Home Appliance Energy Use

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.

Home Appliance Energy Use Lisa Strausfeld is partner at Pentagram — see more of her works at Pentagram.com

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  • pizzza

    Ineffective, unintuitive. Too much data is hidden, too little exposed. User must memorize values as they mouse-over and then mentally compare them. Icons, though nice, are not all obvious. A simple barchart would be an improvement, though sadly the designers would have trouble charging as much for one.

  • http://www.artillery.ch/ Wiederkehr

    Thanks for your thoughts. I agree, that some of the icons are a bit vague and there probably are better visual solutions to show the same data.