Journal Article

A review of residential energy feedback studies


Residential energy feedback is about providing personalized information on household energy use to consumers to encourage energy savings. This paper conducts a review of field based studies that have evaluated the impact of energy feedback on residential energy consumption. The review includes studies in real occupied homes that have deployed feedback intervention(s) and measured energy savings. Our study builds a taxonomy for energy feedback studies based on different characteristics of feedback such as frequency, type, presentation style, and methods of access. Energy savings from similar feedback types were found to differ depending on how the study was conducted. The reviewed studies deployed a range of feedback information including energy units, energy cost and tailored information conducted across diverse audiences (ethnicity, geographical positioning), varying experimental types (longitudinal, Randomized Control Trial) and, size and duration of the studies. The duration of studies varied widely, ranging from one month to three years and revealed potential energy savings between 5% and 20%. While most studies achieved energy savings due to energy feedback, a few of them reported a  increase in energy consumption which could be due to rebound effect. Most of the studies provided current and historical electricity consumption. Others used Randomized Control Trial (RCT) design, comparing energy consumption and savings information with neighbours. Most of the studies were conducted in developed countries with cold climates,  with a shift towards providing real-time online feedback over the last two decades. There was lack of large-scale studies on residential energy feedback in  emerging economies where growth of air conditioning is happening. These studies might also consider the human behavior and cultural influences while evaluating impact of energy feedback. Our recommendation is that the academic and policy community address this gap since energy feedback is likely to stimulate positive energy behavior change amongst householders leading to energy savings.

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Agarwal, Rishika
Garg, Madhur
Tejaswini, Dharani
Garg, Vishal
Srivastava, Priyanka
Mathur, Jyotirmay
Gupta, Rajat

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Architecture


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-04-12

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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