The UK’s Northern Powergrid has launched an app that encourages customers to consume less energy through incentives.
The app has more than 2,000 customers using it in a bid to win cash prizes by accumulating points which are earned by turning off devices such as washing machines, televisions, and lights.
The app is currently being trialled following its development by gamification experts, GenGame, and the help of Newcastle University.
Each user of the app is notified at peak times and encouraged to reduce electricity consumption.
The average energy saving per user is 11% or 305W, although some users have saved as much as 4.9kW.
“Household electricity use will grow significantly as electric vehicles and heat pumps become mainstream, increasing demand on the network,” stated Andrew Webster, Innovation Project Manager of Northern Powergrid.
“Mobile games offer a fun solution to help manage this demand, rewarding our customers for reducing their consumption at peak periods.”
“If we see an increase in electric vehicles in one area we could just run a GenGame and reward people for charging their car when there is spare capacity on the network. As long as the incentive costs less than upgrading the local network, we have a winner.
“We are working with customers in the way they want and we now have more than 2,000 people signed up and active as flexibility providers.”
“This is a much more dynamic approach for a more dynamic world. It creates a personal connection which we could also explore for other purposes such as fault reporting and energy saving advice.”
Northern Powergrid supplies electricity to 3.9mn homes businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.