Findings from Northern Powergrid’s domestic demand-side response (DSR) trial suggest the chance to compete for cash rewards via a mobile gaming app could be a smart way to engage households in DSR.
Now the distribution network operator (DNO) will apply gamification to manage EV charging.
Over two years, the DNO convinced 2,000 households to play the GenGame, whereby they would receive a signal (“It’s GenGame Time!’) to turn off household equipment. The more they cut consumption, the more points they won. The greater the number of points, the better their chances of scooping the monthly prize draw (£350 in total, with £100 top prize).
Northern Powergrid said the most engaged players delivered a 98% response rate over two years, suggesting that the approach works, with the lure of a £350 monthly prize pot overcoming the limited appeal of earning a few pence per action.
Less engaged players also took action to curb consumption, and were encouraged by associated games to keep reducing demand between DSR events, which on average happened a couple of times a week.
On average, players cut consumption by 11% per household in response to events.
Northern Powergrid now plans to apply the approach and its learnings to EV charging, both in its own network, and as part of a wider government funded project involving Newcastle University, the GenGame games developers, Ecotricity and energy monitoring firm EnAppSys.
The £400,000 project is part of the Vehicle-to-Grid competition, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (Olev) and the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis), in partnership with Innovate UK.