First Trial

The first BeAware trial in real households, started in May 2010, has been concluded in  September 2010 for a total duration of more than 4 months. The D6.2 deliverable – Results of BeAware first trial is now available

Recruitment and participants

4 families in Italy, and 4 in Finland, participated in the first BeAware Trial. The total number of participants was 24 people (13 in Finland and 11 in Italy).

A specific recruitment procedure has been adopted by the BeAware consortium, in order to identify families potentially interested in the trials and, then, select the most suitable ones for validation and evaluation of the BeAware concepts. To this end, a specific advertisement for enrollment of users has been published on the project site (Application to BeAware as test user), and on Web sites of partners of the consortium. The same advertisement has been also published on local newspapers (Italy and Finland) and on some online announcement portals. Furthermore, awareness questionnaires has been submitted to the users  in public libraries and then also used for recruitment purposes.

The final selection has been carried out by taking into account the  requirements  (households profiles and characteristics) previously defined in WP2 with the support of the Energy providers representatives for both the South and the North of Europe, i.e. EnelSi and Vattenfall, respectively. The more interesting households profiles (for number and typology of components, available devices to monitor among the ones with the highest saving potential, and so on) have been identified and selected.

Research Plan

After the installation of the BeAware sensing platform at users, performed by the partners responsible on each country, HIIT/TKK in Finland and IES in Italy, a specific research plan has been adopted in order to collect the needed information  for validation and evaluation purposes.

The research plan consisted of a series of visits to the trial households, and specifically:

*First visit consisting of: submission and filling of the Awareness questionnaires; Energy Life training and configuration, and uploading of training video to each iPhone.

*Second visit consisting of: execution of the first set of Usability tasks (videorecorded); filling of the Satisfaction survey.

*Third visit consisting of: filling of the final Satisfaction survey; execution of the second set of Usability tasks; filling of the Awareness questionnaire; Group interview (videorecorded).

*The validation meetings with the users have been held by research teams composed by HIIT personnel (Finland), UNIPD and IES personnel (Italy)

Image from a validation meeting

Main results

Users evaluated in a positive way their participation to the BeAware trial: they declared that the use of Energy Life allowed them to increase their awareness level. More, the users’ perception was of a change in their habits regarding the energy usage.

Actually, the analysis of the data collected during the trial has shown a real decrease in the energy consumption over the trial period: this has been especially evident for the appliances monitored by the system, showing the importance of the feedbacks received from the application in the users’ behaviour. This was further confirmed by the users’ spontaneous observations, which declared their interest in the advice/quiz concept.

The results of the first trial, allowed the consortium to identify the aspects needing improvement for the second trial: for this reason, together with the addition of the new functionalities already foreseen, refinements to the Energy Life, for what concerns usability and comprehension, and improvements to the game logic, have been planned.

The detailed outcomes of the first BeAware trial are reported in the D6.2 deliverable