ICT in context: co-designing energy efficiency ICT-based interventions from the ground up




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In an ever-increasing digital environment, the need for successful utilisation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) within energy efficiency interventions is never more prominent. The use of ICT can aid the digitalisation of actions, improve information access to users, increase user awareness and harness potential energy savings. However, with the increased push to utilise ICT within energy efficiency interventions, we often focus on the technological benefits and potential energy savings rather than listening to the end-user’s needs. As such many ICT-based energy efficiency interventions fail to produce the impact expected, often resulting from user disengagement, a complex array of competing demands on target users and misaligned perceptions of end-user’s willingness and understanding. Co-design methodologies allow for the end-user to become part of designing a successful solution which takes into consideration the context in which the ICT-based intervention is being implemented. This paper presents findings from an EU H2020 funded project, eTEACHER, which aimed to empower energy end-users in achieving energy savings and improved health and comfort conditions in a range of building typologies by enabling behaviour change via a set of ICT solutions, including an app and website sharing building-specific data. The paper presents novel results of co-design workshops held across 12 pilot buildings in three European countries, covering several residential and non-residential building typologies, and with various target end-user groups. The paper presents the requirements for energy efficiency ICT-based interventions from the ground up, highlighting the complexities behind user preferences. This paper discusses the challenges involved with designing one tool which fits across diverse building and user typologies and provides reflections on lessons learnt in empowering end-users towards energy efficiency in an ever-increasing digital reality.



ICT-based behaviour change, Energy efficiency, Energy behaviour, Co-design


Morton, A., Reeves, R. and Bull, R. (2021) ICT in context: co-designing energy efficiency ICT-based interventions from the ground up. ECEEE Summer Study: A New Reality, Digital event, 7-11 June 2021.


Research Institute

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)