A priori acceptability of various types of digital display feedback on electricity consumption

Empirical research
By Sylvain Fleury, Éric Jamet, Estelle Michinov, Nicolas Michinov, Séverine Erhel

Residential buildings account for a large proportion of our total energy consumption. Numerous studies have been conducted to assess the impact of different types of energy consumption feedback on customer behavior. However, an eco-feedback delivered on technological devices such as tablet or smartphone can only be effective if it is consulted by customers, and thus has to be well accepted and positively viewed by them. The aim of the present study was to compare levels of a priori acceptability across the most tested types of eco-feedback in the literature, namely informational (single number corresponding to the customer’s energy consumption), temporal (allowing customers to compare their levels of consumption over time), normative (indicating customers’ consumption relative to other people’s mean consumption), temporal and normative (comparisons over time and in relation to other people), interpersonal (ranking of customers) and intergroup (ranking of groups). A priori acceptability of this feedback was assessed with a survey of 176 French people living in a mid-sized metropolitan area. Overall, intentions to use were quite high, even though participants were not in the habit of attending to feedback. Moreover, results revealed that the most acceptable types of feedback were temporal and normative, while intergroup and interpersonal types of feedback were the least acceptable.


  • eco-feedback
  • electricity consumption
  • acceptability
  • social comparison
  • survey
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