Network September 2018

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NETWORK / 41 / SEPTEMBER 2018 language app? Exploring the psychology of gamification, Susan Jacobs – an education and technology expert – considered there to be five core principals behind the rise in this approach to consumer engagement. First, gamification satisfies fundamen- tal human need for recognition, reward, status, and achieve- ment. Second, it bolsters a sense of community, engagement in friendly competition – en- couraging buy-in and igniting engagement. The third principal considers the focus on the forg- ing of an emotional connection: narrative develops and grows around a user's activity. All straightforward so far, but it gets more technical: as we reach principal four: gamifica - tion relieves cognitive overload. It's easy to think of all digital activity contributing to overload – but gamification has been shown to relieve stress and clear the brain of distractions. Finally, we come to the final point around loss aversion: psycho - logically, losses can maintain engagement as much as a win, especially with "super users" who lose the 'status', which principal one underlines is so important. These users will keep playing to try and win back their losses. As mobile hardware, 4G and superfast broadband connec - tivity improves, so†ware and app developers can help more industries, including those such as energy network operators, use this behavioural psychol - ogy to achieve business aims in a way that fits seamlessly into customers' lives and can deliver wider benefits. How is gamification benefiting the energy industry? With this increase in psychologi- cal understanding and techno- logical capability, gamification has been gaining traction in the energy industry over recent years. Opportunities to support reduction and load shi†ing are attracting the most inter - est, with energy management and consumer demand side response (DSR) the focal points of early trials. In an early collaboration, California-based energy analyt- ics company, Bidgely, ran a small DSR pilot in Australia in May 2016 to test the potential for the technology for utility United Energy. With four carefully timed DSR events over the sum- mer, the trial showed that gami- fied user interface including personalised goals and targets and near real-time feedback of performance and rewards via mobile apps could deliver shi†- ing of up to 30 per cent from home air-conditioning loads. In the energy management field an eight-partner, seven- country consortium has been pushing forward with a gamifi - cation platform for energy man- agement called FEEdBACk. The aim is to promote, stimulate and deliver energy efficiency and a more responsible consumer behaviour pattern through behaviour change. The intention is to build on previous research and see if motivated behavioural change can increase by fostering bespoke awareness. If applica - tions can analyse context, send personalised messages and manage gamified peer competi- tion, will engagement increase? Logically this draws on Jacob's key psychological reasons for the success of well-executed gamification. Speeding up the transition Electricity use will grow signifi- cantly as electric vehicles and electric heat sources become mainstream, increasing demand on the network and generation sources. Gamification offers a fun and effective solution to engage the next generation of users of these technologies, to help manage this demand, rewarding them for reducing and changing their consump - tion patterns. The energy industry has an opportunity to harness the power of gamification to speed up and smooth the transition to a low carbon world. I N D U S T RY I N S I G H T Active network management from LV to HV ZIV Automation continues to push the boundaries of network management solutions. Its comprehensive and flexible Network Management platform scales from small substation deployment to large scale control centre deployment for wide area management. Most recently, ZIV Automation has been working on a number of projects for LV distribution networks. One such project is an innovative project with Western Power Distribution for the Isles of Scilly to allow an increase in the amount of renewable energy generated on the Isles. As the Isles of Scilly is embedded within a larger regional ANM zone in WPD, they will be managed as if they were a single generator within the larger ANM region. A local LV ANM controller will optimise the small generators on the Isles and utilise the demand side response capabilities that will be installed as part of the project. It will facilitate local generation and allow local demand side management to offset the degree to which the generation on the Isles is curtailed. While pioneered on the Isles of Scilly, the intention is that the LV ANM could be applied anywhere, allowing other communities to maximise their use of renewable generation which would have otherwise been curtailed. For more information visit

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