In the area of feedback systems, several real-time monitors in the market present an opportunity to decrease energy consumption. Studies have shown that when presented with feedback on energy consumption, savings of 2-11 % have been reported in studies in the US. However, the effectiveness of the monitors is varied due to inefficient interface design and mixed information, ranging from partial and limited to overwhelming and impractical due to lack of understanding of consumer behavior.
To solve this problem, we will develop I-SAVE, an interactive real-time monitor and controller (RTMC) system to influence user behavior based on a continuous impulse saving behavior. The I-SAVE is a user friendly interface with a Go-green save-energy optimizer. It is based on an automated sensing and actuating network at each electrical node (receptacle, lighting switch, etc.) and utilizes learning algorithms to determine wasted energy in the entire home (building) and provides the capability to the user to turn it off by pressing the Go-green save-energy optimizer button. This proposed system to save wasted energy will improve global climate change and air pollution, promote smaller sizing requirements and greater adoption of renewable energy alternatives and stimulate the development of a broad range of devices in homes including Net-Zero Energy Homes and leading to green job creation and prosperity. We propose to design, build, demonstrate, and test a proof-of-concept I-SAVE RTMC device with a prototype board. The board will be equipped with typical residential loads and automated sensing and actuating network to simulate a full system implementation.
For educational purposes, we will develop a hand-on and interactive virtual environment to educate users on energy consumption and environmental impact. This virtual tool will be beneficial to elementary, middle and high school students to enable the next generation to be self conscious of their energy consumption behaviors and impact.