Remember to save
EnerGAware is a bold experiment to gamify household energy saving to make it easy and fun. It’s a mobile game that lets players design a virtual home and virtual self, The Sims-style – then uses real data from internet-connected ‘smart’ energy meters in the player’s own home to simulate the effects of different energy saving techniques.
Social housing tenants in Plymouth will trial EnerGAware starting in 2016. The target is for players to cut their home energy use – and carbon dioxide emissions – as a positive outcome of their involvement in the EnerGAware game.
How to play
The EnerGAware game lets players test out different energy-saving techniques in their virtual home. The game uses building performance simulation to estimate the effects of each technique – for example, how comfortable it makes their avatar feel and whether it increases or decreases their energy bills.
Once the game reveals which techniques will be most effective, players can put them into practice in real life.
Saving energy both in the game and in real life lets players progress in the game. They can also share their achievements on social networks and compete against their neighbours.
“What we are trying to do is make energy less of a chore”
- Dr Alba Fuertes, EnerGAware Principal Investigator, Plymouth University
- August 2015: Game design begins
- October–December 2015: Smart energy meter installation begins
- Autumn 2016: First version or Beta version of the game rolled out to players
EnerGAware is an international joint effort funded by the European Commission. The following organisations are partners.
- Plymouth University
- DCH (formerly Devon and Cornwall Housing)
- EDF Energy R&D UK Centre
- Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya
- Porto Superior Institute of Engineering
EDF Energy’s involvement in the project, combined with the roll-out of smart metering across the UK, opens the door to the possibility of brand new business models – and unprecedented public engagement with energy saving.