New mobile game ‘helping manage UK power demand’

A new mobile app helps manage domestic demand for electricity in the UK. Developed by GenGame, Open Energi and Northern Powergrid, the game is said to have already been proven […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A new mobile app helps manage domestic demand for electricity in the UK.

Developed by GenGame, Open Energi and Northern Powergrid, the game is said to have already been proven to boost energy consumer engagement and free up capacity on the grid.

Smart plugs are installed in players’ homes to sync with the game so it can record and control power usage. Users then work to win points by reducing their demand when push notifications tell them to do so – the lower they can get their household usage to go, the more points they make.

Players can even set automatic demand reductions to score points when they’re away from their phone.

The app tracks progress as users complete achievements and compete for cash prizes, vouchers and charity donations.

According to the firms, if the same number of people played GenGame as Pokemon GO, it would free up 500MW of capacity, enough to power more than a million homes.

Currently 400 households are signed up, with plans to get another 600 across North-East England next year.

Stephane Lee-Favier, Managing Director at GenGame said: “We focus on building a product that looks and feels like a mobile game rather than a traditional utility engagement app. The results we’re seeing in terms of how players are changing their electricity use to win and success we’ve had recruiting players for our closed trials through digital marketing tells us we’re on the right track.”