Real-time feedback makes hotel guests slash shower power

It can successfully foster behaviour change.


Giving in visitors real-time feedback on the power they use in the shower forcefully checks the measure of vitality expended despite the fact that they don’t pay for it.

The group behind the investigation, in light of the establishment of smart meters in showers at six hotels in Switzerland, said it demonstrated that financial incentives alone don’t direct how much energy we utilize.

Verena Tiefenbeck, a senior research associate at ETH Zurich University, told AFP said, “Real-time feedback technologies can successfully foster behavior change and large resource conservation effects even in contexts where people have zero financial incentive to conserve energy.”

Over the course of nearly 20,000 showers, guests whose bathrooms were fitted with real-time displays consumed an average of 11.4 percent less energy than those without energy use feedback. The meters measured the amount of electricity used to heat and pump the water, in kilowatt hours (kWh).

Scientists anticipated dependent on client conduct that the new meters would save enough vitality to pay for themselves inside two years.

Tiefenbeck said, “The energy use meters served a similar function to cards left in hotel bathrooms asking guests to reuse their towel to help the environment. The hotel can signal that they make efforts for the environment and likewise, though the guest does not financially benefit from reusing the towel.”

“The difference is that with the smart shower meters we are able to quantify the savings. The findings could be applied to any effort to lower energy consumption, not in just those scenarios—such as hotel room showers—where customers don’t have to pay for the power they use.”

“Environmental campaigns do not need to focus on financial benefits, which may disproportionally put pressure on poor people or may even backfire, as many people might say ‘I don’t care, I can afford it'”.

The study is published in the Nature Energy.


See stories of the future in your inbox each morning.