The cost of virtue: reward as well as feedback are required to reduce user ICT power consumption

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


We show that students in a school lab environment will change their behaviour to be more energy efficient, when appropriate incentives are in place, and when measurement-based, real-time feedback about their energy usage is provided. Rewards incentivise `non-green' users to be `green' as well as encouraging those users who already claim to be `green'. Measurement-based feedback improves user energy awareness and helps users to explore and adjust their use of computers to become `greener', but is not sufficient by itself. In our measurements, weekly mean group energy use as a whole reduced by up to 16%; and weekly individual user energy consumption reduced by up to 56% during active use. The findings are drawn from our longitudinal study that involved 83 Computer Science students; lasted 48 weeks across 2 academic years; monitored a total of 26778 hours of active computer use; collected approximately 2TB of raw data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th International Conference on Future Energy Systems
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-2819-7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2014

Publication series

Namee-Energy '14


  • Energy efficiency
  • User behaviour
  • Green ICT
  • Energy usage
  • Energy monitoring
  • Energy feedback


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