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Serious Games Plug Into The Smart Grid - Gamification Ignites DR

Via: The Gamification BlogBattle of the Bulbs

In a post published today, Gabe Zichermann reports two great examples of how Serious Games and Gamification provide powerful social incentives to take part in conservation, making a strong statement that “there is an untapped space in the consumer market to roll out these games and make every household into a team fortress of energy savings” (please find also my prior post Serious Games Empowering Energy Efficient Citizens).

The first one is The Battle of the Bulbs - dorms across the University of Chicago competing on who could get the largest decline in energy usage. From a baseline and year-by-year measurements, the school challenged itself to see who could save the most energy”.

The second is a post published this week by smart grid expert, Christine Hertzog, Will Gamification be the Biggest Smart Grid Game Changer? that sets out a few hypothetical examples where gamification can provide the perfect tools to overcome difficult challenges of education and enrollment.
“It’s a great tool for utilities and Smart Grid vendors to use with residential consumers to communicate complex concepts around energy efficiency, demand response (DR), integration of distributed generation and new pricing programs”, she says.
Here’s one example of how games could expedite enrollment in a DR program:
A utility is building a communications outreach plan to the residential consumer base to build enrollment in a new DR program. As the project team reviews the multiple channels available for outreach they acknowledge that the program is difficult to explain and therefore negatively impact their ultimate enrollment success. Some team members read that games have often been used to educate and motivate desired actions. They note that the utility website would be a natural location to add game mechanics to teach consumers about the individual, community, and societal benefits of DR participation. Rewarding “players” through a series of simple games for achievement can motivate them to actively seek information and recruit more players when rewarded for that. Players earn points for participation based on the game objectives.”
End result – consumers become promoters of the DR program, and peer-based recommendations for participation in the DR program causes enrollment to surge.
Christine Hertzog also makes a distinction between Social Games and Gamification, setting the stage for why utilities should infuse gamification into their existing websites to build knowledge and support for Smart Grid initiatives such as smart meter deployments, introduction of Time of Use (TOU) pricing, or enrollment in demand response (DR) programs.
Hertzog wars-up by stating that Gamification presents very intriguing possibilities for utilities and Smart Grid vendors, and should be incorporated into ongoing Smart Grid projects that are visible and disruptive to consumers. 

Another example could be Telewatts.

Telewatts is a channel to promote your renewable energy. It is a web based energy display that showcases how much renewable energy (solar or wind power) you are producing.

Telewatts provides an engaging way to showcase your green credentials and promote your building or brand.

Telewatts is designed to be displayed full screen on monitors or televisions and can render at resolutions over 1080p HD. Telewatts can also be easily embedded on your website.

About Christine Hertzog
Christine Hertzog is a consultant, author, and a professional explainer focused on Smart Grid technologies and solutions. As a consultant, she helps clients understand and navigate the intersections of emerging technologies and markets. She is the author of the Smart Grid Dictionary, the first dictionary that explains the jargon, acronyms, and terminology used by utilities, regulators, standards organizations, and manufacturers. She has two decades of experience working with hardware, software, and services companies that range from small start-ups to multi-national corporations, and has recently been involved in the National Institute of Standards (NIST) initiative on Smart Grid Cyber Security and Interoperability standards requirements with a focus on privacy. Based in Silicon Valley, she is a regular presenter at industry conferences and blogs about the challenges and opportunities that Smart Grid solutions deliver to the evolving electricity supply chain.