Today, Simple Energy announced that people in Texas can now sign up for a social, fun and simple way to save energy with the Simple Energy Customer Engagement Platform, an online game that allows users to compete with friends and win prizes for increased energy efficiency. Households in the Houston and Dallas metro areas (specifically, those in the Oncor and Centerpoint service territories) are eligible to join the application, sharing their energy savings on Facebook, forming teams and viewing their actual energy usage online, with a mobile app coming soon. Prizes for saving energy include iTunes gift cards, iPads and more.
The launch of this state-wide initiative follows the completion of an energy efficiency program piloted in California, where the Simple Energy platform succeeded in more than doubling energy savings among participating residential customers during a three-month period. With these results far surpassing those of a similar trial completed in Texas without the use of the Simple Energy system, expanding access to this platform in Houston and Dallas has the potential to create dramatic savings for customers.
“The amazing results from California clearly demonstrate that the Simple Energy approach to motivating people to save energy really works,” explained Yoav Lurie, CEO and co-founder of the company. “People are naturally social and they like competing to win points and prizes. By allowing them access to their energy usage data in a fun and simple way on platforms where they are already spending their time such as Facebook, we make saving energy into an easy and enjoyable experience.”
Many customers have said they want access to their energy usage information online. Smart meters – one of the foundational elements of the smart grid – allow access to this data. But, in practice, very few customers actually interact with their data – this is the problem that Simple Energy has set out to solve. Combined with the simplicity of transforming this data into a fun, social game, online energy usage information becomes actionable and contextual.
The Simple Energy platform normalizes energy usage across wide geographic areas, allowing participants to compete with their friends and neighbors — similar to a golf handicap. In addition, players can form teams in order to compete on behalf of a cause that they support, such as a school or community organization. Finally, the program follows strict privacy guidelines, simply comparing normalized scores among users without revealing any personalized, individual details about actual energy consumption.
Tips that everyone can put to use today to reduce their energy use just like in the California program include: switching to compact fluorescent lighting, lowering water heater temperature, using the minimal amount of lighting needed for a task, washing and drying dishes and clothing by hand, using smart power strips, and turning off computers and monitors when they aren’t in use.
Texas customers can sign up to earn points and compete for prizes today at https://www.simpleenergy.com/partners/texas