Diemen household saves 36% with app by PhD candidate Jan Dirk Fijnheer
Best energy saver in Powersaver Game rewarded with prize
The Huisman family from Diemen achieved energy savings of 36% with the Powersaver Game, and won the game’s prize for best saver. The Powersaver Game is an app that helps households save energy, developed by computer science PhD candidate Jan Dirk Fijnheer. Last week, together with Diemen’s Alderman for Energy & Sustainability Matthijs Sikkes-van den Berg, Fijnheer presented the Huisman family with a dinner cheque for 150 euros.
The Huisman family participated in the energy saving game Powersaver Game in Diemen, and was pleasantly surprised with their victory. “We didn’t expect to save 36%. Especially in corona times. We’re proud of the results!” The alderman praised this initiative of Utrecht University in cooperation with Hogeschool Inholland, foundation Daarom Duurzaam Diemen and foundation Duurzaam Dorp Diemen.
The Powersaver Game was developed by Jan Dirk Fijnheer, PhD candidate at Utrecht University and researcher at Hogeschool Inholland. The game challenges households to save 15% on energy consumption in three weeks. Fijnheer: “We are the first to have linked the smart energy meter to a game. And the results are amazing. The average saving has risen to 25% and the expectation is that this will be permanent. Households are saving hundreds of euros on their energy bills and have significantly reduced their global footprint.”
Powersaver Game is part of a larger study by Fijnheer on how ‘serious gaming’ can contribute to influencing and changing sustainable behaviour. Over the coming months, he will incorporate the current results in a scientific publication. Fijnheer is enthusiastic about the research so far. “By gaining insight into your consumption in combination with the enjoyment of the game, saving on your energy bill has become a lot more fun. And you are also helping to create a more sustainable world.”
Fijnheer is also working on plans for follow-up research with Powersaver Game. “The big scientific question we are answering is what exactly in the game keeps people motivated to save energy. In the meantime, the results speak for themselves, and that’s why this game needs to be used on a larger scale.” Alderman Sikkes-Van den Berg has promised to further involve the municipality of Diemen in this.