In a recent article called Gamification: Green tech makes energy use a game – and we all win author Rob Pegoraro explores the strong impact that new applications using energy consumption data can have on motivating people to reduce their power usage. “If you can, in essence, reprogram people to think more often about the energy they use, you can see both changed behavior and more voluntary interest in making investments in efficiency.”
On the first page of the article, Pegoraro explains how insight into energy use data can lead to behavior change, especially if the data is presented to people in a compelling, competitive format. “More visible data, by itself, spurs only modest improvements in efficiency—and those can’t always be maintained… To see significant gains, people need to change their routines more fundamentally. And to do that, it helps to know that your neighbor is doing better than you are.”
On page two, he goes on to describe an example of an application that is taking data from the Green Button initiative to do exactly that: allow people to compete with their friends and neighbors to reduce their energy consumption. “The app lets users compete with friends for spots on a leader board and earn Foursquare-style badges.”
“Don’t laugh at the thought of a ‘FarmVille for energy efficiency.’ A demo program in San Diego found that customers who used only energy-management monitors provided by San Diego Gas & Electric trimmed their consumption by a decent nine percent, but those who also competed in SimpleEnergy’s game cut theirs by 20 percent.”
Read more in the full article here. We’re excited to see what other applications come out soon to allow people to save even more energy!