Findings from the DUALL Project: lessons in engaging building users in energy reduction in a UK University




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DUALL (an acronym for ‘Deliberative User Approach to the Living Lab’), funded by JISC’s Greening ICT programme1 in the UK, is a 12-month project developing a socio-technical, deliberative approach enabling users of a large-scale, publicsector building to understand the potential for ICT to reduce energy consumption. There is an increasing trend towards ‘smart’ meters and display tools showing people (mainly domestic users) their real-time energy consumption. This is predicated on the assumption that this information will affect their behaviour. Yet, it is widely accepted that information provision alone is inadequate for affecting long-term behaviour change and rarely manifests itself in measurable behaviour change and social learning. Academics have identified the need for a different approach recognising the complexity of user perceptions and understandings; the importance of combining a bottom-up and top-down approach in order to minimise mixed messages; and the value of public engagement. DUALL has employed these principles of public engagement to the design of a feedback tool for building-users in a workplace context. This paper shows the difficulties in attempting

  1. ‘JISC’ (the acronym once stood for ‘Joint Information Systems Committee’, it is now their name) JISC inspires UK colleges and universities in the innovative use of digital technologies, helping to maintain the UK’s position as a global leader in education. Further information about their Greening ICT programme can be found here: workplace ‘user-engagement’ in ICT-based energy reduction initiatives, reflects on the complexities of workplace energy reduction and presents empirical findings on the potential for achieving significant reductions in energy consumption in the workplace through



public engagement, behaviour change, greening ict, energy visualisation


Bull, R., Brown, N. and Faruk, F. (2011) Findings from the DUALL Project: lessons in engaging building users in energy reduction in a UK University. ECEEE 2011 Summer Study: Energy efficiency first : The foundation of a low-carbon society.


Research Institute

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)