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How the Ontario Energy Board Generated Responsible Energy Use
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To reduce strain on the power grid, we used data, gamification and the spirit of competition to inspire the people of Oshawa to use less — and less expensive — energy.

The Imperative for Change

Today’s growing energy consumption puts a huge strain on the power grid. To address the stress, we helped the Ontario Energy Board shift from the inside, launching time-of-use pricing, which charges lower rates during off-peak hours as an incentive for customers to spread out their energy usage.

While the new pricing structure successfully reduced costs, people were still reluctant to change their longtime habits. So we set out to reach them in micro-moments, with the goal of small changes adding up to a four to six percent reduction in peak energy usage.

The Transformative Solution

We identified about 2,000 customers to participate in a pilot that makes analyzing energy usage fun. The pilot app we designed and developed helps them visualize their habits, identify actionable insights, compare their usage to their own history as well as the consumption of their neighbors and earn badges for a job well done. App alerts as well as texts keep customers tuned in to the importance of conscientious energy usage.

Oshawa Peak Power App

Screens from the app

The Business Impact

The app really resonated with Ontario Energy Board customers, making them more conscientious about energy use, and helping some save over 25%. Results showed impressive reductions at all times of use, with -2% vs. +3% winter on-peak usage impact, -6% vs. +5% summer on-peak usage impact, and -12.84% vs. -2.64% summer average critical peak price impact. The overall project goals of 4-6% energy savings were easily met.

Customer feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with people reporting a deeper understanding of their energy use and positive changes in their habits.

"Awesome program, fun challenging our household to do better in the rankings, we went from being ranked last, to second, with a few first place days."
Customer Review

Award-winning Work

  • Oshawa Power & Publicis Sapient: Public Sector
  • Oshawa Power & Publicis Sapient: Mobile Sites - Utilities & Services
  • Oshawa Power & Publicis Sapient: Excellence for Utility or Productivity Apps
Supratik Chaudhuri
Supratik Chaudhuri
Director, Energy & Commodities Lead