Using Gamification to Reduce Energy Use


Install an energy efficient lightbulb recently? Point for you! Learn how to better regulate your thermostat? That’s another point! Have ideas to share on improving energy conservation? Get ready for a whole lot of points—and welcome to the Carbon Footprint Reduction Game.

Complex Problem, Fun Answer

As energy prices continue to increase, the U.S. Department of Energy,  power providers and other organizations are seeking ways to help the nation become more energy efficient. And it's not just a matter of cost--energy availability is also critical to global security. That’s why Lockheed Martin is joining in the quest to inspire smarter energy use.

“Almost any experience can be gamified by adding rewards for positive actions, such as meeting a fitness goal or reducing energy use,” said Melvin Greer, Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow and Chief Gamification Designer. “With the Carbon Footprint Reduction Game, we’re trying to make the weekend chore of replacing burnt out light bulbs more enjoyable and provide information on saving energy in the process.”

While gamification may help users have fun, it’s also a potential solution to serious problems like managing skyrocketing global energy consumption. Lockheed Martin’s Carbon Footprint Reduction Game is one part of a solution that government and industry stakeholders may use to guide energy consumers into more sustainable energy use habits.

Education, Action, Analytics

Designed for use on mobile devices and desktop computers, the Carbon Footprint Reduction Game splits the gamification process into 3 components.

1. Education: Users score points in the game by watching educational videos on energy use reduction.

2. Action: Game users take real-world actions to shrink their carbon footprint. They’ll receive in-game rewards for installing programmable thermostats, energy efficient light bulbs and sharing their thoughts on what matters most to them in energy conservation.

3. Analytics: As individuals work to become more energy efficient game sponsors in government and industry can learn about end-user attitudes towards energy conservation through in-game analytics and fine tune their outreach for success.

“We’re not just helping people understand how to reduce energy use, we’re also using their interactions with the game to help decision-makers understand how individuals make choices about reducing their energy consumption,” said Greer.

February 5, 2014

  • Lockheed Martin is in the early stages of gamifying actions that reduce energy consumption.
  • The game will help consumers, utilities and government agencies take steps towards carbon footprint reduction.

The Carbon Footprint Reduction Game is a 2014 ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation award nominee. If you’re attending ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation, get more information on the award and cast your vote for the game.

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