Learn2Behave - Understanding energy behaviours to induce efficiency in energy consumption through PBL strategies
Title: Learn2Behave - Understanding energy behaviours to induce efficiency in energy consumption through PBL strategies
Coordinators at INESCC: Luís Miguel Pires Neves
Date of approval: 13-07-2017
Dates start/end: 30-09-2017 / 30-03-2019
Total Eligible Cost: 10 712.50€
EU Financial Support: 9 105.63€
National Financial Support: 35 908.00€
Project Code: CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-023651
Region of intervention: Center
Beneficiaries: INSTITUTO POLITÉCNICO DE LEIRIA, INESC Coimbra - Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores de Coimbra, INSTITUTO POLITECNICO DE COIMBRA, INSTITUTO POLITÉCNICO DE SETÚBAL
Promoting energy efficiency has been stated as a major societal objective, motivating several strategies that aim to transform the energy market. However, besides the technological dimension, the gap between the potential efficient consumption and the real consumption, for the same level of service, is particularly dependent of end-users' behaviours, materialized by their choices when operating equipment, but knowledge about behaviours and their influence over energy consumption is still rather limited, being specific to the social environment of consumers, depending from several variables.
The purpose of this project is then to characterize behaviours on the territories covered by the participating institutions, aiming to promote energy efficiency and reducing energy costs, disseminating best practice advices as a way of rewarding the collaboration of consumers. The curricular involvement of students of different levels occur throughout the whole process, starting by an analysis of the aspects to identify, through a systematic exploitation of the end-uses and of the possible consequences of different alternatives of their use in terms of energy consumption and of the energy bill, as well as developing innovative ways to interact with young public. As a corollary, it is expected that the whole problem based learning approach will also induce a transformation on the students involved, as energy end users, also inducing change on their family context.
The first activity has been conducted with students of energy management related subjects on electrical engineering and energy and environmental courses (BSc and MSc), on the three participating higher education institutions, as part of their evaluation assignment, and gave origin to a supporting database, already holding a significant amount of data, such as the average consumption of Portuguese households, real case studies to be shown as examples, energy policies, instruments and fiscal incentives to energy efficiency, portfolio of saving opportunities in the residential sector, emergent challenges in the context of smart grids.
In the second task, an interactive app to engage young consumers and provide a two-way communication system on end-users’ energy consumption practices, was developed, and its currently being deployed. The third and final task, which aims to analyze data is currently staring. Accordingly, the conclusions of the project are still out of reach. However, its development until this point has already raised important challenges regarding the multidisciplinary research work, and most of all, have been fruitful in terms of motivating students, which, at the end of the day, are themselves energy consumers whose behaviors are being influenced.