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The Effects of In-Home Displays—Revisiting the Context


  • Hege Westskog

    () (CICERO, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research—Oslo, P.B. 1129 Blindern, N-0318 Oslo, Norway)

  • Tanja Winther

    () (Center for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo, P.B. 1116 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway)

  • Hanne Sæle

    () (SINTEF Energi AS, P.B. 4761 Sluppen, 7465 Trondheim, Norway)


In this paper, we investigate the extent to which the use of in-home displays affects daily practices and electricity consumption. Through two pilot projects, in-home displays were installed in 33 Norwegian homes, and we provide a qualitative analysis of the effects. The results point to the potential differences in the ways households interact with the in-home displays. The effects differed among various groups according to people’s previous experiences with monitoring and their level of affluence. In the sample, affluent respondents living in detached houses tended to be accustomed to monitoring consumption before the display was introduced. These families used the display for controlling that “nothing was wrong”, but they did not use the information provided by the display to initiate new energy saving measures. In contrast, among less affluent flat owners the notion of “control” was specifically linked to the family’s management of finances, and in this sense the displays empowered them. In addition, the results indicate that the in-home display for this group resulted in electricity savings. The study adds to earlier research on the effects of in-home displays by showing the importance of previous experience with monitoring electricity for the effects of feedback and by highlighting not only energy savings but also social effects of displays.

Suggested Citation

  • Hege Westskog & Tanja Winther & Hanne Sæle, 2015. "The Effects of In-Home Displays—Revisiting the Context," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-21, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:5:p:5431-5451:d:49138

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Caroline Oates & Panayiota Alevizou & Seonaidh McDonald, 2016. "Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-4, January.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:75:d:62134 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hanna Mela & Juha Peltomaa & Marja Salo & Kirsi Mäkinen & Mikael Hildén, 2018. "Framing Smart Meter Feedback in Relation to Practice Theory," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-22, October.

    More about this item


    in-home displays; electricity; context; affluence; experience; control; energy efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products


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