Subannual Billing Information for Heating and Water Costs

  Household energy efficiency Copyright: © FCN Inhibiting factors for household energy efficiency (Source: based on Duscha et al. 2006, modified and extended)

When communicating with consumers, the most important objective is to “keep it simple”. The mailbox is full every day, the phone keeps on beeping – and the messages are all too often unpleasant or at least annoying. In this world of information overload, in order to get information across, it needs to be delivered as concisely and intuitively as possible.

Among other measures, the need for consumer feedback has recently been increased by the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EC, passed in October 2012. It sets a framework for the EU member states to achieve a 20% increase in energy efficiency. Apart from requirements for installing individual meters wherever feasible, it ensures that all consumers receive accurate metering data and that billing is based on the actual (individual) consumption.

With the goal of motivating consumers to adopt more energy-saving or energy-efficient behavior, it has to be evaluated how the current (consumption-based) billing method for heating and water costs can be augmented with additional information and which kind of feedback leads to an increased awareness on the part of the user. The effectiveness of such measures has been proven to help exploit a substantial energy-savings potential in the order of 7-12%.