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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I00033X/1
Title: Informing Energy Choices Using Ubiquitous Sensing
Principal Investigator: Friday, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Kaivanto, Dr K
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr MF Rouncefield
Project Partners:
Archbishop Temple School Crichton Carbon Centre Dartmouth College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open University
Department: Computing & Communications
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 18 January 2011 Ends: 28 July 2013 Value (£): 371,245
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Human-Computer Interactions
Mobile Computing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Mar 2010 Transforming Energy Demand Through Digital Innov Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is little doubt we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. There is however, a disconnect between human activities and impact in energy and carbon externality. By monitoring energy use for a specific human activity, Ubicomp technologies may help us uncover this hidden impact. Our aim is to bring Computer Science, Economics, Carbon Profiling and Sociology together to explore the feasibility of identifying and informing people of 'critical moments in their daily activities that have carbon impact', so they can individually and collectively make savings. We will work with an actual community using a novel set of technological and cultural probes, involving embedded sensors, smartphone applications, aggregated 'crowdsourced' data and ethnographic field work, to deliver a richer understanding of behaviour that leads to lower carbon lifestyles, backed up by experimental data showing the impact of our intervention feeding this back to end-users. Our software, high level results, algorithms and models will be placed into the public domain and communicated through our programme of engagement, such as developing teaching materials with local schools.Our hypothesis is people are unaware of their direct and indirect energy usage and its associated climate change impact: this is a barrier to understanding how to achieve 'low carbon living' personally, as communities. During a 2 year feasibility study our objectives are to:1. Gather baseline data about energy use and associated carbon footprint that is personally attributable;2. Develop real-time models of financial and environmental tradeoffs for identifing opportunities for savings;3. Communicate opportunities for making savings back to individuals, enabling greater awareness and making it easy to chart the effect of household 'energy related experiments';4. Provide methods for comparing the usage against others in one's social network i) as an incentive, and ii) to raise awareness of low cost opportunities for collective action (such as ride-sharing);5. Create online resources and teaching materials to communicate our findings to a wider population beyond the study group.We have established links with Galloway Carbon Action Project (a community of 2,800) homes who have pledged us support and access to the three communities involved. This is a perfect complement for gathering real world data and findings from end-users and for communicating our findings and having a significant real-world impact. We also have links with local schools who are prepared to help us develop teaching materials, to help us communicate the key lessons to local communities.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/energychoices
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk