On Monday 26th June we launched our findings and the C-tech Toolkit as part of the TEDDINET-Ctech Non-Domestic Energy Symposium.
The Symposium brought together more than 40 researchers, industry stakeholders and policy-makers to share their experiences of energy and sustainability in non-domestic buildings, and to reflect on the contributions of the C-tech project.

Each member of the C-tech team presented their research highlights of the last five years: Murray summarised his understandings of organisational context and the consequences for energy management, while Caroline presented her findings around the relationships between people and energy at work and the implications of this for interventions. Ben and Enrico then discussed the development, deployment and evaluation of various digital interventions. Alexa brought the findings of the previous talks together, demonstrating how the project led to a collaborative, concerted effort to deliver e-Genie (our final digital intervention). Nick concluded by presenting the motivations for and contents of the C-tech Toolkit.

The audience and expert panel lauded our attempts to explore the reality of energy management in organisations from several different perspectives, ranging from detailed observations of day-to-day life in real workplaces to rigorous experimental methods, and real deployments of novel technologies, communications and workshops.

Expert panel defending positions on the C-tech findings

Expert panel defending positions on the C-tech findings

Complementary findings were presented by the keynote speaker – Angela Ruepert (University of Groningen) – as well as other non-C-tech speakers, while the symposium’s panel – Simon Roberts (Centre for Sustainable Energy), Michael Harrison (BEIS), and Judith Ward (Sustainability First) – offered various ways to for academia, industry and policy-makers to take C-tech’s outputs forward and continue to deliver impact.

Our last efforts before the conclusion of the project in August are now concentrated on working together on further academic papers, and polishing the Toolkit for public release.

C-tech’s final report, aimed at any stakeholders in workplace energy management and reduction, can be downloaded here. The Toolkit will be released for public access via the Centre for Sustainable Energy and C-tech websites in August 2017.

The C-tech project team

The C-tech project team

June 2017

We are excited at the prospect of our upcoming findings launch (on 26th June at the Digital Catapult – see here for details) to be able to share our findings broadly and to get feedback. It’s been really positive to reflect on the flow of the project and how far we have come! See project report here.

May 2017

We have now had our last big team meeting before our results launch, discussing our key conclusions and recommendations from all the different sections of the project, literature reviewed, studies, and fieldwork. A really meeting with some nice overarching insights. Join us in June if you can – but we will post the final report online for those who can’t make it.

Enrico is at CHI presenting some of our latest research too!

April 2017

We are continuing to analyse data from our e-Genie deployment, and pull together insights from the study. A good amount of data was collected, with a great response to our pre and post survey which provides us with some really strong ideas about both the e-Genie tool and energy perceptions and motivations more broadly. Technical issues also continue…

March 2017

More technical issues plague us with the e-Genie deployment, even the non technically minded staff are starting to get involved. We have had relentless problems with sensors, communications between kit, and tablets going offline in various ways. However we have persevered and have kept it operational with only a few breaks in service

We are starting to analyse the data from our evaluation of e-Genie including from the pre and post surveys, the ethnography conducted, and the energy data.

Caroline has also left us for a research visit to UNAM in Mexico! She will be collecting data on energy perceptions and motivations in Mexico, replicating and extending some of the work we have conducted in the UK, and developing research links and ideas for further research collaborations.

We are also finalising plans for a further deployment focusing on the temperature calendar in a further site. Keeping busy!

February 2017

e-Genie is launched at our second site with Murray, Caroline and Alexa tempting people in the deployment site to talk to us about it with pastries and cupcakes. We had lots of interest actually, people appear to be really keen to use the tool and there are a lot of local energy issues that people want to discuss. Technical issues plagued us though, with wifi issues, and sensor communication issues.

We are also starting to run workshops at our deployment site to engage people with the tool and the energy issues in the building. The energy issues of most import are being highlighted to feed into the tool to help support behaviour change.

January 2017

We have continued to develop e-Genie based on feedback from the Digital Catapult deployment and think we have a more engaging tool as a result. Plans for our next e-Genie deployment are also being finalised.

We are also starting to put together plans for our results launch in June. Coming to the end of our 5 years together – it has been a long road – we have produced a lot!

December 2016

We are now finalising the practicalities for our e-Genie deployment and in particular spending time developing workshop protocols to run within our next site in conjunction with Nick Banks from the Centre for Sustainable Energy. There’s also been a Christmas party or two!!

November 2016

Plans for further e-Genie deployments continue and Murray Goulden has spent some time in our next key deployment site exploring the context and mapping out issues for us to focus on within the deployment so we can tailor the visualisations and messages to issues onsite. Data collection from our national survey is now complete with a final N of 1729, approximately representative of the UK in terms of age, gender, social grade and location; cleaning and analysis of our survey data is also now underway.

