My energy transition at home: Results of co-creating an energy savings app with household members and researchers

Wemyss, Devon and Lobsiger-Kägi, Evelyn and Jud, Silvana and Cellina, Francesca (2021) My energy transition at home: Results of co-creating an energy savings app with household members and researchers. In: Conference proceedings - International Sustainability Transition (IST) 2021, Karlsruhe International Sustainability Transition (IST) 2021, Karlsruhe, October 5-8 2021, Karlsruhe (online). (In Press)

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A sustainable energy transition can involve the end consumer as a relevant actor in supporting renewable energy integration through the reduction, and the shifting to new patterns, of consumption (Dubois et al. 2019). To support this shift, the rapid development of digital technologies for measuring and communicating home energy use has been a relevant step. A multitude of studies have investigated the effectiveness of smart phone apps and smart meters, in particular, and found some success in achieving behaviour change with this approach (Chatzigeorgiou and Andreou 2021). However, barriers remain in effectively addressing the everyday lives of consumers as digital tools must match an individuals’ ability to understand, use and capture the value from these tools, i.e. digital literacy (Eshet 2004). Furthermore, the emergence of new energy consumption practices at home may be more effective when integrated into the wider system of real-world practices households are already engaged in (Darby 2020). Within the scope of redesigning a smart phone app for household energy savings, a co-creation approach was used to better understand the energy and technology literacy, motivations, needs regarding the kind of information feedback, and concerns of consumers. Co-creation, as a reflexive design approach, highlights important design considerations from the perspective of the users, and thus improves the researchers’ and designers’ ability to address engagement challenges before the final implementation (Itten et al. 2021). This paper outlines the method for co-creating an energy savings app and behavioural intervention with household members and explores the process to answer the questions: - What does the co-creation process contribute to an energy savings app and accompanying behaviour intervention design? - Who takes part in a voluntary co-creation process for an energy savings app? - Does the co-creation process have an impact on participants’ energy awareness, self-efficacy and attitude?

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