University of Vermont

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EnergyMinder to gauge effect of social networking on energy consumption

Release Date: 10-22-2009

Author: Jon C. Reidel
Phone: 802/656-8206 Fax: (802) 656-3203

A team of researchers led by Paul Hines, assistant professor in engineering, and Josh Bongard, assistant professor in computer science, are seeking participants for a research project designed to help people manage their electric energy consumption.

EnergyMinder, an experiment created to better understand the effects of social networking sites on energy consumption, uses survey data from participants who will record their electric bills and answer questions about energy consumption to identify relationships between energy consumption and individual responses. Results are displayed to the user through a variety of interactive graphs that help them identify factors that increase their energy consumption. The EnergyMinder approach is unique in that it allows group members to identify relationships merely through the questions that are asked of other group members, rather than via a more centralized approach to disseminating energy efficiency information.

Join the EnergyMinder experiment

Anyone over 18 who is interested in becoming a member of EnergyMinder and wants to learn more about their electric energy consumption, can visit Logging in to the site implies a willingness to participate in the study. Participants can expect to spend about 15 minutes to collect and enter the initial survey data (related electricity consumption) and approximately five minutes once a week thereafter. Information collected from the study will be kept on a secure website in an anonymous format and kept confidential.

Potential participants are encouraged to contact Hines at (802)656-9660 or Bongard at (802)656-4665 with any questions.