I-SAVE: An Interactive Real-time Monitor and Controller to Influence Energy Conservation Behavior by Impulse Saving

EPA Grant Number: SU834700
Title: I-SAVE: An Interactive Real-time Monitor and Controller to Influence Energy Conservation Behavior by Impulse Saving
Investigators: Alahmad, Mahmoud , Ci, Song
Current Investigators: Alahmad, Mahmoud , Bergstedt, Sean , Brow, Caitlin , Brumbaugh, Adam , Ci, Song , Hasna, Hosen , Nader, Wisam , Sordiashie, Evans , Wang, Xueyi , Wisnieski, Tim
Institution: University of Nebraska at Lincoln
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2011
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Residential energy consumption accounts for 21% of the electricity used in the United States, but research shows that almost 41% is being wasted. Fundamental understandings of how energy is consumed, monitored, and controlled are key prerequisites for an energy conservation process. Several real-time monitors in the market present an opportunity to decrease energy consumption by 3%-20%. However, their effectiveness is varied due to inefficient interface design and mixed information, ranging from partial and limited to overwhelming and impractical due to lack of understanding of consumer behavior. To solve this problem, we will develop I-SAVE, an interactive real-time monitor and controller (RTMC) system to influence user behavior based on a continuous impulse saving behavior. The I-SAVE is a user friendly interface with a button based on an automated sensing and actuating network at each location (receptacle, lighting switch, etc.) and utilizes learning algorithms to determine wasted energy in the entire home and provides the capability to the user to turn it off by pressing the Go-green save-energy button.  This proposed system will improve global climate change and air pollution, promote smaller sizing requirements and greater adoption of renewable energy alternatives and stimulate the development of a broad range of devices in homes including Net-Zero Energy Homes and leading to green job creation and prosperity.


Design, build, and test a proof-of-concept I-SAVE RTMC device with a prototype board.  The system is based on an adaptive system that monitors and controls real energy consumption at each energy consumption location (receptacle, lighting switch, dedicated load, etc..), utilizes learning algorithms and automated sensing and actuating network to effectively determine non-critical and wasted energy in the entire home, and provide users with the capability to turn off wasted energy with the Go-green save-energy button. 

Expected Results:

Simulation-based model to explore the benefits of monitoring and control to energy saving opportunities in residential homes; an adaptive algorithm to predict the type of electrical loads; a prototype user friendly interface monitoring and control device to save energy; a proof-of concept for the I-SAVE RTMC; and an educational component.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Energy recovery; Smart buildings; Interactive development tools;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report