Re ECF Project: 2014-25

Project Title: Developing effective eco-feedback platform to benchmark building energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission and promote energy saving behavior and awareness in Hong Kong

Applicant: Dr. Jiayu CHEN, City University of Hong Kong

Total Approved Grant: $455,000

Duration: 1/3/2015 to 28/2/2017

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

The project aims to integrate feedback systems and benchmarking tools into an innovative cloud-based eco-feedback platform to provide energy end-users with high resolution and optimized feedback portfolio. The results of this project will offer a new potential approach to conserve the resources in Hong Kong through encouraging citizens' conservation behaviour and awareness.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
This project developed an effective eco-feedback platform prototype that allows building occupants to visualize their energy consumption and estimated carbon dioxide emission in near real-time manner by integrating the smart electricity meters. The developed eco-feedback platform also enables the occupants to compare the energy consumption with other benchmarking buildings and their fellow citizens. Through such competitive information sharing strategy, the feedback platform can raise the awareness on energy wastes and promote conservation behaviour. The prototype eco-feedback system is deemed to be an open-source project, users can download, transmit, and modify the project code to develop and customize their own platform for various purposes. In addition, a two year experiment was conducted to examine the effectiveness of the proposed platform. The type of feedback information and feedback strategies were compared and investigated. The test indicated that the emphasis on information sharing via peer network over low resolution monthly consumption bills could drive further reductions in energy use. Overall, this study takes an initial step to understand what factors could be driving energy savings in normative eco-feedback studies, but further research is necessary to understand specific dynamics such as the interplay between social influence and competition in conservation.