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What motivates people to use energy feedback systems?

A multiple goal approach to predict long-term usage behaviour in daily life
: Gölz, S.; Hahnel, U.J.J.


Energy research & social science 21 (2016), S.155-166
ISSN: 2214-6296
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Feedback systems on energy consumption are being provided more and more worldwide. However, the success of these systems in terms of increasing energy efficiency in households is still limited. We assume that this circumstance is due to the fact that present energy feedback systems primarily address individuals’ financial goals, thereby neglecting the fact that people may carry a set of multiple goals towards usage. In three preliminary studies and one main study, we examined the underlying goals which motivate people to use web-based feedback on their own electricity consumption. We identified and replicated four distinct goals towards feedback usage: having fun, learning how to save electricity, controlling and reducing costs, and avoiding inconvenience due to perceived negative impacts of feedback usage. In the Main Study, we investigated a sample from a smart meter field trial (N = 345) and applied a model-based cluster analysis to identify distinguishable goal profiles based on the four goal factors. We analysed the predictive power of the identified multiple goal profiles on participants’ actual usage of feedback for a time span of six months. The findings support the assumption that individuals carry multiple goals towards feedback usage which can be empirically clustered into distinguishable profiles.