ACTIVATING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT (ACE)
Activating Community Engagement (ACE) our award-winning innovation project deliveredin partnership with partners Newcastle University and start-up SME GenGame. The project was the first ever trial to show how mobile gaming could incentivise households to reduce their electricity consumption at times of high demand.
ACE offers a fun solution to help manage demand side response for residential customers and has provided valuable insight about how we can incentivise consumer behaviour change at a time when electricity use is increasing as electric vehicles and heat pumps become mainstream, increasing demand on the network.
The game saw more than 2,000 customers compete for cash prizes by turning off washing machines, televisions, lights and other home devices at periods of high demand. Players received an alert saying "It's GenGame time” and the more they reduced their consumption the more points they would earn, increasing their chance to win cash prizes online.. More about GenGame here.
The average household daytime consumption currently around 0.5kW but charging a typical electric vehicle can require 7-10kW. The three-year ACE project has generated valuable insights into how to incentivise consumer behaviour change at a time when energy companies are planning how best to manage demand from rapid take-up of electric vehicles (EVs). Down load the reports here.
We're seeking to increase resilience, drive down costs and support decarbonisation across our network. Flexibility will be an essential building block in the DSO (Distribution System Operator) transition and another step towards integrating the power of customer flexibility into our network as a potential alternative to network asset solutions such as smart new technology or traditional reinforcement.
The need for flexibility is expected to grow over time, with increased intermittent renewable generation, growing numbers of EVs and changing consumer behaviour.
ACE project won Partnership Initiative of the Year with the judges commenting that the project displayed an innovative approach with huge potential in terms of cracking the really hard problem of engaging customers in energy demand management. Ace was also highly commended in the Innovation Project of the Year category.
The valuable lessons of GenGame are being developed further by a new innovation project. Gen project, which will explore how mobile games can incentivise EV drivers to use their vehicles to support the UK energy grid. Ourselves, Newcastle University and GenGame are partnering with green energy company Ecotricity and energy monitoring specialists EnAppSys in a £400,000 project, which will investigate whether gamification can encourage electric car drivers to engage with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technologies. More about GenDrive here.