The aims of this commentary are to generate thought and discussion about the potential role and value of energy feedback in future energy transitions. There is now a global research and policy effort devoted to developing energy feedback (e.g. from improved bills, metering or displays) in order to change energy-use behaviour and reduce demand. Within this, calls to go beyond conventional energy feedback through the use of disaggregation are increasingly common. An alternative approach is presented for how to go beyond energy feedback. Instead of focusing solely on generating larger energy savings, it is argued that new approaches need to consider how conventional energy feedback frames energy problems and shapes the agency and engagement of different actors. Three potential routes are highlighted for going beyond conventional approaches to energy feedback through emerging work on practice feedback, policy feedback and speculative design. Three core challenges for future work on energy feedback are: recognizing the multiple forms of energy-related feedback that shape everyday life; engaging with a much wider range of actors involved in shaping energy feedback loops; and using new approaches to energy-related feedback to reframe energy problems and establish new roles for actors engaged in energy transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-342
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number3
Early online date16 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • energy feedback
  • feedback
  • policy feedback
  • feed forward
  • smart meters
  • social practices
  • speculative design
  • user engagement

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