How could we be more reasonable consumers? How could we adapt/modify our behaviors towards more responsible and sustainable use of energy in households?

Energy saving is not a very sexy subject. For users, energy is not a tangible resource. It is not visible, touchable… Energy is not only not fun but also a subject most people don’t care much about. When you do it is often due to an abnormally high bill, or because you’re moving house and need to renew your contract. The bill is usually the only relation that users have with their energy providers, and those bills are often unfriendly and unreadable. In NATCONSUMERS project, we believe we can talk about energy using natural language, not just numbers, pie charts, diagrams and curves…

NATCONSUMERS has started with the hypothesis that by delivering tailored feedback to users, about their energy consumption, and through the use of natural language we can: increase knowledge on energy, raise energy attention and support behaviour change towards more reasonable energy consumption.

To do so NATCONSUMERS investigates :

  • the critical factors influencing European household’s electricity consumption.
  • A thorough and actionable methodology for the profiling of household consumers and the acquisition of relevant information about consumption habits.
  • Machine learning and data mining tools for the intelligent analysis of smart meter data.
  • An advanced segmentation of electrical consumers by integration of user profiling and smart meter information”
  • Tailored messages about actions to be implemented by consumers for reducing their consumption
  • A feedback framework based on the provision of periodical customized feedback about electricity consumption, comparison with historical data and similar households and sustainable recommendation for the near future.

In NATCONSUMERS, SDS has mostly been involved in the design-related aspects of the feedback system, and in particular in drawing a user engagement framework. To do so, SDS has conducted a design jam with a team of 15 designers from all over Europe (and beyond) to generate innovative and disruptive feedback delivering concepts as well as a creative writing workshop aiming at generating an initial corpus of feedback messages (with diverse tones ranging from humorous, poetic, ironical, etc.). NATCONSUMERS has opened up a whole field of possibilities in delivering – in innovative ways – highly user-tailored feedback about energy consumption.

Download the final handbook of NATCONSUMERS

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Want to know more?

 Have a look at the project’s website