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Informing The Design of In-Home Technologies for Domestic Energy Microgeneration

Posted on by Gerd Kortuem

The final programme for ICT4S, the First International Conference on ICT for Sustainability, is now available at http://www.ict4s.org/the-conference/detailed-program/

Our group will be presenting a paper entitled 'When Looking out of the Window is not Enough: Informing The Design of In-Home Technologies for Domestic Energy Microgeneration" by Blaine Price, Janet Van Der Linden, Jacky Bourgeois and Gerd Kortuem (Open University, UK

The paper reports findings from an empirical study involving over 70 households in the UK where we investigated how people understand, perceive and think about domestic energy microgeneration. The title "When Looking out of the Window is not Enough" refers to one of the observations we made during the study: some users of solar panels firmly believe they understand when and how much electricity their solar panels generate - by simply looking out of the window they see the weather and form in intuitive idea about current electricity production. However, as we discuss in the paper, these intuitive ideas are often wrong and in fact people have incorrect mental models about their energy production.

The paper's ultimate goal is to highlight future design directions for digital technologies that help people make better sense of microgeneration in their home.