Real-time feedback system: a possible way to encourage and guide people to save energy.


Diagram of Tax and price; traditional feedback

Energy tax may be one of the most efficient and simple framework for reducing not only carbon emission but also other energy waste. Considering some of the natural resource such as water is basic need for daily life, some regions and cities define the average amount to meet each family’s monthly use and the part that higher than average amount would be charged for much higher price. Some regions also applied the credit system so we can see the credits on our bills. However, these solutions may draw people’s attention on reducing the waste of energy and offer the feedback of our monthly or annually use, but failed to offer more direct feedback and more information about what are the performances of my neighbors? What about the comparison between our neighborhood and others?


To provide a more direct and clear feedback to users, I design a feedback system which can be installed in house or download the app into our mobile devices. Basically the feedback system is a software that can visualize the amount of energy use and provide not only monthly feedback but also real-time feedback and provides additional information that related to energy use.


Real-time feedback and alert: We can check the amount that we already used and set an alert that would notify you if the amount of the energy is going to be higher than the average. Real-time feedback can give users stronger sense how energy is being used and it can more or less remind users to reduce or use energy appropriately.


Compare with ourselves, our neighbors and other communities: This function can expand the influence and eventually affect the cognition of the public. To compare with ourselves, we can have clear sense that how the amount fluctuates in each period, then we may start to think about why this month we use such a lot energy? Why another month we success to save energy? It offers a chance for auto-criticism; to compare with neighbors, we will put more efforts to save energy because inherently we don’t want to be the one who wastes energy the most. Also, we can learn from our neighbors; to compare with other communities, can be a good way for developers to persuade people accept higher-density communities. Because though the feedback system, they can see how the higher-density communities save more energy.


Tips and achievements: One of the easiest way to persuade people change their behavior is providing an alternative way. In this case, the feedback system can not only show us the amount that we used, but also provides tips for us to follow. Sometimes people may have awareness that we should save energy, but how to do it might be tricky. The system can be used as a guideline that help people to change their behavior. Besides, the system can also show us what can be benefited by our correct behavior. For example, showing pictures, videos or data of how the environment gets better or something like that.


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