Home Energy Displays: Consumer Adoption and Response

Charles Booten, Chuck Booten (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The focus of this project was to investigate the factors influencing consumer adoption of Home Energy Displays (HEDs) and to evaluate electricity consumption in households with basic HEDs versus enhanced feedback methods - web portals or alerts. We hypothesized that providing flexible and relatable information to users, in addition to a basic HED, would make feedback more effective and achievepersistent energy savings. In Phase I, we conducted three user research studies and found preferences for aesthetically pleasing, easy to understand feedback that is accessible through multiple media and offered free of charge. The deployment of HEDs in 150 households planned for Phase II encountered major recruitment and HED field deployment problems. First, after extensive outreach campaignsto apartment complexes with 760 units, only 8% of building's tenants elected to receive a free HED in their homes as part of the field study. Second, the HED used, a leading market model, had a spectrum of problems, including gateway miscommunications, failure to post to a data-hosting third party, and display malfunctions. In light of these challenges, we are pursuing a modified studyinvestigating the energy savings of a web portal versus alert-based energy feedback instead of a physical HED.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, Cambridge, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-56638

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102012-3805


  • Building America
  • energy management
  • Fraunhofer
  • home energy display
  • human factors
  • occupant behavior
  • residential
  • residential buildings


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