How businesses can use games to spur greener behavior

By admin on March 27, 2012

In a new article by Ben Holland of the Rocky Mountain Institute, he examines how the intersection of big data and game mechanics can lead to energy efficiency, a topic he explored in greater depth at the recent South by Southwest Interactive conference. “Two buzzwords, ‘gamification’ and ‘big data,’ were in frequent use at SXSW earlier this month. The two are closely related, and when combined, could have interesting implications for energy use.”

The article quoted Yoav Lurie of Simple Energy describing how the platform uses game mechanics and behavioral economics to encourage energy efficiency. “Most people say they care about saving energy — for either financial or environmental reasons. But, like in weight loss, smoking cessation, and personal finance, caring is often an insufficient motivator. We find that it’s much more effective to get people to act as if they care.”

“Lurie’s company works with large utilities across the country, using social game mechanics to motivate people to save energy,” continues Ben. “Using extrinsic rewards, normative comparison, and social pressure, the company is trying to shift the dynamic between the utility and its customer.”

The article then goes on to discuss the recent Green Button Initiative as an example of big data that can be leveraged to created effective behavioral change. Read more in the full article, and check out our white paper on data standardization and customer engagement.