Creating an In-Home Display: Experimental Evidence and Guidelines for Design


In-home electricity displays (IHDs) are digital devices that can give near-real-time information about electricity usage in the home. These devices have the potential to provide the kind of personalized feedback necessary to effect behavioral change among residential consumers. However, for consumers to be able to act on the information provided on IHDs, they must first be able to understand it. We present an approach to in-home display design that uses research on customer preferences to determine which features to experimentally examine for customer comprehension. Additionally, we compare these preferences against experimental data to determine whether people have insight into what information best works for an increased understanding of energy saving. Using a computer-based simulated IHD, we find that the types of feedback information that consumers prefer (appliance-specific and dollar-feedback) are not as effective for learning about appliance energy use as the less-preferred aggregated kW. h feedback. Moreover, it appears that a simpler more generalized format of information provision has the potential to be more effective than a personalized IHD. We discuss how consumer preferences and experimental tests can jointly be used to inform the design of feedback technologies.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering


United States. Department of Energy


This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Numbers DE-OE0000300 and DE-OE0000204.

Keywords and Phrases

Consumer Preferences; Electricity Feedback; In-Home Displays; Learning

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Article - Journal

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