A computational model for designing energy behaviour change interventions

Nataliya Mogles*, Julian Padget, Elizabeth Gabe-Thomas, Ian Walker, Jee Hang Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
299 Downloads (Pure)


The conflicting evidence in the literature on energy feedback as a driver for energy behaviour change has lead to the realization that it is a complex problem and that interventions must be proposed and evaluated in the context of a tangled web of individual and societal factors. We put forward an integrated agent-based computational model of energy consumption behaviour change interventions based on personal values and energy literacy, informed by research in persuasive technologies, environmental, educational and cognitive psychology, sociology, and energy education. Our objectives are: (i) to build a framework to accommodate a rich variety of models that might impact consumption decisions, (ii) to use the simulation as a means to evaluate persuasive technologies in-silico prior to deployment. The model novelty lies in its capacity to connect the determinants of energy related behaviour (values, energy literacy and social practices) and several generic design strategies proposed in the area of persuasive technologies within one framework. We validate the framework using survey data and personal value and energy consumption data extracted from a 2-year field study in Exeter, UK. The preliminary evaluation results demonstrate that the model can predict energy saving behaviour much better than a random model and can correctly estimate the effect of persuasive technologies. The model can be embedded into an adaptive decision-making system for energy behaviour change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalUser Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction
Issue number1
Early online date18 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Behaviour change
  • Computational model
  • Energy consumption
  • Energy literacy
  • Internal values
  • Persuasive technology
  • Simulation


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