Non-Invasive Behavioral Reference Group Categorization Considering Temporal Granularity and Aggregation Level of Energy Use Data
Within residences, normative messaging interventions have been gaining interest as a cost-effective way to promote energy-saving behaviors. Behavioral reference groups are one important factor in determining the effectiveness of normative messages. More personally relevant and meaningful groups are likely to promote behavior change. Using readily available energy-use profiles in a non-invasive manner permits the creation of highly personalized reference groups. Unfortunately, how data granularity (e.g., minute and hour) and aggregation (e.g., one week and one month) affect the performance of energy profile-based reference group categorization is not well understood. This research evaluates reference group categorization performance across different levels of data granularity and aggregation. We conduct a clustering analysis using one-year of energy use data from 2248 households in Holland, Michigan USA. The clustering analysis reveals that using six-hour intervals results in more personalized energy profile-based reference groups compared to using more granular data (e.g., 15 min). This also minimizes computational burdens. Further, aggregating energy-use data over all days of twelve weeks increases the group similarity compared to less aggregated data (e.g., weekdays of twelve weeks). The proposed categorization framework enables interveners to create personalized and scalable normative feedback messages.