October 2016

We are starting to visit and discuss next stage e-Genie deployment sites. These are looking promising and we are now planning our next deployment for early next year.
Data is also currently being collected within a national survey to explore peoples perceptions of energy and energy use and motivations to engage with energy saving behaviour. We have kept this data collection separate from our deployments so that our participants are not primed into thinking in a particular way by our questions. We have of course spent lots of time thinking about how our questions are framed and question order within the survey as well.

Alexa also promoted the Ctech work within a keynote lecture within the ‘Carbon Journey’ event held at Genting Arena in Birmingham talking about Public perceptions of climate change and sustainable behaviour change.

September 2016

We welcome Rayoung Yang as the newest member of the Ctech team as a Postdoc at UCLIC at UCL! Rayoung has a background in HCI, and particularly in intelligent systems for sustainability and smart homes and devices, and joins us from the University of Michigan.

August 2016

Papers, papers, papers! Our team has been writing a lot and several papers are in the pipeline so expect to see more of our work in print soon (hopefully). We have also been progressing plans for e-Genie and how to develop this for deployments in the short and longer term. We have particularly come together as a team to consider and develop supporting workshops for e-Genie deployment aimed at being part of our legacy toolkit and to help workplaces understand and change their current energy policies and practices.

June/July 2016

We have had lots of team discussions about how to take e-Genie forward and have been talking to further deployment sites and considering how we can tailor our current offerings to the new contexts we are considering. We have also had some personnel changes with Enrico Costanza moving from Southampton to take up a lectureship at UCL and with Mike Jewell disappointingly leaving us to work in the private sector. A new HCI postdoc will replace Mike at UCL, starting in October so we look forward to some new insights from a new perspective.

May 2016

The Digital Catapult have requested we leave the e-Genie system running in their building and we will continue to monitor it’s use over a longer period of time but our initial more intensive evaluation of it’s use and utility has now finished. We have spent some time sorting through our data and reflecting on the deployment overall. A working paper report of this study is available on request. We are also particularly reflecting on each specific individual section of the tool again and looking for further sites suitable for deploying these individual sections in order to more intensively focus efforts.

April 2016

April was busy spent monitoring and evaluating the Digital Catapult deployment in London. We dealt with unforeseen technical difficulties, such a server outage(!) and wifi droputs and also conducted some ethnogaphic observations and interviews around the deployment, as well as a pre and post evaluative survey.

March 2016

We successfully launched a beta version of the newly developed software e-Genie on Tuesday March 22nd at the Digital Catapult in London.

Our e-Genie tool focuses on energy engagement and is the culmination of our team workshops integrating the insights gained from our interdiscplinary research strands. The tool provides energy information feedback (both electricity and gas) to building users, and encourages engagement with that information through interactions with the data, comparing historical patterns of energy data, and labeling patterns observed. Furthermore e-Genie encourages people to take action to reduce energy use by providing users with support for: planning individual behaviour changes; discussing issues with other building users; and by contacting the Facilities Manager directly.

The current deployment of e-Genie will allow us to refine the tool and develop it for further larger scale trials. We hope that the tool’s use will result in significant reductions in energy use.  Beyond this we plan to use it to allow us to test hypotheses around the best way to engage workplace building users with energy saving efforts.

February 2016

After Christmas we have been very busy and have had lots of meetings! We have been working hard on the finalization of GENIE and the preparation for our trial at the Digital Catapult. We have gained Ethics approval and the study material is ready. Best of all, GENIE is functional and looks really good! Something else looks really good – our promotional material – that includes some very nice chocolates for our participants.

December 2015

This month we have continued to work as a group on GENIE – the new name for Ctech’s app for engaging staff in the workplace. This has involved fleshing out the user journeys through the software, which will allow staff to see the electricity being used and the temperature of their offices, shape plans to reduce consumption, and discuss ways to reorganise their workplace. It has also meant finalising our plans to partner with the Digital Catapult: 2016 will see GENIE trialled in the Digital Catapult Centre in King’s Cross, London, before being rolled out to more of our partners.

And…our research deploying energy visualisations illustrating always on energy use has been accepted at CHI!

November 2015

We had a full face to face Ctech meeting in Nottingham this month and a visit from De Montforts’s Richard Bull with a very on point and relevant Horizon talk, titled ‘Are people the problem or the solution? Some reflections from ‘the wild’’ which gave some really useful insights into a previous workplace deployment into a digital energy saving intervention.

The group intervention was as usual the main point of discussion and visualisations of the tool are starting to take shape. We also progressed discussions about the focus and development activities needed around the Ctech toolkit we will develop as our legacy.

September 2015

Caroline and Alexa both presented research at the Environmental Psychology conference in Groningen. Caroline presented our research examining motivations to save energy in the workplace (rather than at home) and Alexa presented a review of previous workplace interventions that have focused on energy reduction (conducted in conjunction with Sam Staddon and Chandrika Cycil).

