Photo by Nils Vik via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Gaming to Conserve Energy

Light Reading

Smart meters have been around for a bit. If you don’t know how they work, you put one on your electricity box and then get info about your energy consumption through a smart phone app. They’re pretty amazing, especially in regard to saving expenses while encouraging sustainable living as well. But the new creation Greenely isn’t exactly like those other smart meters.

First of all, you don’t need a special monitoring device – the app gets its information straight from the power utility. Thus, you simply download the app and then you’re good to go. Secondly, Greenely takes energy conservation to the next level by making it into a game – a concept which is often referred to as gamification.

So, what’s gamification all about? Well, all sorts of companies are realizing that taking ideas from the world of games can help to encourage customers to remain loyal to a certain service by way of awards. When you play a game like Angry Birds, you get engrossed in getting the most points. With Greenely, you get engrossed in saving as much energy (and money) as possible.

Photo via greenely.com

Photo via greenely.com

In the Greenely app, you have your own virtual tree that will grow healthier the more energy you save, and less healthy when you consume more energy – for example, if you keep your home warmer than actually recommended or leave a window open in the middle of the winter. Also, as the data comes from the power company itself, you can easily compare your energy consumption to your neighbors’ and friends’ consumption, bringing in an element of competition. So, who’s going to be the number one superstar in your community’s energy saving contest?