Assessment of the Social Electricity Online Platform Tools and their Potential Impact on European Citizens
Through the Social Electricity Online Platform (SEOP) European project, various learning modules, educational content and online eco-feedback platforms have been developed, to raise the awareness and knowledge of citizens about energy, the environment and sustainability. The platform allows European citizens to become educated on energy-saving practices and techniques, including the use of renewable technologies at their home. Moreover, through the Social Electricity application, people may become aware of their electrical energy consumption by means of comparisons with the corresponding electrical consumption of their friends, as well as with the total consumption in the street, neighbourhood, village, city and country where they live, in a collaborative and social environment. In this paper, a pilot study performed in 8 European countries involving more than 300 European citizens is presented, in order to demonstrate the influence of online learning modules and eco-feedback platforms on the everyday lives of people, in terms of rational energy use and energy savings. In this pilot, participants have been divided into two groups: the one uses the four learning modules of the platform and then the Social Electricity application, whereas the latter uses only the application. This paper describes our overall findings after three months, exploring the completeness and educational value of the learning modules, and the potential of Social Electricity as an effective online tool for personal energy management. The results also evaluate the impact, behavioural change and the increase on energy awareness among the two groups, as well as the general effectiveness and acceptance of the platform.
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