Title: Exploring the use of a game to stimulate energy saving in households

Authors: Daphne Geelen; David Keyson; Stella Boess; Han Brezet

Addresses: Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands. ' Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands. ' Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands. ' Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: This paper presents a study called the Energy Battle, a game aimed at encouraging home occupants to save energy. Twenty student-households were provided with direct feedback and an online platform with energy feedback over time, ranking of the competing teams, tips and a game. The study showed that the game context strongly influenced the motivation to save energy. Overall, savings averaged 24%, with the highest savings level at 45%. Directly after completion of the Energy Battle, energy consumption increased among most of the households, although consumption levels tended to stay below the baseline measurement level taken before the Energy Battle. Follow-up interviews indicated that some of the behaviours developed in the game had transformed into habits. A game such as the Energy Battle appears to provide a powerful means to stimulate energy saving in the short term. The potential to achieve long term effects appears possible, however further research is required to understand long-term implications for an Energy Battle game.

Keywords: household energy consumption; energy saving behaviour; social incentives; serious gaming; online games; design for sustainable behaviour; sustainable development; sustainability.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2012.046096

Journal of Design Research, 2012 Vol.10 No.1/2, pp.102 - 120

Available online: 29 Mar 2012 *

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