Assessing the effectiveness of gamification in reducing domestic energy consumption: Lessons learned from the EnerGAware project

Miquel Casals, Marta Gangolells, Marcel Macarulla, Nuria Forcada, Alba Fuertes, Rebecca Hafner, Rory Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (SciVal)


The application of gamification to encourage energy conservation behaviour in house occupants is an emerging field of research. However, empirical evidence of its effectiveness is lacking. This paper presents lessons learnt from the EU-funded EnerGAware research project, in which an innovative serious game (a game designed for purposes other than purely entertainment) was developed to promote reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions by changing social housing tenants’ energy efficiency behaviour. The game was validated in a sample of European social housing using a longitudinal, two-stage experimental design, employing both pre-post and control group approaches. While some aspects of the game did not work as intended, there were nevertheless some positive impacts. The intervention increased social housing tenants’ awareness and engagement in certain energy saving behaviour and provided an average electricity saving of 3.46% and an average gas saving of 7.48%. Although savings were found not to be statistically significant, an effect size was detected (0.2). Therefore, future steps should exploit all available opportunities to replicate the pilot and increase the sample size so as to gain stronger evidence of the game's impact. Preliminary results support the utility of gaming investment in the household energy efficiency field, and provide useful insights and pathways that could be incorporated into the development of future serious game interventions to foster their effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109753
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number110193
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme through the EnerGAware project (Energy Game for Awareness of energy efficiency in social housing communities), contract no. 649673 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy saving
  • Gaming
  • Serious game
  • Social housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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