The group intervention is developing with many problematic issues being raised and discussed. In particular we are developing an interactive section of the tool where people can plan how to change their personal behaviour but also a section where people can highlight and discuss issues that cannot be solved personally.

Jinghan’s internship with Ctech also concluded leaving behind the legacy of an excellently made building model for use with PARM (Project Augmented Reality Model) for use with illustrating some of the workplace energy issues we have, and may enounter, for further engagement work.

August 2015

Brainstorming workshops around the group intervention continue (and have been quite heated but definitely productive).  Ideas for how we can bring the different research strands together and build something collaboratively are really taking shape now.  Also conference season, so you will catch us at the Env Psych conference & Ubicomp amongst others.

July 2015

Further brainstorming workshops happening and we also welcome an intern into our midst – Jinghan Shi, who’s been doing an MA at Central Saint Martins College.  Jinghan will be working on developing a PARM (Project Augmented Reality Model) for engaging people with energy use ideas and scenarios.

We also held our annual Advisory Panel meeting. Many thanks to Prof Mark Conner (Leeds University), Dan Saxton (Siemens), Dr Mike Hazas (Lancaster University), Dr Chris Jones (Sheffield University), and Prof Frances Bowen (Bath University) for their input. One of the main foci of the meeting was the group intervention we are planning and we received some really valuable practical and theoretical input here that will continue to shape our discussions.

June 2015

Intensive brainstorming workshops happening with lots of team meetings and lots of discussions, disagreements but hopefully progress. Murray Goulden and Alexa Spence also published an interesting paper examining the role of Facilities Management in energy saving in the journal Energy Policy.

We have also carried out some exploratory deployment work with ambient displays in 5 libraries (and some comparison work in libraries without displays). This helped us assess one version of an energy feedback display appropriate for a workplace environment that we’ve been working on. Data analysis is now underway.

Alexa also gave a keynote talk at the British Environmental Psychology conference at Sheffield University on ‘The Psychological Distance of Climate Change’.

May 2015

We’re currently taking some time for strategic and practical discussions for research directions.  We are fortunate to have lots of opportunities and ideas for next steps in the research but are trying to be pragmatic with what we can achieve and realistic with our time.  Brainstorming workshops are ongoing and in particular we are developing ideas for some joint multidiscplinary fieldwork.

Alexa Spence also took part in an interesting panel debate on ‘Keeping the Lights on in 2050’ at the University of Nottingham organised by ETRI (Energy Technologies Research Institute).

April 2015

We’re all feeling enthused after a superb TeddiNET workshop hosted here at Nottingham, particular thanks to James Colley for doing so much of the organisation of this. We showcased some of the Ctech work here and networked with those in the field doing really similar research including a whole range of new projects recently funded to work on energy conservation in non-domestic buildings.

Also pleased with the launch of the Nature Climate Change paper led by Alexa Spence on public perceptions of DSM which received some good media attention, including from The Guardian and New Scientist.

Work on the toolkit is coming along nicely with particular focus on reviewing other previous toolkits and identifying and characterising office type behaviours that can be changed in order to conserve energy. Data from our deployment of ambient displays in a series of libraries is also now in and analysis is ongoing. We are planning more brainstorming sessions to develop further deployments.

March 2015

Over the past month we’ve had more success in getting our research out at the highest level: led by Alexa Spence, “Public perceptions of demand side management and a smarter energy future” explores the relationships between the public’s concerns about energy affordability and the likelihood that future demand-side management interventions will be accepted. The article is currently in press, awaiting publication in Nature Climate Change.

Work with our non-academic partners continues: the latest C-tech prototype – a display revealing changes in workplace temperature – has been deployed and studied in a range of libraries.

Finally, we have been hard at work preparing to host the third TEDDINET workshop which will take place in Nottingham on 27th and 28th April 2015, bringing together RCUK-funded researchers from around the UK.

February 2015

We’ve had much discussion about engaging the public with our work and brainstorming ideas on how best to do this and what is most useful to engage people with.  In particular current work on identifying the most fruitful energy saving behaviour actions in the workplace is considered useful for many people and potential ways of illustrating this are being discussed.

Practicalities for interventions for current display developments are being finalised and groups discussions again revisited the ideas around bringing the different disciplinary perspectives together in a larger scale intervention.

January 2015

Partners are being included in discussions of interventions and more concrete plans are being formed.

A paper exploring the critical role of facilities management in energy saving has been submitted for peer review.

Some of the psychology work on interactions around shared energy displays, see paper here, has been covered by the New Yorker

Additionally sensors have been put in place at new partner The Digital Capital Centre, see blog post here and further workshops are being planned here.

