From Usable to Incentive-Building Energy Management Systems
In Modeling and Using Context 18(1). 2018.
Patrick BREZILLON (Eds.)
Reducing energy consumption is an individual and collective challenge that requires people to be proactive and fully involved. However, most approaches and solutions to this problem promote automated and autonomous systems that take full control of the decisions. Although these systems relieve users from setting the temperature in offices and homes, the level of thermal comfort chosen by the technology may not meet the individuals’ requirements. Automating control is an obvious solution but it keeps the human out of the loop. In this paper, an alternative approach is promoted based on system–human cooperation that allows people to make the final decision. However, to make sound decisions, users need to understand the system functioning and rationale and they need to be convinced and motivated to change their habits with regard to energy consumption. Our approach is based on an e-coach system, called Involved, which provides users with contextual explanations along with a user interface designed to persuade the user to stay involved. The results of this research are the development of an early prototype that provides end-users with a 24-hour plan of recommended actions along with contextual explanations that justify each action. This plan satisfies the inhabitant’s preferred compromise between the thermal comfort, air quality and financial cost specified by the inhabitant (i.e. the user) using a novel interaction technique, the Trade-Off-Pareto sliders. Users can edit the plan (e.g. suppress an action), skip some actions, perform additional actions, or even change their preferred compromise, and be informed in real time of the consequences on energy consumption and comfort.