The Current Crew

Pennsylvania has one of the most alarmingly low rates of home energy efficiency in all of the United States. The Home Energy Score (HES) is a document sent to all homeowners, usually monthly, by their energy provider to let them know how efficient their home is. This rarely gets read, and even less frequently is understood by the homeowner. The challenge of this project was to make the energy efficiency of the home a concept that families can understand and take action on.

The System to Tackle the Problem

My proposed solution to the issue of energy efficiency in Pennsylvania homes engages the children to start a conversation with their parents about this issue. There are four parts to this system: a narrative, a worksheet, next steps, and a badge. It begins in the classroom, where children are introduced to Bobby Electric and the Current Crew. The narrative of the Current Crew prepares the children for a conversation about energy through creating scenarios that they can empathize with. The Current Crew is the personification of energy in the house – an imaginary team of electricians that run around your house providing you with light, heating, cooling, and electricity. Through the in-class and take-home activities, the kids will be motivated to investigate the “health” of their home in order to save the Current Crew from being wasted or “slipping out”.
The worksheet informs the child and parent on specific energy issues in their home and prompts conversation about them. Once they are informed of the condition of their house, the “next steps” card offers the parent an opportunity to respond to what they have just learned with their child. Finally, the lightning bolt badge is a tool to excite and empower the child. Once the child is enabled, they can pass on this badge to their parents. This system is one that aims to bring this issue to an emotional level — it educates, enables, and provokes action.

Design Approach