Energy Conservation 2.0: Can Devices Deliver?

Utilities across the world are looking for new ways to save energy, and consumer electronics are a major area of interest. A renaissance in home automation, an increase in consumer appetite for information, and tools that make life easier have made products like Google’s Nest thermostat and Amazon’s Echo hot commodities. These devices are intelligent and provide users with interactive feedback, but what is the potential for creating more devices like these? What is it about certain devices that lead to behavior change? 

While some human behavior experts have been turning to these questions in recent years, no particular product attribute formula has emerged. In his 2015 white paper, CEE energy technology researcher Dr. Lester Shen posits that user-centered design is essential for creating a pipeline of energy saving devices and asks how the broader product design process can facilitate what he calls "successful human-building-interaction".

To learn more, click through the slides or download the recording of our live webinar.

Energy Conservation 2.0- Can Devices Deliver? (mp4)



Lester Shen
Center for Energy and Environment | Director of Innovative Technologies

Lester keeps abreast of the latest technology and energy efficiency trends and advances that can inform and enhance the development and delivery of future utility efficiency programs. For the last four years, Lester has focused on how users interact with devices and buildings and how design processes such as design thinking might be able to help advance the field of device facilitated behavior change. 

Prior to 2008 when Lester joined CEE, he worked in the space between energy efficiency and design: Associate Dean of the BS Visualization Program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a Research Associate with the University of Minnesota’s Underground Space Center. 

Susan Francke Norris
Pacific Gas & Electric | Sr. Manager, Energy Efficiency Products
Susan stumbled into the energy industry over 22 years ago after brief careers in radio and hospitality. She has managed both residential and non-residential programs for utilities across the country. Since 2008 Susan has been at PG&E and currently she oversees the Customer Energy Efficiency Products organization within the company. Her team focuses on services and tools for customers as well as delivery channels for new products and training centers for professionals in the field. She and her team work to inspire and empower people to eliminate unnecessary energy use.

Jon Plummer
Belkin | Director of User Experience

Jon leads user research and experience design teams to build on market research and define new opportunities for product development. This includes verifying features and use-model assumptions so that existing and new products are best suited to address user needs. His teams then translate these findings and business wishes into controls and device design that fit consumers’ lives. This requires focus on real user goals and quick prototyping of products that meet those goals.

Jon has worked on consumer IoT(Internet of Things) devices as part of the WeMo team at Belkin, and is currently focused on consumer and business networking, including between IoT technologies.