Description: Wi-Be – Reduction of energy demand in buildings through optimal use of wireless behaviour (Wi-Be) informations systems

PI: Prof Li Shao, University of Reading

Fund: £598k TEDDI 2 year

Project lifespan: Oct 2010 to Sept 2013

Contact: l.shao@reading.ac.uk

Website: http://www.reading.ac.uk/CME/research/cme-Wireless-energy-behaviour-monitoring-%28Wi-be%29for-energy-management.aspx


The Wi-be project aims to reduce energy consumption in buildings through behaviour change informed by wireless monitoring systems for energy, environmental conditions and people positions. A key part to the Wi-Be system is the ability to accurately attribute energy usage behaviour to individuals, so they can be targeted with specific feedback tailored to their preferences. The use of wireless technologies for indoor positioning was investigated to ascertain the difficulties and potential benefits.


The research is highly interdisciplinary, combining a. Sensor network research and modelling of wireless sensor signal propagation to ascertain the optimum configurations and potential limitations to physical deployment of wireless sensors, network and other related devices; b. Behavioural Research – determine the optimum feedback to individual energy users in order to achieve the best effects on stimulating immediate action and durable behavioural change; c. Building Energy Research – to assess interactions between building energy demand, supply and user behaviour, as well as benchmarks, and their implications for optimum arrangement for feedback to users; Wi-be systems for monitoring and communicating personal energy behaviours was installed in an office building and a house, which were used as test beds and case studies for the integrated research.


  • The research to date has demonstrated the effectiveness of highly disaggregated personal level data for developing insights into people’s energy behaviour and identifying significant energy saving opportunities (up to 77% in specific areas).
  • Behavioural research addressed social issues such as privacy which could affect the deployment of the system.
  • RF research into less intrusive technologies indicates that RSSI-based systems should be able to detect the presence of a human body, though further work would be needed in both social and engineering areas.

Key outputs

M Coleman; K Irvine; M Lemon; L Shao (2013); “Promoting behaviour change through personalised energy feedback in offices” Building Research & Information (in print, available: DOI:10.1080/09613218.2013.808958)

L Shao, M Coleman, R Foster, R Shipman, M Gillott, Y Hao, K Irvine, M Lemon, M Munoz, (2013) “Reduction of energy demand in buildings through optimal use of wireless behaviour information systems” Int. Conf. Applied Energy, ICAE 2013, Jul 1-4, 2013, Pretoria, South Africa

Academic partners

University of Reading

Prof Li Shao

De Montfort University

Dr Katherine Irvine

Prof Mark Lemon

Nottingham University

Prof Mark Gillott

Prof Tom Rodden

Queen Mary University of London

Prof Yang Hao

Prof Clive Parini

Dr John Bigham

Commercial partners

Philips Research Laboratories


Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers