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oPower's Gaming Technology Gets Neighbors to Compete to Save Energy

Gernot Wagner's picture
Environmental Defense Fund
  • Member since 2018
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Wasting time Playing games online is fun. Even staid old utilities are catching on by now.

In truth, ConEd didn’t come up with much of a game. It’s more like a guided tour of energy savings around your house, even though the link may say “play now.”

Other companies, however, are designing real online games. oPower is famous for getting households to decrease their utility bills by telling them how they are doing compared to their neighbors. It was only a matter of time for oPower to take things to the next level and let friends compete with each other on Facebook.

It doesn’t get much better than that: save electricity and money, while playing games online.

That’s indeed amazing. oPower manages to decrease electricity bills by around 2%, and all it takes is sending out a bill with a smiley face if you are better than your neighbor.

Of course, all you get in exchange is a 2% decrease.

That’s quite a bit for a letter with a smiley face, but it still points to the need to get prices right in the first place and ensure that we pay the appropriate price for the other 98%.

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