Three new papers on eViz research have recently been published:
- Pahl, S., Goodhew, J., & Boomsma, C. (2016). The role of energy visualisation in addressing occupant energy use: Insights from the eViz project. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00092
- Boomsma, C., Goodhew, J., Pahl, S., & Jones, R.V. (2016). The feasibility of saving energy in challenging organisational contexts: Testing energy visualisation in a social services office in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science, 15, 58-74.
The workplace offers opportunities for energy savings, but few studies have evaluated the effect of energy feedback in offices. This paper reports a case study of an energy visualisation intervention among social care staff. The research examined the role of feedback design (simple graphs vs. visualisation) and discusses the feasibility of implementing a near real-time visual feedback intervention into a work setting with staff keenly aware of their primary job roles. The findings show a staff sample with positive beliefs towards energy saving, but bounded by low feelings of self-efficacy, weak social norms, and perceived barriers in the office. Feedback may have supported feelings of collective efficacy and encouraged staff to talk with colleagues about ways to save energy. But engagement with feedback – and energy use in general – was limited. Energy use was embedded in other concerns and issues, such as a strong team culture and wider problems in the building. The case study highlights the complexities of energy-related behaviours in the workplace and the role visualising energy could play in this context. Engagement will be a key challenge in achieving successful feedback initiatives; we provide recommendations to tackle this challenge and identify areas for future research.
- Boomsma, C., Goodhew, J., Goodhew, S., & Pahl, S. (2016). Improving the visibility of energy use in home heating in England: Thermal images and the role of visual tailoring. Energy Research and Social Science, 14, 111-121.
This study examined the use of thermal imaging as a communication tool that allows householders to ‘see’ where a building is losing heat. We tested the effect of tailored and non-tailored thermal images on energy beliefs, behavioural intentions and a simple self-report behaviour question in an English field study. Householders received tailored thermal images of their home, thermal images of other homes with typical problems for the area (‘non-tailored’), or information on the same typical problems in text format. A post-intervention survey (N = 233) indicated that showing occupants any thermal image (tailored or non-tailored) led to higher vividness when recalling the communication, compared to text-only information. Householders engaged with the reports to a greater extent when they were personal to their home: the tailored thermal images were more likely to be shared with others and led to stronger energy saving intentions and reporting energy efficiency behaviour compared to non-tailored reports. This is a promising approach integrating technology and social science knowledge and methods.