Velix (completed)

Velix is a website that provides users with feedback about their energy consumption and supports them by providing energy-saving tips. The goal of Velix is to advance the research on promoting environmentally sustainability behavior using information systems.

Working group

Tobias Graml, Claire-Michelle Loock, Michael Baeriswyl, Thorsten Staake

Description

We developed the energy efficiency website “Velix” in cooperation with an Austrian utility company to provide the company’s customers with feedback on their electricity consumption and to support them by presenting them with energy-saving tips. The website serves as the basis for an energy-saving campaign for the company and is available to all household customers, who can easily register online. To promote the website, the utility company informed its customers via its customer magazine and collaborated with a local media corporation that placed ads in newspapers and the news website.

Velix combines energy record-keeping with game-like tasks. Customers receive bonus points that encourage them to read their electricity meter on a weekly basis and enter the readings online. The meter readings are checked for plausibility using an algorithm the utility employs to prevent incorrect data input in self-reading processes used for billing. Once the second meter reading has been entered, Velix calculates the corresponding energy consumption figures and provides each user with feedback intended to stimulate energy conservation (see Figure 1).

Since April 1st 2010, 9′929 customers have joined Velix, and they entered more than 217′299 meter readings.

We created Velix for two reasons. First, we wanted to motivate a large number of users to engage in energy conservation by providing them with feedback on their consumption behavior. Second, we intended to experimentally assess which socio-psychological concepts (e.g., social norms) are best suited to promote residential energy conservation. Velix has allowed us to evaluate these concepts by conducting experiments with a large number of users in a real-world setting. Every new user is automatically assigned to an experiment after registration. On the basis of the assignment, Velix then provides the participant with a different type of feedback based on a specific socio-psychological concept.

Links

www.vkw.at/velix

Contact

If you are interested in Velix, please contact Tobias Graml () or Claire-Michelle Loock ().