The United States is the 7th largest per capita consumer of residential energy, but where is all of that energy going? For GE, Lisa Strausfeld and her team have designed an easy to understand visualization that calculates energy use of home appliances.
The various appliances are represented by a series of playfully illustrated icons that users can turn “on” or “off” to get approximate totals for their own profile. The unit converter presents the energy use of each appliance in terms of watts used, the cost in dollars, and the equivalent power consumption in gasoline. The kilowatt hour is the billing unit used for electricity but is a relatively abstract measure for consumers. The visualization describes what one kilowatt hour yields for each device, a fun and easy way to understand the relative amount of energy required to run household appliances.
The application is a simple and intuitive way to measure your own consumption and with the different approaches on how to communicate the result the user can actually understand the implications of turning off unused devices.
Lisa Strausfeld is partner at Pentagram — see more of her works at Pentagram.com