To build a successful tool, your input is critical.

Every day we hear and use words like carbon emissions, energy efficiency, sustainability, climate change and we are now familiar with these terms. What we rarely consider is that our everyday activities are directly linked with these big worldwide issues. By slightly changing our behaviour and our habits, we can concretely improve our footprint on this planet and benefit from it.

We can save energy in the buildings where we live, work or study. Indeed, lowering carbon emissions of buildings will help reduce our contributions to climate change, which has many social, environmental and economic costs to society. This is where the main aim of the EU-funded eTEACHER project comes into the picture: it envisages to empower end-users in buildings and let them become more energy efficient. It will achieve this by designing ICT solutions that will help users become more aware of their energy consumption.

Through these solutions, we can reduce the budget pressures of public buildings like local authority offices, schools and healthcare centres in times of hardship as lower energy bills are tantamount to monetary savings. Home owners will also benefit from these endeavours as these could help increase their disposable income and thus improve their quality of life to some extent.

Previous research projects that studied users’ approach have shown that the people who reside in the specific piloted buildings must be consulted from the very start in order for the solutions to be designed more effectively. Because of that, we have decided to develop a workshop that will run across all 12 pilot buildings. The main purpose of the workshop is to understand how the end-users handle information technology both now and in the future. Moreover, the participants will benefit by being a part of the design process and having the chance to give a collective feedback on the building they live in, so it can be made better.

The end-users will be guided through 6 activities. Some will be done individually while others will be performed in groups. At the end of it all, a final questionnaire will be used to help us in identifying and summarizing the main suggestions, ideas and feedback; this will also give the participants the chance to express their interest and to keep themselves updated with the project as they continue to help us in designing and testing out the eTEACHER tools.

The results of the workshops will be crucial as these will help us in designing the new and improved eTEACHER toolbox – making it more helpful, user-friendly and respondent to the users’ needs.

22 May 2018

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