Athens, Greece-based company Intelen, which describes itself as “the leading start-up in building analytics and game mechanics applications for energy efficiency,” has sent me a news release regarding its participation at the forthcoming CeBIT exhibition in Hanover, Germany (5-9 March 2013). There it will be launching a building analytics product which is combined with a social engagement platform to involve the occupants of commercial buildings in a continuous social gamification process to save energy by changing their collective behaviour.
Using mobile apps to compete in energy-saving
Intelen’s platform collates building energy consumption data and makes it available to employee teams in real-time via their smart-phones. Adaptive smart mapping of building energy consumption is presented along with social profiles of people inside the building, who can then interact with system, responding to surveys and awareness tests and changing their energy use patterns to win rewards for energy-efficient behaviours. By creating friendly rivalry between different teams, Intelen hopes to encourage collective behavioural changes that optimise a building’s energy use.
The collation of building energy consumption data so that it can be made available to its users is nothing new. When I first met Pachube (now Cosm) founder Usman Haque some five years ago he talked about the power of data from the ‘internet of things’ to inform and change human behaviour, and other firms such as AMEE also talk about opening access to transparent, comparable environmental data to enhance business decision making, strengthen performance, and enable a more efficient and responsible use of environmental resources.
However, the addition of a social media gamification element may provide that vital additional stimulus to get individuals to adapt their activities, particularly if there is peer pressure to collaborate as part of a departmental or company team.
This could also move building owners beyond simple passive sharing of energy efficiency data – BREEAM or LEED credentials, for example (as shared by Honest Buildings; post) – and on to sharing real-time data regarding their energy consumption and their employees role in creating and delivering savings. It could be a very powerful demonstration of corporate social responsibility too.