Our research

There is little doubt we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. There is however, a disconnect between human activities and impact in energy and carbon externality. By monitoring energy use for a specific human activity, Ubicomp technologies may help us uncover this hidden impact. Our project brings Computer Science, Economics, Carbon Profiling and Sociology together to explore the feasibility of identifying and informing people of ‘critical moments in their daily activities that have carbon impact‘, so they can individually and collectively make savings. We are working with actual communities using a novel set of technological and cultural probes, involving embedded sensors, smartphone applications, aggregated ‘crowdsourced’ data and ethnographic field work, to deliver a richer understanding of behaviour that leads to lower carbon lifestyles. In particular, we are exploring the areas of domestic electricity consumption (and meal preparation, in detail), food purchasing, heating and transport. Our increased understandings of these areas will be fed into the design of behaviour interventions, the impact of which will be evaluated through quantitative and qualitative studies.

This research project is funded by the Research Councils UK Digital Economy and Energy Programmes.



Oliver Bates, Adrian K. Clear, Adrian Friday, Mike Hazas, and Janine Morley. Understanding Adaptive Thermal Comfort: New directions for Ubicomp. Submitted to Ubicomp 2013.

Clear, A., Hazas, M., Morley, M., Friday, A., and Bates, O. Domestic Food and Sustainable Design: A Study of University Student Cooking and its Impacts. In Proceedings of CHI 2013. Paris, FR. May, 2013.

Clear, A. and Friday, F. Designing a Food ‘Qualculator’. DIS 2012 workshop on Food for Thought: Designing for Critical Reflection on Food Practices. Newcastle, UK. June 2012.

Bates, O., Clear, A., Friday, A., Hazas, M., and Morley, J. Accounting for energy-reliant services within everyday life at home. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive 2012), Newcastle, 18-22 June 2012. Awarded 1st prize for Computational Sustainability.

Hazas, M., Friday, A., and Scott, J. Look back before leaping forward: Four decades of domestic energy inquiry. IEEE Pervasive Computing 10 (2011), 13–19.


Talk for our CHI 2013 paper, “Domestic Food and Sustainable Design: A study of University Student Cooking and its impacts,” presented in the Food and Health session at CHI in Paris.



Talk for our Pervasive 2012 paper, “Accounting for Energy-reliant Services within Everyday Life at Home,” presented at Pervasive in Newcastle, UK.


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  1. Pingback: Project website launched | Energy Choices

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