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Energy Efficiency Prize


Social Power

Design Team:

Supsi LCV: Vanessa De Luca, Mikael Oettli, Nicolò Bianchi;Sparkling Lab: Pasquale Granato, Emilia Ciardi

Core research team:

SUPSI: Roberta Castri, Francesca Cellina,
Vanessa De Luca; ZHAW: Vicente Carabias-Hütter,
Devon Wemyss, Corinne Moser, Evelyn Lobsiger-Kägi

In collaboration with:

QBT: Alessandro Barazzetti, Rosangela Mastronardi

Team Clients:

Electric Agency of Massagno;  Stadtwerk Winterthur

Supported by:

Gebert Rüf Stiftung (BREF – Social Innovation) 2015–2018


Social Power is the name of a gaming app, which is intended to promote energysaving behaviour by learning through play and social interaction. It was developed as part of a research project, in which SUPSI, ZHAW and electricity suppliers from Massagno and Winterthur were involved among others. The intention was to investigate social gamification as leverage approach for increasing the population’s awareness of energy consumption and energy saving in the household. The project has the aim of stimulating people’s engagement and a change in behaviours through reality-based challenges and visual feedback on household’s electricity consumption. Neighbouring teams were therefore established in two Swiss towns, which entered into a playful competition via the app. During a three-month game, users became active consumption managers and reduced household-dependent electricity consumption by an average of 8%.

Comments of the nominators

Conscious, frugal use of energy that helps to preserve natural resources, now appears even more urgent than ever. Every way of achieving this objective should be applauded. The playful approach proposed here looks very promising because on the one hand it makes use of a current popular form of entertainment – digital gaming apps – and on the other hand also contains a powerful social component. The fundamental idea of combining energy saving with entertainment and fun, in order to use this to appeal to a younger audience in particular, should be pursued further.