ICT4S 2014
Conference paper

Energy usage attitudes of urban India

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Though rapid increase in energy consumption has become a global problem, most of the solutions developed to address it for residential consumers are based on qualitative studies conducted with small numbers of users, typically in the developed world. Recent work has begun to explore consumption practices, and motivations, barriers and other factors affecting energy consumption in urban India. However, the small numbers of participants in those studies limit their generality. Our work contributes to this picture through a survey of 1724 residents of urban India, exploring the motivations and barriers affecting energy conservation and their opinions about sharing energy consumption data and future technologies for conservation. We found that urban Indians practice conservation because it is a learned habit and to save money, while comfort and convenience are the major barriers in conserving energy. Contrary to previous findings, we did not find a major influence of tradition, spirituality or moral reasons for conservation. Moreover, participants have minimal privacy concerns regarding sharing energy data. Interestingly, participants were not only interested in energy monitoring solutions, but were also positive about automated energy controlling systems, which contrasts previous findings. We conclude with design opportunities for this demographic such as information-sharing opportunities, appliance level consumption disaggregation, and convenient manual controls.


24 Aug 2014


ICT4S 2014