Public Release: 

New method to motivate students to reduce energy consumption

University of Kent

The research found that a combination of a real-time feedback system together with a human energy delegate in eight halls of residence resulted in a reduction of 37% in energy consumption when compared to normal consumption. The savings were 1360.49 kWh, which is equivalent to a reduction of 713.71 kg of CO2 over four weeks.

In contrast, another eight halls, exposed only to the real-time feedback and a weekly email alert, resulted in saw a 3.5% reduction in energy consumption.

Student's energy-use behaviour is complex as they cannot easily identify how much electricity their appliances consume and don't have to pay for their own energy use. The research showed that energy consumption could reduce significantly if residential halls used the Persuasive Technology and Energy Delegate (IPTED) method, developed by the research team.

IPTED is a real time feedback visual system developed to motivate student's energy use awareness, combined with an appointed energy delegate who could use peer social influence to promote energy saving.

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The full research paper can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544214009633

Dr Jim Ang of the University's School of Engineering and Digital Arts and Dr Tim Hopthrow of the University's School of Psychology collaborated on the research, alongside colleagues Professor Yong Yan and Anthony Emerakaroha.

For further information or interview requests contact Katie Newton in the Press Office at the University of Kent
Tel: 01227 823581/01634 888879
Email: K.Newton@Kent.ac.uk
News releases can also be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/news
University of Kent on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UniKent

Established in 1965, the University of Kent - the UK's European university - now has almost 20,000 students across campuses or study centres at Canterbury, Medway, Tonbridge, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome.

Kent has been ranked: top 10 for overall student satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey; 20th in the 2014 and 2015 Guardian University Guide; 28th in the Sunday Times University League Table 2013; and 22nd in the Complete University Guide 2015.

In 2014 it received its second Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

The University is worth £0.6 billion to the economy of the South East, with its students contributing £211 million to that total, and directly or indirectly supports almost 6,800 jobs in the region (source: Viewforth Consulting 2009-10).

In the last Research Assessment Exercise, Kent placed 24th out of 159 UK institutions for its world-leading research, while 97% of its academic staff work in schools or centres where the research is rated as either internationally or nationally excellent.

Along with the universities of East Anglia and Essex, it is a member of the Eastern Arc Research Consortium (http://www.kent.ac.uk/about/partnerships/eastern-arc.html).

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