanding the design of aversive feedback as part of domestic energy interventions. A significant contribution is made to the HCI sustainability literature on understanding the workplace energy intervention design space, and a contribution made on how aversive feedback can in fact be a useful and engaging method for the domestic environment.

Keywords:Computer science, Energy consumption
Subjects:J Technologies > J910 Energy Technologies
G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:28674
Deposited On:05 Sep 2017 09:59

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