Energy Monitor

The brief: Purchase an electricity energy monitor, analyse it from a human factors point of view testing it on users and redesign it for a future market while addressing the human-factor issues identified.

 

Initially, the overall unboxing and set up experience of the Owl Micro+ Wireless Electricity Monitor was tested personally. Following this a user was identified using the following logic:

The roll out of first generation SMETS (smart metering equipment technical specification), SMETS 1, began in the UK around 2013. Five years on SMETS 2 have began to roll out [6]. We can therefore assume that there will be five years between each generation. So that we are not simply designing the next generation, we should look at ten years in the future, placing us in 2028.

The largest impact on the energy market in 2028 will most likely be the increased use of EV (electric (& hybrid) vehicles) as Scotland plans to phase out diesel fuelled cars by 2032 [4]. Photovoltaics in domestic situations will also likely be on the increase [5].

This increase in EV makes the situation that a guest might need to charge their car while at a hosts house likely. However, what if this host does not own an EV? How does this guest then charge their car? Perhaps the guest could use the neighbours charger and buy energy from them. This led to the identifcation of the user as a host who does not drive.

Having identified a user, it was tested in the user environment under observation and the insights noted. These insights are listed below.