Domestic energy monitoring in Victorian households with PV solar installations : feasibility report for GV Community Energy
Foth, Marcus, Medland, Richard C., Filonik, Daniel, Petkov, Petromil, Scott, Iain, & Rittenbruch, Markus (2012) Domestic energy monitoring in Victorian households with PV solar installations : feasibility report for GV Community Energy.
Australia requires decisive action on climate change and issues of sustainability. The Urban Informatics Research Lab has been funded by the Queensland State Government to conduct a three year study (2009 – 2011) exploring ways to support Queensland residents in making more sustainable consumer and lifestyle choices. We conduct user-centred design research that inform the development of real-time, mobile, locational, networked information interfaces, feedback mechanisms and persuasive and motivational approaches that in turn assist in-situ decision making and environmental awareness in everyday settings. The study aims to deliver usable and useful prototypes offering individual and collective visualisations of ecological impact and opportunities for engagement and collaboration in order to foster a participatory and sustainable culture of life in Australia.
Raising people’s awareness with environmental data and educational information does not necessarily trigger sufficient motivation to change their habits towards a more environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyle. Our research seeks to develop a better understanding how to go beyond just informing and into motivating and encouraging action and change. Drawing on participatory culture, ubiquitous computing, and real-time information, the study delivers research that leads to viable new design approaches and information interfaces which will strengthen Australia’s position to meet the targets of the Clean Energy Future strategy, and contribute to the sustainability of a low-carbon future in Australia.
As part of this program of research, the Urban Informatics Research Lab has been invited to partner with GV Community Energy Pty Ltd on a project funded by the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund. This feasibility report specifically looks at the challenges and opportunities of energy monitoring in households in Victoria that include a PV solar installation.
The report is structured into two parts: In Part 1, we first review a range of energy monitoring solutions, both stand-alone and internet-enabled. This section primarily focusses on the technical capacilities. However, in order to understand this information and make an informed decision, it is crucial to understand the basic principles and limitations of energy monitoring as well as the opportunities and challenges of a networked approach towards energy monitoring which are discussed in Section 2.
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