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.
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.