Energy Efficiency

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 79–104 | Cite as

Feedback on household electricity consumption: a tool for saving energy?

  • Corinna FischerEmail author


Improved feedback on electricity consumption may provide a tool for customers to better control their consumption and ultimately save energy. This paper asks which kind of feedback is most successful. For this purpose, a psychological model is presented that illustrates how and why feedback works. Relevant features of feedback are identified that may determine its effectiveness: frequency, duration, content, breakdown, medium and way of presentation, comparisons, and combination with other instruments. The paper continues with an analysis of international experience in order to find empirical evidence for which kinds of feedback work best. In spite of considerable data restraints and research gaps, there is some indication that the most successful feedback combines the following features: it is given frequently and over a long time, provides an appliance-specific breakdown, is presented in a clear and appealing way, and uses computerized and interactive tools.


Consumers Electricity consumption Energy conservation Feedback Electricity bill Advanced metering Literature review 



The research has been conducted within the project “TIPS—Transformation and Innovation in Power Systems.” I thank the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) for funding TIPS within their program “Socio-Ecological Research”. Furthermore, I thank Ms. Anita Eide, two anonymous reviewers of the ECEEE 2007 Summer Study, and two anonymous reviewers of Energy Efficiency for their detailed and important comments on earlier versions of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fachbereich 2 - Bauen, Energie, UmweltVerbraucherzentrale BundesverbandBerlinGermany

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