16 January 2013

Telling “Stories”: Experientia designs domestic energy consumption monitors (videos)

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putting people first
by experientia

Videos showcasing two sustainability-related projects are now on Experientia’s YouTube channel. The videos, showing the Ecofamilies and Stories projects respectively, both focus on monitoring domestic energy consumption in different areas of Europe.

The Ecofamilies video (in French with our English subtitles) is a feature on the project by France’s TV France3. For Ecofamilies, Experientia partnered with the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB) of Nice, France, and a series of other agencies, for a French sustainability project, aimed at the development of a web platform for a pilot house to monitor domestic energy consumption.

Experientia’s contribution included a benchmark of existing solutions, and guidelines and supervision for the other project partners for conducting user research. We then translated the insights from the user research phase into an initial interface and prototype concept.

From March-June 2012, Experientia conducted participatory co-design workshops with 30 volunteer families. The workshops aimed to discover the real behaviours, attitudes and needs of families when it comes to energy consumption.

The project produced an innovative technological solution that allows families to have a concrete understanding of their energy consumption, and of the choices that are available to reduce it, with personalised tips, and detailed, useful information on household energy use.

The platform has now been implemented in a pilot house in Sophia Antipolis within the CSTB research centre. The outcomes from this pilot project will feed into future developments.

The Stories project is a service concept for monitoring domestic energy consumption, which is accessible while on-the-go.

Together with Telecom Italia, the Turin Polytechnic University, and the ISMB and CSP research centres, Experientia conducted a feasibility study on energy monitoring mobile services. Based on in-depth user research carried out in Turin, we developed a prototype for a mobile application to engage people in monitoring and comparing their energy consumption.

The project demonstrates the feasibility of advanced smart metering services in the Italian context, both from a technological point of view, and from the perspective of the actual user interest.

The project was funded by the Piedmont Region (POR FESR 2007/2013), the European Fund for Regional Development and the Republic of Italy.

(The Stories video is also available on Vimeo.)

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