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Game playing can lead to lasting behaviour changes. That is the conclusion of a recent PhD study by Jan Dirk Fijnheer at Utrecht University (NL).

Fijnheer’s research is based on the Powersaver Game: an online game that challenges households to reduce their energy consumption for a few weeks with concrete savings activities. The household’s smart energy meter is linked to the game, so participants can immediately see their results. Fijnheer compared a total of almost 50 households. Some of them played the Powersaver Game, while others received the exact same information via an energy-savings app, but without the game elements.

The experiments demonstrated that the Powersaver Game helped households save up to 30 percent more energy than households that used an energy-savings app. Furthermore, after playing the game, they kept up the conservation activities for longer than the households in the control group. Results showed that the participants were also more involved. The households who played competitively saved even more energy. To learn more, visit: https://www.myscience.org/news/wire/reducing_energy_bills_with_a_serious_game-2022-uu and watch the Powersaver Game trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxnc_Dl6FBs