New method to motivate students to reduce energy consumption
Research from the University of Kent has found energy consumption can be reduced significantly by students if they can see the amount of energy they are using in real-time and are motivated by their peers to save energy.
The research found that a combination of a real-time feedback system together with a human energy delegate in eight halls of residence resulted in a reduction of 37% in energy consumption when compared to normal consumption. The savings were 1360.49 kWh, which is equivalent to a reduction of 713.71 kg of CO2 over four weeks.
In contrast, another eight halls, exposed only to the real-time feedback and a weekly email alert, resulted in saw a 3.5% reduction in energy consumption.
Student's energy-use behaviour is complex as they cannot easily identify how much electricity their appliances consume and don't have to pay for their own energy use. The research showed that energy consumption could reduce significantly if residential halls used the Persuasive Technology and Energy Delegate (IPTED) method, developed by the research team.
IPTED is a real time feedback visual system developed to motivate student's energy use awareness, combined with an appointed energy delegate who could use peer social influence to promote energy saving.