December 2014

Intervention planning continues and some more concrete plans around interventions within public buildings (e.g. libraries, a hospital) are being considered.

Analysis of ethnographic work on the role of the facilities manager is continuing and a paper planned to be submitted on this soon. In addition, the psychology work on motivations for saving energy in the workplace has been drafted.

November 2014 

We are planning interventions!

We have started a series of project group brainstorming sessions in order to bring together ideas from different strands of the project and consider intervention strategies.  This is particularly being led by the HCI members of the team who are currently developing ideas for ambient displays for public areas of the workplace and data visualisations for facilities management.

October 2014

A lot of us are exhausted with the start of the new academic term and a new deluge of students but Ctech research seems to be proceeding nicely. Some interesting discussions are ongoing regarding a further experimental study examining how people interact around shared displays in a workplace situation and the most appropriate detail of energy feedback.

With regards to the appropriate level of energy feedback a more detailed team paper analysing this problem with an associated review of the literature has just been accepted in the TeddiNET special issue of Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, see our Outputs page for further information about this and other publications.

And I’m pleased to announce that Idlewars, a game focusing on engaging people with energy use in the workplace has just won the Envirogame prize.  Well done Vangelis, Enrico, Ben and Alex for their work on this!

September 2014

It’s a busy return to work for everyone in C-Tech! Everyone is preparing for the start of term, and it’s “CHI submission” month so a big part of the C-Tech team is spending long days and evenings working on paper proposals for the CHI 2015 conference in Seoul.
Alexa, Nick, Ben, and Caroline presented their work at the Behave Energy Conference in Oxford, you can find the abstracts on clicking on their presentations here.

Finally, Ben and Caroline were on the radio to talk about their C-Tech work! You can listen to their interviews using the links below:

Ben on BBC Radio Nottingham Breakfast Show

Caroline on BBC Radio Nottingham Breakfast Show

Ben on the Mark Forrest show

Caroline on the Mark Forrest show

August 2014

Our interns (Marina and Jacob) have been very productive over this summer period, developing studies outlined with some really nice ideas and are busy collecting data on the impacts of framing and on where energy features in procurement processes respectively. Work led by Mike on sensor configuration has also developed with many experimental iterations currently being synthesised and concluded. Meanwhile with the deadline for CHI fast approaching, many team members are busy getting their heads together and writing papers with some really nice collaboration happening.

July 2014

A very product Advisory Panel meeting left the team exhausted but with much food for thought. We now all need a holiday!

June 2014

New team outputs are out! A commentary has been accepted in Nature Climate Change, and an original research paper in Frontiers in Energy Research. The team has also run a workshop about saving energy in the workplace involving representatives from 11 businesses from the Midlands http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/ingenuitybusiness/2014/06/30/sustainability-in-the-workplace/

The Southampton team is installing new sensors in their lab, and the Nottingham team finishing up the material for the goal framing study. Finally, the whole group is very much looking forward to discussing their results and projects at the Advisory Panel meeting in July!

May 2014

Congratulations to Enrico and Southampton for their new EPSRC grant on non-domestic buildings! Also, the C-Tech team is growing. Two interns have been recruited to join us for the summer: Jacob (HCI) in Southampton and Marina (Psychology) in Nottingham. Jacob will be part of a study involving procurement managers and employees. Marina will run the study on goal framing.

New sites have just been set up with monitoring by James, and results from workshops and psychology studies are being written up in two papers and a toolkit to help organisations save energy.

April 2014

Now well into the 2014 we’re continuing to push forward with design workshops – involving staff from our partner sites in working out how energy consumption is involved in maintaining comfortable working conditions – helping trial a “serious game” to encourage staff to influence each other’s electricity use, and preparing the project’s next Psychology study on goal-framing.

Several members of the team have been invited to talk at the Behave conference in September, and a number of other outputs from the project have been submitted to conferences and journals. We’re also looking forward to presenting our research and catching up with the progress of other TEDDI and BuildTEDDI projects at the TEDDINET workshop in June!

March 2014

Prototypes and deployments are on the horizon! We now have a new site provided by one of our partners ready to accept prototype systems. Meanwhile, more energy monitoring has been installed as part of our ongoing deployments, we’re now collecting more gas consumption data alongside the electricity data.

Ethnographic work is progressing well with another study site being organised with one of our local partners

February 2014

Field work continues! We are in the process of conducting design workshops with partner sites in order to explore energy data gained, some interesting insights emerging already.  We’ve also now completed data collected around motivations to save energy in the workplace and we have tonnes of great data currently being analysed.  Ethnographic data analysis has been slightly on hold whilst baby duties call (Congrats Murray!).

And outputs are developing – we’ve got several papers stemming from C Tech research in upcoming conferences: CHI, SPSP and EASP – well done us – come check out the talks.