Data-viz of computer energy consumption

Data visualisation of monthly electricity consumption

Charts of monthly electricity consumption

This data-visualisation shows daily electricity consumption for each household taking part in Electric Footprint. The drop down menus in the top right of the interactive application change the household and the date

Move your mouse over the bar/arrow to see daily electricity consumption in kilowatt hours, the grey arrow behind shows the average energy consumption for the group.

Roll over the footprint profile in the middle of the monthly chart to see the type of space and water heating and if the household has double glazing or loft insulation, these assets give the viewer a better understanding of the household's electricity consumption and enable a fairer comparison of energy use. For example Household A may have a much larger electricity consumption than household B, on closer inspection that household has electric heating whereas household B has gas, which explains the difference in electricity use.

The dynamic monthly charts are part of Electric Footprint a community/street website that enables householders to view their own electricity consumption over weeks, months and days alongside other helpful information such as daylight hours, weather information with easy to read graphs in an innovative and engaging graphical interface. The households can compare their usage directly against their neighbours in the league table.

Electric Footprint helps the householders to make educated decisions about their energy usage, enabling them to understand when and why they use electricity and see how their usage compares to their neighbours. If the householder can see that their neighbour is reducing consumption then maybe that will encourage them to make savings.

Data visualisation residency

Stage 1 of Electric Footprint was developed during a Science City Bristol Residency (SCB), hosted by Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC). The residency developed from SCB's and KWMC's desire to develop creative work that explores the converging worlds of digital media, metric information and live data.

The residency was set in the context of increased activity in Bristol around the development of digital media to facilitate open government, digital inclusion and environmental change. In particular the Connecting Bristol, South Bristol Digital Neighbourhoods (SBDN) programme which developed broadband access and skills, alongside the Digital Environment Home Energy Management System (DEHEMS).

Science City Bristol and Knowle West Media Centre were interested in developing creative interpretations of the data arising from the DEHEMS installations and how the work could interpret this data back to an audience.

During the residency Dane Watkins set out to investigate the complex set of metric information that was being logged by DEHEMs.

A frequent challenge in discussions about energy, the environment and communities, is how to visualise the data with a sufficiently rich language that makes the information understandable beyond abstract numbers and (to the lay person) meaningless units. The shoe profiles were developed during the residency to make the datasets more accessible and humanize the information.

The isometric space combined with the figurative profiles create a believable space that enhances the viewer's ability to read and understand the the data and enable them to make educated decisions about their energy use.


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