How to make efficient use of kettles : understanding usage patterns

Murray, David and Liao, Jing and Stankovic, Lina and Stankovic, Vladimir (2015) How to make efficient use of kettles : understanding usage patterns. In: 8th International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting, 2015-08-26 - 2015-08-28, Switzerland.

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According to a survey by the Energy Savings Trust three-quarters of UK households overfill their kettle, wasting GBP68 million per year. This paper focuses on patterns of behaviour with respect to kettle use and how these could be influenced by providing feedback to make kettle usage more efficient. Firstly, we study how kettles are used across 14 UK households for a two-year period, which allows analysis of seasonal patterns as well as changes due to the holiday season. We also examine usage patterns based on the type of occupant and how their daily routines affect usage. Secondly, a case study is described where a standard kettle has been replaced with an ‘eco’ kettle during the monitoring period, which allows to analyse if energy consumption has been reduced due to using a more energy efficient kettle. We look at the usage patterns and investigate potential change in behaviour that has occurred since the switch. Our main findings based on monitoring diverse UK homes with a range of kettles, is that the total consumption is less dependent on the type of kettle used, and more dependent on the established household usage patterns and habits. We also show, through our case study, that usage of kettles can be improved by optimising usage patterns to best utilise the type of kettle.